The Rental Ending Explained: What Does that Creepy Footage Mean?

The Rental Ending Explained

The Rental is a 2020 American horror movie that Dave Franco, making his feature directorial debut, wrote, produced, and directed. From a story by Franco, Swanberg, and Mike Demski, Franco and Joe Swanberg co-wrote the movie’s script.

The movie, which features Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, Jeremy Allen White, and Toby Huss, centers on two couples who start to worry that someone is watching them in the rental home.

On July 24, 2020, IFC Films distributed the movie in a few cinemas and on video-on-demand in the US.

It earned largely favorable reviews from reviewers and became just the second movie to simultaneously top the video-on-demand VOD charts and the box office.

Plot Summary

The Rental Ending Explained

For a weekend escape, Charlie, his wife Michelle, his brother Josh, and Josh’s girlfriend/coworker Charlie’s Mina rent an isolated beach property.

When they get to the property, they run across Taylor, the housekeeper, who acts strangely and speaks to Mina in a racist manner. Mina, Josh, and Charlie consume MDMA ecstasy when they have settled in, and Michelle goes to sleep.

Later, Josh collapses on the couch, and Mina and Charlie end up sharing a hot tub kiss and engaging in sexual activity in the shower. The following morning, Charlie and Mina decide not to tell their respective partners about what transpired between them.

Charlie and Mina both notice a camera in the shower head as they are taking a shower; they are certain Taylor put it there. Charlie forbids her from calling the police because Michelle and Josh would probably find out if she did so.

Taylor would not reveal the footage, he assures her, because doing so would mean admitting that he had spied on them.

That evening, Josh discovers his dog has vanished while Michelle calls Taylor to fix the hot tub. Josh confronts Taylor when he arrives because he thinks he might have taken the dog, but Taylor insists it never happened.

While Taylor is repairing the hot tub, Mina confronts him in private about the shower’s concealed camera, which he pretends to be oblivious of. Following the argument, Taylor tries to contact the police, but Mina argues with him and stops him.

Josh runs in after hearing the disturbance and knocks Taylor out by beating him. Josh believed Taylor was attacking Mina. However, Mina does not admit that she had sex with Charlie when she is forced to explain the concealed camera in the shower.

To decide what to do, the gang congregates in the living room. In the meantime, a masked man enters secretly and suffocates Taylor to death. When the others come back and see Taylor dead, they presume Josh’s injuries caused his demise.

The Rental Ending Explained

Michelle cries out for them to call the police, but Charlie won’t let his brother, who has previously served time in prison, go back there. He advises that they throw Taylor off the cliff and into the water to simulate an accident.

Michelle enters the bedroom after declining to participate in their scheme. To the edge, Charlie, Josh, and Mina carry. Josh has to descend and push it into the water after it lands upon an outcrop of Taylor’s body. 

When Michelle investigates the sound of a shower at home, she is led into a room where a television is playing a video of Charlie and Mina having sex. Charlie is confronted by Michelle as she drives over to him and tells him what she has seen.

She texts Charlie to come to aid her as she is being attacked by the masked man after colliding with a tree down the road. After receiving an SMS from Michelle’s phone, Charlie starts looking for her.

The masked man then attacks and kills him after he discovers her dead body on the highway. Mina and Josh are searching for the transceiver of the shower camera back at the house in order to delete any recordings it may have made.

Josh receives texts from Charlie’s phone that show that he had sex with Mina. Josh then hears someone enter the house and runs to confront Charlie, believing it to be Charlie.

Instead, Josh is ambushed and killed by the masked man. The masked man pursues Mina as she flees. She unintentionally runs off a cliff and into the water while running through the forest in the dark and fog.

Returning to the residence, the masked man takes down all cameras and evidence. He hires a brand-new home and puts cameras inside of it.

During the credits, footage of the masked man attacking a sleeping couple is displayed from the concealed cameras.

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Ending Explained

The Rental Ending Explained

The masked figure follows Charlie, Josh, and Mina as they make their way back to the house. After telling Charlie she had seen the video, Michelle takes off in the lone vehicle.

Michelle hits a spike strip while driving that was undoubtedly absent when they arrived and collides with a tree. After texting Charlie for assistance, the hooded figure appears in front of her window.

Charlie rushes to assist her and discovers her lifeless body. The unidentified attacker then kills him after attacking him as well.

In search of a computer, hard drive, or router to access the video of Josh attacking Taylor, Josh and Mina break into the house’s closed cellar under the deck.

Charlie sends Josh a text message from his phone that includes a video of Mina and Charlie having sex in the shower. Josh hears someone enter the house and rushes to assault the person, believing it to be Charlie.

The masked man attacks him and kills him. While fleeing away from the house, Mina unintentionally stumbles down a cliff and plunges into the water.

The masked man quietly gathers all of his surveillance tools, including the router and hard disk that are concealed in the ceiling, camera showerheads, audio devices disguised in light switches and plants, and after witnessing her body fall.

He takes off his mask in the bathroom mirror, but we can’t see his face. Oh, and the dog survived as well! The dog survived, but everyone else did not.

At the movie’s climactic climax, we witness the unidentified individual setting up surveillance gear in a fresh building.

Before the titles start to roll, we get an illustration of the video he views from his new apartment: Tenants cooking, texting, hanging out, sleeping, and having sex-typical activities you’d find in an Airbnb.

The scary feeling that you might have someone watching your every action the next time you rent an apartment is one that the movie leaves viewers with.

The argument is simply that there are some sick people out there; we have no idea who this man is or why he acts in this way.



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