Keith Lonekers' last movie before he lost his battle with cancer. See more »
When one of the men crack the safe after drilling, there is a scene where it pans back to the CCTV footage, where you can clearly see the safe door without the drill bit attached to the outside. When the camera back to the safe door IRL, the drill bit can still be seen attached. See more »
Having liked James Franco in other things, liking horror and thriller and being intrigued by the premise (bank heist films are not new in film or television, a very tried and tested formula, but a bank heist with a twist intrigued a lot), 'The Vault' had enough to make me want to see it. It had enough ingredients for it to be a good film, but in the end it ends up being just a lacklustre one with salvageable elements.
'The Vault' starts off very promisingly with an energetic and tension-filled opening that is easily the best thing about the film. Wasn't that impressed by the acting on the whole, but Franco gives it his all and is not bad at all. In fact, while it is a long way from being among his best performances, he is pretty good and convincing and actually looks like he's trying.
Generally the production values could have been better, but the sets are suitably creepy and the atmospheric lighting accentuates the creepiness further.
Sadly, 'The Vault' is lacking everywhere else. Taryn Manning and Francesca Eastwood don't have the screen presence to intimidate even a cat, marionettes have more animation than Manning who doesn't seem to try to act and Eastwood tries too hard. The rest of the cast struggle to do anything with characters that are basically just ciphers with nothing developed or distinct. The script tends to be very flabby with an air of smugness, while most of the film is clumsily directed in a way that's far too calculated.
Despite a great opening, 'The Vault' goes downhill quickly with momentum petering out far too early, meaning that a lot of the film limps along. The thriller elements lack suspense and can be implausible, implausibility turning into complete ridiculousness at the end, while the horror side fails to deliver on the scares, being too over-familiar, tension-lacking and the slow-burning taken to extremes. The film is really dull by this point and one is past caring what happens in the film or to anybody because the characters are so thinly sketched, make illogical decisions and mostly unconvincingly acted.
Just for the record, really liked that there was more than one genre. It was just the way it was executed, it was too much of a mishmash and the whole thing becomes disjointed.
Sets and lighting aside, the production values scream of straight-to-DVD quality with particularly slapdash editing. The music and sound editing can be overbearingly loud at points.
In summary, a strange lacklustre film that is not bad enough to keep buried in the vault but not good enough to warrant a permanent unlocking. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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