Directed by: David Bruckner
Starring: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Evan Jonigkeit, Stacy Martin, Vondie Curtis-Hall
Distributed by: Searchlight Pictures
Release date: August 20, 2021
Running time: 110 minutes
Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
The very first time that I saw the poster for “The Night House”, I knew that I wanted to see it. I knew nothing about the movie besides that Rebecca Hall (“Godzilla vs Kong”) was in it and that it was a horror film. The trailer looks good and suspenseful. The movie unfortunately doesn’t deliver the scares and leaves you pondering at the end. Hall really delivers a solid performance basically holding this entire movie on her shoulders. I was really hoping for some solid scares here but every time something was getting scary I feel like it was pulled back leaving me wanting more.
Official Premise: Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep it together – but then nightmares come. Disturbing visions of a presence in the house calling to her, beckoning her with a ghostly allure. Against the advice of her friends, she begins digging into her husband’s belongings, yearning for answers. What she finds are secrets both strange and disturbing – a mystery she’s determined to unravel
I was a fan of the director David Bruckner who is likely know for his segment “Amateur Night” in 2012’s “V/H/S” as well as 2016’s “Southbound”. He definitely has the horror genre down pat but I just feel like this was played too safe. The ending in particular leaves you with far too many questions and there is not enough answers to make it worth the nearly two hour running time. They could have easily cut back at least 20 minutes from the beginning which dragged a bit getting started. The middle was solid but like I said the ending lost me and didn’t deliver.
I see already that many other critics are getting behind this film calling it a moody film that goes deeper into someone coping with a death of a loved one as well as paranoia. I get that and I see it in the film as well but I feel like it was not fully cashed in on. I did enjoy Ben Lovett’s score, which did create the creepy atmosphere. Lastly I know the film is called “The Night House”, so a lot of the film is dark and takes place at night but a few of the “scares” take place in extremely dark lit scenes that they are almost missed due to the darkness of the scene.
Overall, I am not disappointed that I watched it but it is definitely what I like to call a one-timer. I definitely do not see myself watching this movie again. So if you are looking for some light scares (nothing that will force you to sleep with the lights on though) and a good performance by Hall, you may want to check this out. Otherwise wait till it comes to Netflix.