DIRECTOR: Dan Bush
Clifton Collins Jr.
When Vee and Leah, two estranged sisters decide to rob a bank in order to save their brother Michael. The job is simple, get in, get the money, and get out. Little do these two sisters realise that this is no ordinary bank. In the basement vault of the bank, it hides a dark secret. Once the gang opens up the basement vault to retrieve all of the money inside. All hell breaks loose, and they unleash something far more sinister.
When I first noticed that The Vault had popped up on Netflix, I had passed over it on several occasions. I thought that it was a heist flick. I had no idea that the movie had elements of the supernatural or was deeply rooted in the horror genre. You could look at the poster for the film and see all of the creepy masks that the gang donned or the images of those ghostly figures burning in the background. However, I feel that I may have not taken much notice on this occasion.
The movie starts off like most action heist films. The gang starts a fire in a warehouse close to the bank in hopes of creating a diversion to keep the police off of the robbery. We are introduced to our gang. One is applying for a position at the bank, fake blonde wig and all. Before you know it, its revealed that she is the leader and like most heist movies, we are treated to scenes of the staff and patrons being taken, hostage. It all seems pretty straightforward up until this point. What works well in The Vault is how quickly things descend into madness in the story.
As the gang starts to round up all the tellers and the people who've come to deposit some money. This is where the shit starts to hit that fan. They quickly discover that the bank isn't carrying that much loot. The gang have made a grave mistake. They have assumed the bank is holding millions in cash. They were very wrong. Cue the dramatics, the plan reassessments, and a character confirming that the vault in the basement is where they keep all their stash. The gang decide to trust the mysterious bank teller and things go south.
Once the gang starts to make their way into the basement vault, this is where things start getting fun. Whatever was hiding in the vault is unleashed, and the nightmarish visions begin. We now start delving into the history of this haunted bank. We see that something terrible has taken place in the past. As the movie slowly starts to unravel, things escalate, and I found myself having an absolute blast with it. Is it perfect? No. The film has problems, but they weren't enough to ruin what I felt was this original take on the heist movie.
Is The Vault gory? No, not really. While the film is filled with blood and violence, and many of the characters meet some grisly fate. This story feels pretty restrained for a movie that deals heavily with vengeful ghosts that murder a bank full of people. We get a lot of aftermath shots, quick flashes of gore, a few stabbings, and a death that involves a drill. I think the film provides enough bloodshed to keep most gorehounds happy. Some of them may even desire more from this one. I could've used several more gruesome demises.
Was The Vault scary? I think the movie delivers a few nice jump scares throughout. What I really liked about the story was that from those very first moments that the movie begins, we get a sense of dread. We know something is going to happen. We know that the bank robbery will go wrong. But what I didn't see coming was where this film would end up going and for that, I was kept on my toes for most of it. This goes to some dark places and I have to hand it to the director and writers for coming up with something that felt somewhat original.
The acting in The Vault is decent. The standout for me is Taryn Manning. The woman is a great actress. I think she plays that criminal-type very well as seen from her six years on Orange Is The New Black. Clint's daughter Francesca Eastwood also delivers a solid performance in the movie. I liked the dynamic between the two and wanted to see these sisters make it out of this haunted bank alive. James Franco is the support here and I enjoyed what he did with the role. Lastly, we have Q'orianka Kilcher who I just adore. She plays one of the tellers. I think she is just such a talented actress and this amazing screen presence.
Lastly, I wanted to bring up the twist. While I had no idea where the film was going early on with the bank being haunted and the vault full of vengeful ghosts. I kind of guessed where the twist was going as the lead up is right in front of you. One of the characters is not who they appear to be, and the way that they are dressed is not of our time. You can sense that this person may be connected to the past of this bank. While I liked the twist, I saw it coming. Some may have no idea and this will provide a great surprise or shock for them.
DEATH TOLL: 9
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A security guard is repeatedly punched in the face with knuckledusters.
- A man is shotgun blasted in the leg.
- We see quick lashes of people being killed.
- A man is shown with his finger cut off.
- A robber is dragged off into a vault and repeatedly stabbed.
- A man drills himself in the face.
- A guy shoots himself in the head.
- Several people are burned alive in a bank vault.
- A couple of men are shot in the head.
- A man with half a head is seen in the basement.
- A man is blown up when he ignites the gas main.
I went into The Vault not expecting much. I thought I was about to witness a heist thriller. Instead, what I got was a violent and bloody supernatural horror movie that delivers a new spin on the heist story. With some solid acting, tension, and a couple of nice visual touches. The Vault surprised more than it disappointed. Just for sheer originality, I found myself taken with this dark little heist film. While the story clearly has problems and a silly final shot, the movie is definitely worth a once off watch.