HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Night House, The Dreams Of Long Shadows
Year: 2020
Director: David Bruckner
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Evan Jonigkeit, Stacy Martin, David Abeles, Christina Jackson, Patrick Klein, Crystal Swann, Catherine Weidner, Laura Austin, Jacob Garrett White, Samantha Buck
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Beth (Rebecca Hall) has suffered a real shock over the past few days after her husband committed suicide in a rowing boat on the lake next to the house he built for them both to live in. He was a carpenter by trade, and had given no indication he was anything but happy with his lot, which made his death come out of the blue for his wife. She has no idea how to process this, and immediately begins pushing others away, even her concerned best friend Claire (Sarah Goldberg) and kindly neighbour Mel (Vondie Curtis-Hall) who are trying to do their best for her, but are being shut down by her grief. Yet what if her husband has not completely gone...?

The Night House was directed by David Bruckner, a talented man whose off-kilter chillers had impressed many of those who saw them, but unfortunately were not particularly widely known. This one especially hit a run of bad luck, opening at Sundance only to see its wider release scuppered by the pandemic, so that it was out over a year later by which time its buzz had cooled to the extent that it made hardly any impact at all. Those few who did take a chance on it were united in one observation: Rebecca Hall lifted what boiled down to a rather basic demonic horror into a different, higher realm through one of her typically dedicated performances.

Audiences who had noted Hall's ability may be unsurprised by her knack for making a three-dimensional character out of what could have been an uninspired frightened spouse role, but surprisingly for a consistently excellent career she still flew under most people's radar. Such was the fate of a character actress who garnered leading roles in smaller films like this one, and only appeared in the blockbusters as part of a supporting ensemble, but those who did appreciate her had lent her a cult following that meant anyone noticing her in the credits of a movie they were perhaps unfamiliar with would consider it worth taking a chance on since you were practically guaranteed quality with her there.

She had a few horrors in her canon, presumably because for all the criticism the genre suffered for its treatment of women, it was the rare popular category to afford actresses opportunities to lead a movie and nobody would think it unusual. She had not played any final girls previous to this, that wasn't her style, but the script by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, coupled with some smart, often practical effects that generated some truly unsettling scenes, did give Hall the chance to perform sequences she could get her teeth into, the bit near the start that acts as a method of telling us what happened to her husband a peerlessly acted example of her technique: a little bit humorous, a little bit unsettling, but actually emotionally wrenching for the woman she was playing.

Where The Night House became unstuck was nothing to do with the acting - Goldberg deserved praise in a usually thankless best buddy role for generating a worry for the audience when she is not there to offer a shoulder to cry on - but with the explanation of what was occurring with the supernatural. As Beth turns detective and uncovers more about her deceased husband, we begin to suspect he was up to no good and had possibly invited something nasty into his life, or actively been that something nasty in other women's lives, but the truth was kind of reductive when you examined it. What they did to counter this was to ramp up the mystery angle, so you were unsure of what was true and what was not, obscuring the facts of the case in the hope it would make that mystery all the scarier, and to an extent they pulled that off, but rather than be a warning against suicide, with all Beth's drink consumption it looked more like a warning against alcoholism. Some very fine material here, though, and Hall justified the appreciation she receives. Music by Ben Lovett.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 156 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: