The Night House

The Night House (2021)

Genres - Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Sadistic Horror  |   Release Date - Aug 20, 2021 (USA)  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Jules Fox

The Night House is a supernatural horror/thriller film. When a woman's seemingly healthy husband suddenly kills himself unexpectedly, she starts unraveling a mystery by digging through his stuff. Haunted by nightmares and evil spirits in their recently built lake home, she must use newfound knowledge in her husband's secret notes to figure out why he's gone and if she's still in danger.

Beth (Rebecca Hall) and her husband Owen (Evan Jonigkeit) have the perfect escape from it all. They're building a little lake house so they can spend more time with each other. All seems well as the house takes its final form and they move all their stuff in, until Owen steals their boat and shoots himself, out on the lake.

Reeling from his unexpected death, Beth has a hard time keeping herself together and still functioning as a school teacher by day. Nightmares haunt her dreams and she feels like there may be ghostly spirits in her house - but she's not sure if they're warning her or threatening her.

Unpacking her husband's belongings, she begins to piece together a secret life that he led throughout their 14-year marriage. Occult books with notes in his handwriting start to reveal that he may have been hiding some dark secrets, including photos of a woman who looks unmistakable similar to Beth. Desperate for answers, and to silence the spirits, she takes it on herself to perform a paranormal investigation to find the truth and possibly escape the evil that's haunting her.

Directed by David Bruckner (The Ritual, Southbound), The Night House is a polished machine, invoking micro-dread from moment one. It builds incrementally, with the core of the film cleverly focusing on Beth's emotional state in reacting to how all the craziness is affecting her. The performances among the cast summon a sense of terror in their world and make what could have been a silly, campy, romp into something much deeper and darker.

Written by Ben Collins (Stephanie)and Luke Piotrowski (Super Dark Times), The Night House contains some puzzling moments that, oddly enough, make sense. With careful scrutiny, not everything adds up completely and uncertainty reigns as the dreamlike film unravels, leaving more questions than it answers.

Everything else works in the film, however, and with the main character suffering greatly and plenty of build-up with just the right amount of payoff and a horror plotline that is logical enough and delivers on its promise, it all comes together nicely to create a product that is overall satisfying in the end. The genuine performances from top-level talent sell the ghostly premise, allowing for an abundance of impactful scares, thrills, and creeps.