While it probably wouldn’t be accurate to say that I enjoy James Franco as an actor, I certainly find him to be one of the more interesting talents working today. Unlike most actors, Franco is entirely immune to decline; he can make an independent horror film or a second-rate biopic and immediately pivot into a new blockbuster franchise or prestige television series. And since his career refuses to conform to any established patterns, it makes it really difficult to know if his upcoming projects are actually any good. Is The Vault an arthouse horror film or a movie elevated from the VOD ranks by Franco’s presence? Who knows?

Actually, we do have one indicator of future success. While the film’s basic premise seems fairly straightforward - a group of people break into a bank vault and release some horrible something - there does seem to be some interest talent behind the film. The Vault is directed by Dan Bush, who fans of independent horror and science fiction will remember from 2007’s The Signal, a much-beloved triptych of short films woven together into one movie about a trio of people surviving an apocalyptic event. The Signal is a film populated with big ideas, and Bush’s segment is by far the bleakest of the three. Whatever The Vault may look like based on its trailer, I’m willing to bet that the end product will be considerable more complicated and uncomfortable than most would think.

Here’s the full plot synopsis for The Vault:

Two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother. The heist begins smoothly, but mayhem ensues when the defiant bank manager sends them to a basement-level vault - home to something truly evil.

In addition to Franco, the film stars Clifton Collins Jr. and Taryn Manning, and will be available both in theaters and On Demand beginning September 1.

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