Directed by David Bruckner
Stars- Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Evan Jonigkiet, and Stacy Martin
Where to watch- For rent on most major platforms
The Night House, lives up to all its hype that has been brewing amongst the people I follow and my mutuals thoughts on it. A horror movie that focuses primarily on telling a strong story, while still having the things that bump in the night there to make the hair on the viewers arms go into an upright.
Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. Soon she begins to uncover her recently deceased husband's disturbing secrets
The script is so strong. It doesn't overly rely on the ghouls and spooks that bump in the night to be present in every single scene to tell a story that makes the viewer uneasy. Rather, every scene has its own way of making the viewer feel uncomfortable- as if the presence, whatever it may be, is around every corner peering its head as Rebecca Halls' Beth tries her best to move on from the dark cloud that is the death of her husband. Rather than jump scares, director David Bruckner uses themes of death, coping with death, and moving on as the pillars to keep his audience on edge.
I've been a sucker for other filmmakers work when it comes to talking about death, and the afterlife- so naturally having these subjects be touched in a way that feels so dark and unpleasant, not as rose coloured as others that I have loved works so well in setting the atmosphere and a fresh take on the topics.
Rebecca Hall is phenomenal, her character is haunted by so many things both physical and supernatural. She successfully conveys this deep weight that Beth has on her, that continues to get heavier and heavier on her back the more and more she takes herself down the rabbit hole of her deceased husbands secret life. Her character is aware of the spirit that plays tricks on her and talks to her, but she uses it as a coping mechanism and something to come to terms with the tragedies that have struck her ever so recently.
Lastly, the ending is incredible. We get this ending that not only gives us the big reveal for what the spirits behind the interactions are- as well as the full reveal for the dark secrets that her husband Owen has held deep down and kept away from his wife while he was alive. It also gives us an open ending, something that every person can come away with its own personal narrative to what the spirits were- and why they were doing what they were doing. An ending that is so open for deeper analysis and conversation, that long after the credits were finished rolling conversations- could be continued to discuss concepts and ideas behind the movie and what Bruckners intention was with the film. Thats what makes The Night House such a strong movie, being able long after your runtime to keep dialogue going between peers is such a gift.