The Owners: analysis of a thriller about a botched robbery. The Owners (2020): plot analysis, ending, meaning of the film, similar movies.
The plot of the film The Owners cannot be called original – it simply tells the story of unlucky thieves who invaded the “wrong” house and got what they deserved. However, the film, which became Julius Berg’s feature film debut, is not without undertones and subtle hints.
Genre: thriller, crime
Year of production: 2020
Director: Julius Berg
Actors: Maisie Williams, Sylvester McCoy, Rita Tushingham, Jake Curren
Slogan: “Once you break in… You may never get out”.
Plot of the film The Owners
Brief description of the contents of the picture. Three young men, Gaz, Nathan and Terry, wanting to get some easy money, one day decide to break into the house of Dr. Richard Huggins and his wife Ellen. The elderly couple is not in the house at this time, and in search of valuables, the guys begin to run the place with all their might. One of the guys, Terry, doesn’t really like it, but according to his friends, he should shut up – after all, the very idea of robbing old people did not initially cause him mental anguish.
In the basement of the house, the intruders discover a safe, but all attempts to open it lead to nothing. In the end, the robbers decide to find out the key to the castle from the owners, who are about to return.
A little later, Nathan’s friend Mary comes to the house. Actually, she’s not in the business, she just needs her boyfriend’s car key to go to an interview. However, the third participant in the robbery, the reckless Gaz, persuades her to stay.
Soon the owners return home. The attackers take them captive and begin to find out where the money and valuables are. The frightened old people agree to give them everything they have, but the criminals who have caught their courage start talking about the safe.
Mr. Huggins tries to deny it: there is no safe in the house, but Nathan still forces him to go down to the basement. Mary realizes that things have gone too far and wants to leave. Nathan also realizes this, however, wanting to keep his girlfriend in the house, he tries to manipulate her. Everything will be fine, he says, if only they get the money, she won’t have to work anymore.
Suddenly, the old doctor addresses Nathan and Terry by their first names – it turns out that he has known both of them since childhood. He asks them to stop this madness and not ruin their lives – if the guys leave, he and Ellen, so be it, will not inform the police.
The guys suddenly feel very embarrassed and decide to leave. However, Gaz really doesn’t like this idea – he came for the money and will get it at any cost. Nathan starts a fight, but the physically stronger Gaz seriously wounds him. After this, Dr. Huggins says that he will tell them the code to the safe to stop the violence. He dictates the code incorrectly to Gaz twice, after which he becomes enraged and tries to kill Ellen. Mary prevents him from doing this – the girl inflicts a fatal blow on the thug’s head, and he falls dead.
After this, Mary helps the doctor free himself. He tells the guys to take the wounded Nathan upstairs and frees his wife. Mary asks the old doctor to help her dying friend and he agrees. However, his wife suddenly hisses ominously: “Retribution for sins is coming.” The guys are scared, but the doctor calms them down: he and Ellen lost their daughter Kate many years ago – and since then she has been a little out of her mind.
Before the operation begins, Mr. Huggins asks Terry and Mary to leave. The girl begins to become hysterical and the young man tries to calm her down. Some time passes, there is no news from Huggins, and the alarmed Mary herself goes to the room in which the field operation is taking place. The old man says that everything is fine – the wound is just much more serious than he thought. The girl asks to go inside and sees Nathan lying motionless. “He’s sleeping,” the doctor assures. – “I injected him with something.” However, the next second Mary becomes convinced that Dr. Huggins is lying – her boyfriend is dead…
A little later, Ellen, a former nurse, injects Terry with a powerful drug, after which he begins to behave strangely. Mary, who has already made sure that the Hugginses definitely do not wish them well, really wants to leave the terrible house, but the old people, smiling good-naturedly, first offer her to have tea with them. Mary tries to get through to Terry: “We have to leave,” she says. But the suddenly calmed down guy lies on the sofa in the Higgins living room and watches some show recorded on videotape.
Soon the old men invite them both to the table. However, Mary understands that there is nothing to drink or eat in this house – after all, Nathan is dead, and Mr. and Mrs. Huggins are behaving more and more sinisterly. However, she has no choice – she sits down at the table. The old man shows her the album that Ellen keeps – it contains notes about missing teenage girls. On the photo of each girl there is a short “resume”, written by hand: “good”, “bad”, “naughty”. This triggers Mary – after all, her twin sister Jane disappeared a few months ago.
The girl suddenly realizes that the old people are not going to let her and Terry go. She becomes hysterical, but Ellen sternly tells her to drink tea and behave “like a good girl.”
