Bank heist

MOVIE REVIEW: The Vault (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Vault (2017)

Director: Dan Bush; Writers: Dan Bush, Conal Byrne; Stars: James Franco, Taryn Manning, Francesca Eastwood; Rating: Not Rated; Run Time: 91 min; Genre: Horror, Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017

Jeff Gum in The Vault (2017)The Vault caught my attention for having James Franco starring and held my attention in spite of some clunky foreshadowing and a less than satisfying ending. While it’s nothing special and filled with tropes we’ve seen in other crime/horror crossovers, there’s just enough mix of weirdness and uncertainty to keep the viewer interested.

The story revolves around a bank and the gang of robbers whose reasons for hitting up the bank aren’t as clear-cut as they seem at first. Having carefully engineered a distraction that keeps the city’s attention directed elsewhere, the gang is surprised to find little money in the safe and that an unexpected tip-off to law enforcement made it through. Ed Maas (James Franco), assistant manager of the bank, tries to work with the robbers to minimize harm to the people held hostage, but the gang refuses to leave without finding the real money.

Francesca Eastwood in The Vault (2017)Most of The Vault focuses on the dynamics of the two groups, the hostages and the robbers, interspersed with the gang’s attempt to access the bank’s main vault below. Ultimately the gang’s primary motivation is for Michael Dillon (Scott Haze) to pay off a fatal debt, and Michael’s estranged sisters Vee (Taryn Manning) and Leah (Francesca Eastwood), have come together, along with a few others, to pull off the heist – both to help Michael and enrich themselves. The hostages’ motivation is, of course, to survive, and some of them are more successful at this than others.

Taryn Manning in The Vault (2017)Maas convinces the gang that he can help and successfully stops a post-closing hours failsafe alarm from triggering. Having won their reluctant trust, he then directs them to the location of the bank’s subterranean vault wherein lies a cool $6 million. As the heist moves forward to crack the vault and open their subterranean escape route, the group is split and odd things begin to happen. First, those who’ve ventured underground are affected, but it ultimately extends to all the robbers. Paranoia and uncertainty set in, making the situation more volatile and dangerous every moment.

Unfortunately for The Vault, uneven acting makes the first half somewhat less than satisfying while unnecessary foreshadowing completely undermines the second half and ruins the fim’s reveal. With an ending that left me more than a little pissed (seriously, my rating dropped 2.5 claw marks just because it pissed me off), The Vault is worth watching for Francophiles — those who want the total Franco experience — and those who must watch all things horror, but a skip for anyone seeking something new and different.

Final verdict: 5/10 claw marks — leave it closed

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments