The Night House is a scary horror film about mourning
A lot of things are scary, but nothing is as scary as recent grief. This is what to remember from The night house, a new psychological horror film that delivers above all, even if it is somewhat derivative.
A start at Sundance since the start of the 2020 pre-pandemic festival, The night house was written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski and directed by David Bruckner (co-director of both The signal and V / H / S, and who did The ritual solo.)
It stars Rebecca Hall as Beth, a recently widowed woman who lives alone in a lakeside house that appears to be haunted, possibly by her recently deceased husband (Evan Jonigkeit), who has fallen apart. inexplicably committed suicide. The supporting cast includes both a neighbor (veteran actor character Vondie Curtis-Hall) and her best friend (Sarah Goldberg, from Barry.)
We’re supposed to wonder if she’s actually haunted, or if she just suffers from bad dreams, or maybe depression or alcoholism. She also discovers secrets about her husband’s life, especially his habit of spending time with other women who look a lot like Beth herself. It is all very scary and disturbing, including both jumping fears and more psychologically contained stuff. However, the base setup is something we’ve seen before, and its ending is less than satisfactory.
The night house is similar to many recent movies about houses or other haunted places, including the 2020s Location, although the movie he most reminded me of was Personal buyer, Olivier Assayas’ 2016 ghost thriller starring Kristen Stewart. This film, a bit like The night house, featured a female protagonist haunted by a recently deceased male relative, and there was also a spooky scene involving text messages.
There are also echoes of David Lowery’s A ghost story, minus the part on the guy in the sheet. And like Lowery’s movie starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, 95% of the movie takes place in the house, one of the coolest movie theaters in recent memory.
Rebecca Hall has been notable in a wide variety of different movies over the years, from a sexy acting like Woody Allen’s to Vicky Cristina Barcelona to arthouse stuff like Christine and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, to blockbusters like Iron man 3 and Godzilla vs. Kong (the latter is not one of the highlights of his career, although no one remembers anything from that movie except for the two creatures in the title). She is here, in something of a delicate role; You can see her again in the Sundance Passing movie, which is getting a highly publicized awards season Netflix release later this year.
The night house, which only hit theaters via Searchlight Pictures, is a primarily winning effort that accomplishes most of what it’s set for itself, though many of its ideas have already been seen, sometimes multiple times.