Room for Rent is a new psychological thriller with heavy horror vibes. The story is small, but Lin Shaye gives an absolutely stellar performance. She is the star of the movie and better than ever! You definitely don’t want to miss her performance in Room for Rent. Read more in this review!

Room for Rent is a new thriller with heavy horror vibes. The story is small, but the intensity of Lin Shaye’s performance is to die for. She is the star of the movie and the very blood and bones of the story.

Admittedly, I have always adored Lin Shaye and will watch a movie if she’s in it. That’s why I also know that not all those movies are really worth watching. They’re never really bad, but they’re not necessarily good either. 

Room for Rent is something entirely different. It is good and Lin Shaye is great. Read more in this Room for Rent review!

Lin Shaye is better than ever

I love Lin Shaye in her role as Elise Rainier in the Insidious franchise. I’ve always enjoyed watching her as this character, but I’ve also enjoyed watching other portrayals from her. In movies like Ouija or The Midnight Man (read our review here).

Or even the iconic comedy There’s Something About Mary. She can do it all.

And yet, I’ve never seen her quite as raw and intense as she is in Room for Rent. Her character, Joyce, is a sweet old lady who is (in many ways) simply broken. She has been broken by her husband and by life itself. After the passing of her husband, she is finally ready to enjoy life on her own terms.

It’s wonderful to see Joyce go from being a very introverted and quiet woman to someone full of life. Of course, this is a psychological thriller, so it doesn’t last. And this is when Lin Shaye shines in a whole new way. She is extremely scary and sad, but also strong and heartbreaking.

Room for Rent - Horror Review - Lin Shaye

The sad story in Room for Rent

When you look at the simple story in Room for Rent you can’t help but feel for Joyce. She is seriously harassed by some dumb kids (you will be angry as all hell). Then finally, she thinks she’s found happiness. But it’s in the wrong place.

A lot of what Joyce (Lin Shaye) says is a lie of some sort, but while watching the movie, you begin to understand her. She just always tries to paint a better picture of the situation. She manipulates but also tries to make people happy. Well, those she likes anyway.

Better not get in her way because she’s at the end of her rope and won’t hold back if you get in her way. Most of the time, I felt sad for Joyce. Even when she did things that were absolutely bad and wrong. I wouldn’t say I was rooting for her, but I did feel like I understood her.

And yes, in some cases, I definitely did root for her. However, never forget that she also lacks boundaries. In some very nasty and creepy ways.

Do not miss Room for Rent

The director of Room for Rent is Tommy Stovall. He also did the surprisingly good vampire indie Aaron’s Blood. I say surprisingly because it was much better than I expected. Honestly, the combination of Tommy Stovall and Lin Shaye meant I simply had to watch this movie. Now I just hope they’ll work together again.

You might also like: Our review of Tommy Stovall’s vampire horror drama Aaron’s Blood right here >

Room for Rent was written by Stuart Flack and this is his debut. While the movie isn’t great only for the story, it does give you the bones that Lin Shaye makes into a pure beast of beauty. I would love to see Lin Shaye bring life to another one of Stuart Flack’s script since it’s clearly a perfect match!

Watch Room for Rent for Lin Shaye who gives the most intense and heartbreaking performance. It shook me – in the best ways!

Room for Rent is out in select theaters from May 3, 2019, and releases May 7 on digital.


Director: Tommy Stovall
Writer: Stuart Flack
Cast: Lin Shaye, Oliver Rayon, Valeska Miller, Ryan Ochoa


Lonely widow Joyce rents out a room to make easy money. She meets mysterious drifter Bob and takes him in as a long-term tenant. She becomes obsessed with her much younger guest, making him the object of her deepest romantic fantasies. When a friend’s betrayal derails Joyce’s fantasy world, she seizes control of her own destiny with a deadly mission to finally get what she deserves.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard