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The Vault (2017)

Two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother. But this is no ordinary bank.


Written and directed by Dan Bush (The Signal), The Vault is a bit of a funny one. A gang rob a bank to find ghostly goings on in the vault. The setup is pretty good, the opening act is well presented, the screenplay is sharp, the direction is good, nothing special, but it works. The film is however unsure of what it really wants to be. It is first and foremost a heist movie, then a horror movie in firm second place. But it does work well for it. Probably the strongest attribute is the tension created in the heist. The antagonists - who run the gauntlet of being the protagonists as well - are cruel and violent. I believe that they will shoot someone in the face. There is internal conflict in the group - nice. Gripping stuff indeed.

Then the film veers into a horror film. It's well enough done, taking the slower approach of gently introducing the supernatural, rather than the Dusk Til Dawn approach of SUDDENLY VAMPIRES. The horror is relatively effective, and has some decent scares. It's not for the gorehounds, but the film is a good film.

The cast is a little mixed, with the main players being Taryn Manning (Orange Is the New Black), Francesca Eastwood (Awake), and James Franco (127 Hours). Eastwood is solid in the role. She doesn't have a huge catalog, but she carries one the lead roles impressively. Manning doesn't fair quite so well, but it's serviceable. Franco can be such either astonishingly good, or painful to watch, and this occasion we get the good James Franco.

Sadly the film seems to have some reliance on the third act twist which was seen coming before the opening credits had finished. But it really takes nothing from the enjoyment of the film.

More spooky slow burn and thriller than horror for the most part, The Vault is highly recommended for the Sunday afternoon view-a-thon. A gentle, well made, spooky thriller. Good stuff.

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