In a desperate attempt to save the life of their brother, Michael, the sisters Leah and Vee decide to rob a bank. Michael has a debt that must be paid. During the robbery, it appears that there is not enough money in the safe. On the advice of the bank manager, the sisters open the safe at the bottom of the bank. However, a dark secret is kept deep in that safe.
Two estranged sisters, Leah (Francesca Eastwood) and her sister, Vee (Taryn Manning), are desperate to help their brother pay his huge debts before people are sent to take him out. They concoct a ridiculously stupid plan to rob a local bank as quickly as possible and without anyone getting hurt. They first start a fire in a nearby warehouse as their diversion, so that the two sisters, their brother, Michael (Scott Haze), Kramer, the safecracker; and Cyrus, the muscle, can initiate the bank robbery. Once inside the bank, an officer tries to call for backup on his police radio. Detective Iger (Clifton Collins Jr.), who had just left the bank hears the call and decides to check it out. While walking back to check on the bank he hears another, very strange and anonymous call on his radio about the robbery.
When they discover that there isn’t enough money in the safe, the bickering gang members agree to try the vault in the basement as suggested by the assistant manager (James Franco). Everything here plays out in typical B-movie precision. However, as they descend into the ghoul-infested basement, the film switches genres and takes a leftfield turn into the supernatural. Of course, mayhem ensues. Once that happens, we are fed the usual campy slasher with murky monsters lurking in the dark.
Everything seems to be going go perfectly to plan until they realize that the bank’s master vault is not very full, and only contains $70,000 in total, not nearly enough for all five robbers to split as planned. James Franco plays Edward Mass, the assistant manager who for fear of people being hurt or killed in the chaos, volunteers additional information to help save them. The new information makes the robbers aware of a second vault just below the bank, completely off the grid and stuffed with over 6 million dollars. An amount that’s more than adequate to split and get their brother out of trouble.
One of the robbers begins drilling the lock holding closed the metal doors on the antique vault and once the vault is opened something dark and deadly is unleashed, and it’s then that things start to take a turn for the worse. Everything turns paranormal, dark and eerie. The lights begin to flicker on and off and all of the bank cameras begin to distort and show strange visuals. Everyone starts hearing and seeing some very disturbing and troubling things, as the film descends into almost pitch-black darkness.
All throughout the film, Franco’s character was an interesting anomaly. I won’t say anymore from this point on, but I really did enjoy the film. However, my one gripe is by the ending, not everything was wrapped up or explained, there were a few unanswered questions, and to me, it’s more of a thriller than horror. The minimal jumps-scares just aren’t enough to warrant the title of horror in my humble opinion, but it still carried an excellent twist on a hostage situation story and will have enough twists and turns to keep you interested to the end. In summary, The Vault was a strange lackluster type of film that is not bad enough to keep locked up in the vault, and not good enough to warrant a permanent unlocking.
Title: The Vault
Release Date: September 1, 2017
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama
Studio: FilmRise Studios
Starring: James Franco, Scott Haze, Taryn Manning
MPAA Rated: NR
Directors: Dan Bush
Reviewed by: Mike Davidson
Our Rating: 3.0 /5
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