You will be aware of the drill. You know what they want and what they say to get it. Give us all the money in the vault, tills, bank (Delete as applicable). Don’t move at all, not an inch. Don’t Speak a word, not even to me. You will not be held for long, unless we have a problem. We only want the money and if you move, you will be shot… These are the conventions that seep through ever version of a bank robber in any cinematic form. After all a bank robbery is all about the money and not those caught up in it? That is right isn’t it?
Two estranged sisters, Leah (Francesca Eastwood) and Vee (Taryn Manning) have to rob a bank. Their brother is very sick. The robbery begins easy enough.They get in, get set up and shut the place down. However it was never going to be easy. The banks manager Ed Maas (James Franco) sends them to the vault. He says it is because inside is millions of dollars that cant be traced. Millions of dollars for a better life and the solution to their brothers problem. Once inside they realise that its not money that awaits them….
What starts out as one thing and then mutates into another is known as a genre bender or morpher in film terms. The problem with these type of films are that they can fall on the foundation they are using to prop themselves up with. Sometimes its missing the gauge of one genre, sometimes its not fully executing the other. THE VAULT has elements of the heist genre that it does well and has elements of horror that it does well. For instance fear is palpable, it is unsettling. It is tense, yet it is not written to be gut wrenching. It has gore but that is toned down enough. The problem with the film for me was simple. It never committed to being anything outside of what it had set up. Its promise was lost because it wouldn’t do so. It wasn’t able to fully let go of the baggage of safety, nor was it able to make the jump to define its ideas. I was left at the end confused as to what was to be left in the world. I felt like the film was unprepared to make itself more than just another average piece of horror cinema with a heist crow barred in…
THE VAULT combines these conventions but instead of the focus on with a series of