When a film or TV show is based on a comic book series it shouldn’t be a novelty for the writer and artist to get their names in the opening credits. Unless it’s changed since season one, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina always had, “Based upon the comic by Archie Comics,” but didn’t mention Robert Hack or Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa by name (to be fair, Aguirre-Sacasa developed the series so his name does crop up elsewhere).
Julius Berg’s The Owners is based on the graphic novel, Une Nuit de Pleine Lune, by Yves H. and Hermann. That it actually says as much on the title card is the part that’s surprising. Berg’s name doesn’t even appear on the title card. Yves H. and Hermann are credited before any of the cast.
The kicker is Une Nuit de Pleine Lune only exists in French, so even though the film gives the source material a lot of credit, as far as I can tell there are no plans for an English version to come out in time for the film’s release.
Without the book, then, the biggest draw going into this movie is the cast, and it’s really one of those films where all you need to hear is who’s in it. You’re going to have to see it, whether you love the story or not.
Sylvester McCoy and Rita Tushingham are “the owners” in question. Unlike the Time Lord he played on Doctor Who, McCoy is a real, medical doctor here and Tushingham (of such great British films as A Taste of Honey) plays his wife.
Their home is the one that gets broken into in this movie. Originally the plan is to break into their house while they’re away and steal all of the money in their safe. The safe is harder to crack than they expected, though, so instead of leaving the robbers wait for the owners to come back. That way they can force the combination out of them.
Yep. It’s not that Dr. Huggins and his wife come home early. These guys intentionally wait for them to show up, and consequently pay the price for that decision. McCoy and Tushingham get the plum roles in this movie as the elderly couple that get underestimated by their abusers. Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) gets dragged into this mess as well, since her boyfriend (Ian Kenny) is one of the would-be robbers. Her character makes quite a few bad choices, most surprising of which might be the fact that she keeps trying to help these guys instead of putting her own skin first. Maybe that’s honorable but it doesn’t do anything for her chances of survival.
What The Owners is missing is a signature scene that sets this film apart from other movies where a robbery goes wrong. Nothing really surprising happens and while a few attempts are made to flesh out the characters, it usually feels forced. While I don’t regret seeing The Owners for the reasons I wanted to see this movie in the first place (McCoy, Tushingham, and Williams), they are the main reasons to look this movie up.
The Owners is in theaters and On Demand and digital starting September 4th from RLJE Films.