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Movie Review: 'The Night House' Dark, Different, Demented, But Audiences Will Dig It

by Todd A. Smith

 

Rebecca Hall (left) and Vondie Curtis-Hall star in "The Night House" (Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures/2021 20th Century Studios).

 


 

Nothing can truly prepare a person for the death of a loved-one.


Death can truly become unbearable when that death comes out of the blue.


Therefore, when Owen (Evan Jonigkeit, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”) dies from a suicide that no one saw coming in “The Night House,” it can cause those closest to him like his widow Beth to go to some dark and demented dimensions to cope with the loss and to understand how things turned out so horribly wrong.


In the process, grieving can cause some secrets to come out, causing Beth to creep close to the edge of insanity in this different and suspenseful movie that audiences will definitely dig.


When a person dies, those left behind, unfortunately, must deal with the awkwardness of those around them, saying all the wrong things despite their best effort to show love and support to someone dealing with the grieving process.


In “The Night House,” Beth (Rebecca Hall, “Godzilla vs. Kong”) knows that her friends mean well when they check on her, prepare food for her or even plan a night out for her so that she can reclaim some normalcy in her life after her husband unexpectedly takes his own life.


However, that does not mean that people do not say some of the stupidest things on Earth when they try to comfort the grieving person.


Like the parent that comes to her classroom to discuss why her son Hunter received a “C” in Beth’s speech class.


Beth explains to the mother that Hunter missed a day of school when he had a speech scheduled.


But when Beth rescheduled Hunter’s speech for the last day of class, Beth had to miss work that day for personal reasons.


However, Hunter’s mother explains to Beth that Hunter missed the original day of his speech for personal reasons too.


Therefore, Hunter should be given a pass since both he and the teacher missed important school days for personal reasons.


Beth agrees even though she explains to Hunter’s mother that she missed the last day of school because her husband blew his brains out with a gun that she did not even know they owned.


Therefore, whatever reason Hunter had for missing the day he was supposed to give his original speech on probably was as traumatic as the day that Beth’s husband committed suicide.


As a result, Beth excuses Hunter’s missed assignment and lets his mother decide what his overall grade for the semester should be, “A” or “B.”


Hunter’s mother humbly accepts the “B.”


Unfortunately, Beth has more to deal with than those insensitive folks in “The Night House.”


Although many people believe their homes are haunted when a person dies on the premises, Beth has reason to truly believe that the house that Owen built for them with his own hands is actually haunted in “The Night House.”


In “The Night House,” Beth starts hearing strange noises in her home now that she occupies the big two-story home by herself.


But is she really hearing those noises or is she just dreaming?


Beth begins to hear the stereo blasting a local radio station even though she knows she did not leave the radio on.


The grieving widow begins receiving strange text messages in the middle of the night.


The messages claim to come from Owen.


However, didn’t Owen die from a suicide?


Beth then begins to pry into the belongings that Owen left behind after his untimely demise.


She begins to see pictures of women in his phone.


And although the pictures look like Beth in a way, she knows that other women appear in those pictures because of the clothing that they wear.


How could one picture of the back of a woman at a bookstore wearing a white blouse be Beth when she does not even own a white blouse?


Furthermore, Beth finds a blueprint of another house in one of Owen’s boxes.


The blueprint is almost a direct replica of Owen and Beth’s home but just in the opposite direction.


Although, the blueprints to an almost identical house and pictures of women that favor Beth seem strange, the strangeness only continues for her in “The Night House.”


Beth begins to hear random knocks on her door.


But no one appears at the door when she answers it.


She sees strange, bloody footprints leading to Owen’s boat but cannot find anyone near the boat or the house.


Beth hears random gunshots during the day.


When she asks her neighbor Mel (Vondie Curtis-Hall, “Harriet”) if he was shooting, he responds that he was not.


Then to make matters worse, Beth sees random women run past her at night and jump to their death in the lake near her home.


However, when she goes to the dock to look for their bodies, she sees nothing.


While most people would pack up, move and sell the house, as Beth considered, the widow is determined to get to the bottom of the strange happenings around her home.


Furthermore, in “The Night House,” Beth vows to uncover all of Owen’s secrets to determine what was behind the secret life he had been living.


“The Night House” is a suspenseful, devilish movie that might have been best for the Halloween movie season.


Moviegoers will love Hall’s performance.


They will be able to empathize with her pain in “The Night House” as well.


But despite how good Hall is, “The Night House” should have provided more scenes for the great, Curtis-Hall.


A veteran actor like Curtis-Hall deserved a more prominent role in “The Night House.”


Nevertheless, “The Night House” is still a creepy and sick movie, and perfect for an August night out at the theater.


Or better yet, perfect to watch again on Oct. 31.



REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 20 August, 2021.
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