However, Mary does not want to be a “good girl” – she wants to leave this nightmare house. The girl tries to escape, but the prudent Mr. Huggins has long blocked all the doors. While Mary hides in the depths of the mansion, Ellen hisses ominously: “This is a bad girl, she needs to be punished.” The husband nods: of course, dear, she will get hers. Meanwhile, Terry begins to hallucinate again. The girl realizes that there is nowhere for her to wait for help and finally decides to act…
The Owners Ending explained
Explanation of the ending of the picture. In the finale, Mary manages to get to the old people’s car, but she doesn’t have time to start the engine – Terry suddenly shoots her in the back. Dr. Huggins good-naturedly tells the girl that she will die in a few minutes, after which he praises Terry. “Good kids get candy,” chimes in his crazy wife.
The old people tell him the secret of the safe. It turns out that this is not a safe at all, but a storage facility in which they kept kidnapped teenage girls. All of them, according to Mr. Huggins, were “bad” and unsuitable for the role of their daughter. All except one – Mary’s sister, Jane. This is what the crazy old people are keeping in storage now. Now Terry joins her. “We will become a family,” Ellen hisses and closes the vault door…
At the very end of the picture, Mr. and Mrs. Huggins are burying corpses in the garden. At this moment, their neighbor, Terry’s mother, approaches them – she hasn’t seen her son for a week and has no idea where he is or what’s wrong with him. “Young people…” the old man smiles. This is where the picture ends.
The point of the ending of The Owners is that Terry and Jane remain in the vault. Of course, sooner or later they will start looking for him and the other guys, but will they find them?..
The meaning of the film The Owners
There are many pictures of unsuccessful home invasions. The film, released under the title The Owners, is based on the Belgian comic book of the same name – “The Owners”.
It is unclear what forced domestic localizers to once again change the title of the film. However, some viewers in their analysis of the film suggest that there was a point to this: thus, the distributors gave a direct reference to Federico Alvarez’s film “Don’t Breathe,” which was received very well by film lovers and critics.
Julius Berg’s film, like other similar films, can be classified as a conventional subgenre, in which the action takes place in one location, and the victim and the pursuer quickly change roles. Almost all films in this subgenre look the same: scoundrels who want to commit a crime are faced with even bigger scoundrels. Conceptually, Julius Berg’s film is no different, except that the balance between the bloody plot and character development is not maintained.
In all likelihood, the director initially wanted to make a claustrophobic thriller, but what he ended up with was a vigorous mixture of chamber horror and trash movie, because at times the film slips into outright blackness. On the one hand, this has a negative impact on overly impressionable viewers, and on the other hand, it increases the uncertainty of the narrative.
However, towards the end it turns out that the thoughtless nihilism is intended solely for the sake of playing on shock content (in the second half the film turns into violence without much meaning), as a result of which interest in the film quickly fades away.
It is worth giving the director his due – at times he tries to take his film beyond the claustrophobic catch-up within four walls and, in particular, talks about the eternal confrontation between traditions and the trends of the new day. In addition, with British grace, he teases out the theory about the “final girl” – after all, Mary, who, according to the law of the genre, was supposed to survive, dies.
However, there is still no special depth or hidden meaning in this picture. Everything lies on the surface: young people do not understand old people, and they have their own quirks that they have to put up with. Who is to blame for the generation gap? The director does not have his own interpretation and it is up to the viewer to try to answer this question.
If we talk about the essence of the film, then it probably lies in a simple phrase: “Don’t make a splash while it’s quiet.” The robbery does not go according to plan, and the quiet married couple becomes for the unlucky criminals the real embodiment of all current social fears, speculations and suspicions.
In addition, this film touches on the topics of inequality of social classes and youth unemployment. Unfortunately, the director only outlines the problems – apparently, he is not too interested in elaborating them. Therefore, in general, his film can be called vile, dirty, unpleasant and uncomfortable – but even so, I don’t want to criticize it too much. In the end, this is exactly the kind of feeling the viewer expects from this genre, because the main evil here is always not something supernatural, but people.
Here are several films similar in meaning to the film The Owners:
- Don’t Breathe (USA, Hungary, 2015). Several teenagers break into the house of a blind old man to rob him. However, the victim soon turns into a stalker.
- “Hunting” (USA, Japan, China, 2020). Several people become targets in a creepy manhunt. But one of them manages to fight back the thugs.
- “The Swindler” (USA, UK, 2020). Marla preys on lonely old people and builds her business on it. However, the next victim, the old lady “God’s dandelion,” turns out to be not so simple.
- “Trapped” (USA, 2021). An intense story about cunning revenge for betrayal and the heroine’s attempts to escape.
- “Monster’s Lair” (USA, 2017). Two thieves break into the house of a psychopathic maniac.