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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. David Bruckner

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Recent widower Beth (Rebecca Hall) is begotten with depression and sadness at her husbands suicide who leaves a note with the worlds "You were right. There is nothing. Nothing is after you. You're safe now" constantly begrudging her. As her friends rally round to try and bring her to the light she starts experiencing supernatural activity that could indicate that she was not right after all.

THE NIGHT HOUSE touches on a number of deeper themes but never quite commits to them leaving the film feeling a little hollow. Focussing more on visual trickery and the build up of what could be haunting and when the truth is revealed, it somehow lacks the punch writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski perhaps perceived on paper.

There are plenty of unsuspecting chills and the slow pace is balanced with creepy illusions throughout, it is with the concept that the films flaws really surface but at the right viewing angle, these can be forgiven. But not forgotten. It certainly deserves kudos for bringing something new however, the principle is poorly executed in a scenario that using film does not quite give justice to the idea that spirits can hide in plain site through illusion.

Behind some beautiful cinematography and slowly unravelled jump scares, there is a reveal that somehow asks more questions. The entities around Beth seem to be straightforward ghostly apparitions but as the curtains unveil, there's a curveball that not just blurs the illusion between reality and the fictionalities of the phenomena but literally shatter it. It does give for some amazing shots but it also begs further questions that the film leaves open.

Fortunately, Rebecca Hall gives a brilliantly troubled performance and her experience is always believable. A supporting cast of really make this a worthwhile watch and save the disappointment of the reveal execution as the deeper sense of loss is felt by all and comes full circle especially in the closing moments of THE NIGHT HOUSE. Sometimes, some things are left undiscovered and as such a great idea needs meticulous execution which falls slightly short here however there is something to enjoy for a slow burn horror that puts character first. David Bruckner's film is another footnote in a resume of original horror as such films as SOUTHBOUND, THE RITUAL and the soon to be released reboot of HELLRAISER prove he's got an eye for stepping away from stale tropes.

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