Private Property, a thriller starring a very minimal cast, is a bland remake of the controversial1960 film of the same name.
A lost print of the 1960 Leslie Stevens was recently discovered a few years ago. While it was originally released to major controversy, the film was critically praised upon its 2016 re-release. I’m not about to do a compare and contrast between the two movies. All in all, Private Property is such a bland thriller that it would be perfectly at home on Lifetime.
Knowing what little that I do about the original film, filmmaker Chadd Harbold expands on the 1960 film. He places scenes out of order so if you’re unfamiliar with the story, get ready to watch a film told in a non-linear manner! Names may change but the gist of the film remains the same. I don’t know if we necessarily needed a remake of a film that got little critical attention to begin with. Suffice it to say, this one is opening day-and-date so it probably won’t be getting the same amount of attention. That’s just how many day-and-date films are these days.
Kathryn Carlyle (Ashley Benson) is a struggling actress and married to a Hollywood producer (Jay Pharoah). Her career is basically at a standstill because she won’t even attempt to use her husband to really break into the industry. Funny enough, she met him when she had a very small role in a film he produced. Anyway, Kathryn becomes attracted to their new gardener, Ben (Shiloh Fernandez). He’s filling a role in her life that her producer husband is failing to do. It’s not long after this in which Kathryn meets her new neighbor, Ed (Logan Miller). Before you know it, she invites Ed over and well, secrets start flying out into the open. Alas, things are not as they seem.
My thoughts on the bland thriller not withstanding, the actors do what they can with their performances. Ashley Benson was due for a breakout career after starring for several seasons in Pretty Little Liars. The actress hasn’t been in that many films since the series ended and she’s going for more indie fare than studio films. Interestingly, this is the third film featuring both Benson and Shiloh Fernandez in the cast.
Private Property takes a big swing and misses.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Chadd Harbold
CAST: Ashley Benson, Shiloh Fernandez, Logan Miller, Frank Whaley, Jay Pharoah
Lionsgate will release Private Property in theaters and Digital/VOD on May 13, 2022. Grade: 2/5
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