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IFC Midnight hooks up with video-dating chiller “RENT-A-PAL,” with Wil Wheaton

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

The perils of Tinder are nothing compared to what happens in RENT-A-PAL, coming this fall.

IFC Midnight has announced its acquisition of North American rights to the film, for which it has scheduled a September 2020 release. Written and directed by Jon Stevenson and inspired by the real-life VHS tape RENT-A-FRIEND: THE ORIGINAL VIDEO COMPANION, it stars Brian Landis Folkins, Wil Wheaton (STAND BY ME, THE CURSE), Kathleen Brady and Amy Rutledge. The synopsis: “In 1990, a lonely bachelor named David [Folkins] searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother [Brady]. While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called ​Rent-A-Pal.​ Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy [Wheaton], 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.”

“It’s an honor to have my directorial debut released on IFC Midnight,” Stevenson says. “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 RENT-A-PAL. 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.”

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.