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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Release Date: August 20th, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

The Night House - Theatrical Review

Overview -

Combining horror elements of the supernatural, a demonic presence, and a haunted house can be tricky in most horror movies, but in David Bruckner's new film The Night House, all three ingredients make a great dish of scares, tragedy, and terror. Additionally, Rebecca Hall's exquisite performance as a recent widow who is coming to terms with her husband's death, but also has to deal with all the eerie bumps in the night is something fantastic. The intense jump-scare sequences work perfectly and the horror tropes are written well in Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski's script. Even though there are some excellent, original takes on these horror tropes, the film doesn't exactly execute the landing at the end for what it was trying to convey. Still, The Night House is a winner for the horror genre and is quite scary even for veteran horror buffs. Recommended!

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Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
August 20th, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Make no mistake about it, The Night House is not a happy movie as the film starts out with Beth (Rebecca Hall), a high-school teacher who has just buried her husband the week prior due to his unforeseen suicide. From what is revealed, it seemed like Beth and her husband Owen (Evan Jonigkeit) had a great marriage, where he built their luxurious lakeside house recently, which gives way to some spectacular haunting sequences with creepy staircases and a cliffside waterfront. In fact, when Beth confides in her best friend Claire (Sarah Goldberg), Owen was the happy-go-lucky guy in the relationship and she was the depressed and pessimistic one, which makes his suicide all the more strange. Even his suicide note didn't make sense as it seemed to be just a collection of phrases that don't mean anything. 

Soon after, Beth starts hearing creepy voices calling out to her, seeing things in shadows, her stereo turning on randomly playing a song that is sentimental to her, and then waking up the next morning on the downstairs floor, which leads her to question her sanity. As the haunts get more intense, her grief is overturned by curiosity as she begins an investigative journey into her husband's life. What she finds is shocking. From looking through his phone, she finds tons of pictures he has taken of other women who look a lot like her, along with a house at the other end of the lake that resembles their own luxury house. But just like how the women in the images are not quite Beth, the other house is just off-kilter as well. This investigation leads to some truly dark places and brings up Beth's own brush with death when she was in high school. 

As the film plays out, there are some malevolent forces at work and some sadistic elements that come into play, which are shown perfectly on screen that conjures up the best scares. The film never force-feeds or gives major clues to its audience, which might be its biggest mistake here. Since there are so many twists and turns, along with dealing with otherwordly entities and other horror tropes, by the end of the film, it's never truly revealed what had just transpired and ends without any real closure or true explanation. More times than not, this is a great way to construct a movie, but in The Night House's case, the film could have benefitted from a tighter script and better execution, especially at the film's conclusion, which would have made the film even scarier than it already is. 

That being said, this horror movie works with its original story, blending of horror tropes, and the fantastic performances led by Rebecca Hall. Her struggle in grief that leads to her investigative side to find the truth is remarkably compelling and excellent. This seemingly good marriage was just flipped on its ear and she has to pick up the pieces alone and she plays the part perfectly as both a sad widow in the middle of her painful grief and also as some sort of superhero who won't stop until she finds closure and peace with her husband's tragedy. The camerawork that showcases the beautiful and also haunting lakeside estate is fantastic and the score by Ben Lovett always adds to the suspense of the film.


Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

David Bruckner has had a solid career in horror with The Signal, V/H/S, and The Ritual still being talked about with praise to this day. The Night House is just another great addition and tackles something different, even if it doesn't hit the spot perfectly. The Night House is a wonderful indie horror film with a spotlight on Rebecca Hall that proves she is one of the best actors working today. And since this is a 20th Century Fox movie, that means this is the scariest Disney film ever made (wink-wink). Recommended! 

 Now In Theaters - Order Your Tickets on Fandango