Based upon Hermann and Yves H’s graphic novel Un Nuit de Pleine Lune, Julius Berg’s film The Owners follows the trend of inverting the home invasion movie, but with a gloriously splendid twist. In a rural English village Nathan (Ian Kenny), Terry (Andrew Ellis) and Gaz (Jake Curran) are staking out the local doctor’s surgery because Terry’s mum, who does the doctor’s cleaning says there is a safe with loads of cash in it. So its already pretty clear this ain’t exactly the brightest bunch of thieves even before Nathan’s girlfriend Mary (Maisie Williams) turns up wanting her car back.
Undeterred by Mary the gang break into the doctor’s house only to discover the safe is not a modern electronic one, but an old combination number so Gaz’s bag of electronics won’t open it, so the only option is to wait until the Doctor and his wife return home and get them to reveal the magic numbers. So thee is a nasty little surprise waiting for Dr. Huggins (Sylvester McCoy) and his wife Ellen (Rita Tushingham) when they get home and before long they are tied up in a basement full of power tools.
But Huggin’s is a wily old sole and as Gaz whips up Nathan to take a Stanley knife to Ellen’s digits he works on breaking up the gang’s internal cohesion, because frankly using Ellen’s stockings as masks to disguise a bunch of kids he has known since they were babies was never going to work (see I said these kids were a bit thick). From there on the tables are horrifically turned.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed The Owners partly because Nathan and Gaz in particular were such vile characters that I thought they deserved every horribly gruesome thing that happened to them. I had more sympathy with Terry who was just an easily led buffoon and Mary who was basically a decent person who just got sucked into the whole affair by making bad life choices. It’s always gratifying to see older actors get great parts and McCoy and Tushingham are absolutely superb as the elderly couple who on the face of it appear to be pillars of the local village society, but secretly harbor a very dark secret and exact a terrible revenge. Tushingham is particularly terrifying as Ellen who suffers from early onset dementia which scarily removes any inhibitions she may have had making her easily suggestable to the instructions of the downright creepy McCoy, not to mention free of any conscious notions of what is good and bad.
If you ever wanted to Dr. Who go bad and Celia from Bread kiss a lad’s bare bum The Owners is the film for you we give it a 666/666.