Movie Review: The Vault (2017)

Synopsis: In 1982, a bank robber took hostages and, after a long standoff, killed them before setting the bank on fire. More than three decades later, a group of bank robbers attempt to rob the same bank and, when they open the old safe in the basement, unwittingly release the ghosts of those who died in the previous attempt.

Who's in it? The movie stars James Franco, Taryn Manning, Francesca Eastwood, Scott Haze and Clifton Collins, Jr.

Review: I ended up picking out this movie on Netflix last night mostly because I didn't have anything else in mind and it looked somewhat different. However, since I had never heard of the film up until that point, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it (despite recognizing some of the actors in it). As it turns out, my opinion of it was a bit mixed.

The premise is actually not a terrible one. A team of bank robbers take hostages and, when they manage to open an old vault, are terrorized by the deceased hostages from a previous attempt. The plot is relatively plausible and somewhat unique when compared to other films in this genre and, at the same time, doesn't make things overly complex.

I also liked how the film made the bank robbery itself much more chaotic than you would expect in a movie. The robbery didn't go as planned and the robbers were at each other's throats almost from the start, making it a bit more believable and giving the characters a little more depth than I would normally expect to see.

One thing that really intrigued me was the bank's assistant manager (Franco). I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first (though I did have some guesses), but there was just something a little off about him that made me wonder, almost from the start, if he was hiding something. That little bit of mystery made him much more interesting than I was expecting.

I think my biggest problem with this movie is it never reaches a point where I would consider it scary. This is mostly because the ghosts were only after the people robbing the bank rather than the hostages and, even though the movie at least attempted to make one or two of them likable, it was really hard to feel genuine concern for their well being.

After all, they did just take a bunch of people hostage by gun point. Any punishment they received (supernatural or otherwise) was well-deserved. I think things would have been different had the hostages themselves been in danger as well, at least then, there would be a reason to be concerned.

Final Opinion: It's not a terrible movie. However, while I still enjoyed watching it, I don't think it was scary enough to be anything memorable.

My Grade: C


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