IFC Films, one of the leading distributors for independent film, has acquired the rights to the retro Tinder-esque nightmare Rent-A-Pal. Written and directed by Jon Stevenson, Rent-A-Pal is inspired by real-life VHS tape ‘Rent-A-Friend: The Original Vido Companion’. This tape was a response to loneliness in the analog era and it SCREAMS creepy. Don’t believe me? Look it up and watch it…seriously…you’ll know what I mean. With original material as unsettling as that, Rent-A-Pal is sure to be equally (if not more) disturbing.
Set in 1990, Rent-A-Pal follows a lonely bachelor named David as he searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother. While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called ​Rent-A-Pal.​ The show is hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy. David finds that the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But, Andy’s friendship comes at a cost, and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission.
When asked about the acquisition, director Jon Stevenson said, “It’s an honor to have my directorial debut released on IFC Midnight. Their history of high-quality genre entertainment has directly inspired my work. To now be a part of their rich film library is surreal. I look forward to working with their team in releasing. This movie is near and dear to my heart and I’m truly excited for the world to see it. And for the world to see a very different side of Wil Wheaton.”
Rent-A-Pal stars Brian Landis Folkins (Hoax) as David, Wil Wheaton (“Star Trek -The Next Generation”) as the endearing tele-friend Andy, and Kathleen Brady (“Breaking Bad”) as Andy’s mother. The film was produced by Pretty People Pictures, along with BoulderLight Pictures. IFC Midnight will release the film on VOD (and hopefully theaters) in September 2020.