BJ’s at the Movies: Joanna’s Review of the Thriller ‘The Night House’
I love a good haunted house story and I love some good jump scares. With spooky season right around the corner, “The Night House” was a great way to begin getting ready for All Hallows Eve. I got to check out the thriller at Alamo Drafthouse at Montecillo and was not disappointed, both by the film and by the service at Alamo Drafthouse.
“The Night House” tells the story of Beth, played by Rebecca Hall, who is left grieving after the unexpected death of her husband, Owen, played by Evan Jonigkeit. Left with nothing but a four sentence suicide note and a case of Brandy, Beth attempts put together the broken pieces of what she thought was a happy marriage.
The terror begins almost immediately. Beth is left all alone in a big lake house after the funeral, and after being numbed at the expense of the Brandy, Beth is awoken to a loud pounding on the door- and from there it’s your typical haunted house favorites: creepy footsteps on the wood floors, stereos that turn on by themselves, doors making that creaky noise. Beth is haunted by these things happening in her house and at one point you can't tell if Beth is dreaming or if they're really happening; is she really hearing Owen's voice? The film has some great jump scares- but they don't feel cheap or cheesy. I nearly dropped my chicken wing with one of them.
Against her friends advice, Beth looks through her husband's phone, and discovers that he possibly wasn't faithful. She also finds some weird books on the occult and eventually is led to a house in the woods that is identical to hers- except, it's reversed. The books mention trickery and illusions and trapping a demonic presence; and while investigating the books one day- she encounters one of the women whom her husband had a picture of in his phone.
The woman describes her encounter with Owen, and to Beth, it sounds like a man she doesn't know. Back at the reversed house, Beth encounters more horrors, and eventually confronts the presence. Yes, as Nico mentioned, she makes out with a ghost. But is this presence really Owen?
All of it leads up to a fight between Beth and the invisible force. The end is a bit sloppy, and were it not for the occult stuff that is never really explained or answered, it would have been the perfect ghost story. All in all, I give this a solid four of five stars because Rebecca Hall is great it in. Also, I will never be able to hear "The Calvary Cross" the same again.
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