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R BNB (Movie Review)


The Film


Writer-director Robert Mann delivers a dark, cautionary tale of a couple that finds much more than they bargained for at a woodland Airbnb where they are celebrating their first anniversary.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Writer/director Robert Mann opens R BNB, his latest film, on a bumpy ride as we see a weeping Mia Davies (Bryanna McQueeney) driving away from somewhere and something that has just happened. Moving back three days in time, Mia and her much older husband Ryan (Ryon Thomas), a wealthy and now thrice-married entrepreneur, are en route to an Airbnb to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.  Before reaching a dream vacation house, Ryan stops to visit his spinster sister Jennifer (Gloria Mann) who gives him a serious dressing down for recent extravagances like his new Mercedes sedan and for not taking proper care of himself after being hospitalized with an peptic ulcer.

Before arriving at the woodlands resort, Mia and Ryan have extemporaneous sex on the hood of the Mercedes deep in the forest and later are delighted by the quaint country dwelling where they will be staying. Things start getting a bit weird when Polina (Agnes Artych), a young Russian exchange student working at the Airbnb, spies on a naked Mia in the shower. Later, the couple meet Kylo (Alex Galick) and his girlfriend Aubree (Savannah Whitten), a pair of 20-somethings who do their best to make the couple feel welcome. Adding to the weirdness, the following morning Mia and Ryan are hiking in the woods when they see a black drone filming them as it hovers over their walking trail.

The next day Aubree approaches Mia about joining her and Kylo in a threesome while Ryan is currently in the bedroom suffering from ulcer pains. Tracking down a low-level signal in the room, Ryan  finds a concealed camera that has been filming intimate moments between him and Mia. When he doesn’t respond to Jennifer’s numerous calls and texts, she drives to the Airbnb and this impulsive act kickstarts a series of deadly events that will impact all the main characters.

  • R BNB (2023)
  • R BNB (2023)
  • R BNB (2023)
  • R BNB (2023)
  • R BNB (2023)
  • R BNB (2023)

If R BNB has little of the gruesome vibe that permeated Mann’s 2006 horror-fest The Pumpkin Karver, it is still pretty shocking. Early in the film, Mann inserts a brief scene that will recur much later in which a bound and gagged Mia is confined to a bid in Kylo and Aubree’s home and will  reveal the chilling reason that  the Davies couple, were lured to the modest woodsy resort. With economy of expression, this is not a dialogue-driven film, Mann lets the actions of the cast tell this tale and gets good results from his four leads, ably supported by veteran cinematographer Al Satterwhite’s camera studies of their expressive faces. Although her screen time is limited, Gloria, Richard Mann’s real-life sister, delivers the most three-dimensional character on the screen, highlighted by her martial art skills, whose younger brother has obviously disappointed her with his choice of wives. Credit must also be given to Robert Mann’s choice of the Hudson Valley woodlands in Cold Spring, New York that creates the sense of isolation so essential for the horror that eventually unfolds in the film’s 82-minute running time. R BNB is a low-budget film but one that tells its story effectively and is worth taking in.

R BNB will be available on demand on cable and satellite via On Demand, Direct TV, Dish and Vubiquity and as digital streaming via Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu, and Microsoft on October 3, 2023.

  • Rating Certificate: Not rated
  • Studios & Distributors: Mannatee Films | Stonecutter Group
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Run Time: 82 Mins.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.90:1
  • Director: Robert Mann
  • Written By: Robert Mann
  • Release Date: 3 October 2023

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Writer-director Robert Mann delivers a dark, cautionary tale of a couple that finds much more than they bargained for at a woodland Airbnb where they are celebrating their first anniversary. R BNB (Movie Review)