The Night House

The Night House ★★★★½

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Film 24 - 2/2 Haunted House films

Best Horror of 2021
Best Of 2021

I first heard about this in reports from Sundance 2020 and its been in my watchlist since then. Here we are some 21 months later and I've finally had the chance to see this brilliant exploration of grief, love and terror anchored by a tour de force performance from Rebecca Hall.

After he husband's suicide, Hall begins to experience hauntings in the house her husband built for them in the woods. Exquisite filmmaking, cinematography and sound design ratchet up the tension and dread right away and scares are abundant and profoundly effective. As the story progresses and gets weirder and weirder, rather than undermining the scares, they only serve to amplify the disconcerting sense of free falling terror Hall so effectively conveys as she simultaneously tries to figure out why/whether it's her husband haunting her and just what he was up to before he killed himself.

I got the gist of what where the film was going earlier than others, but I was still disoriented and on the edge of my seat until the very end. While that ending may not entirely work there is no denying the craftsmanship and overall fear inducing gravitas of The Night House. Sure enough, later the night I watched it waking around the house late at night an then out in the dark around the house with the dogs I couldn't shake a the creepy, jittery feelings I'd felt during the film. When a movie can do that, it's definitely something special.

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