It’s the beginning of spooky season everyone! I brought out my skulls and pumpkins, and what better way to kick off my favorite time of year than a new horror movie?
‘The Night House’ is a horror/thriller directed by David Bruckner starring Rebecca Hall about a woman uncovering secrets her dead husband left for her. I found the story of this film a great combination of the more commercial “pop horror” and the more enigmatic “indie horror”. The average movie-goer will be able to enjoy the main story, and viewers that want to dig deeper can definitely find more meaning. And don’t get me wrong, I love horror movies like ‘It Comes at Night’ and ‘Midsommar’ that find their horrific elements in metaphor’s and the implied, but sometimes it’s nice to watch a movie that doesn’t make you think too hard. I did find that there were elements that were introduced that were not explored as much as they could have been, and it makes it feel like ‘The Night House’ had an almost unfinished story.
One thing that really elevated the writing was the acting. Everyone is fantastic, especially our lead Rebecca Hall. A lot of her best acting comes from what is left unsaid. He has a smaller part, but her neighbor played by Vondie Curtis-Hall was also a stand out for me. I do think his character was underutilized and underdeveloped, but the parts he was in were stand-out. This makes me think that director David Bruckner thrives in getting the best out of his actors. Thinking back to his Netflix film, ‘The Ritual’, that movie also had maybe not the best through-line of a plot, but the actors performances elevated it.
I am very glad that I saw this in theaters, but I did find it fairly forgettable. It has some pretty great jump scares, and some interesting points about depression and what comes after death, but I don’t see this going down in history as one of the best horror films of all time. Still a great start to spooky season!