The Night House

The Night House ★★★★

I have been out of the cinema for close to an hour or so, and I’ve been hesitating on actually writing a review (of course, the fact that you’re reading it right now implies that I am writing a review and I’m just being dramatic for dramatic effect… apologies for the blatant lie).

Anyway, I’ve been hesitating to write a review for this because I spent most of the film cowering in fear in my seat. Some moments are just so well executed that I just froze and my eyes got real wide and I couldn’t scream if I tried. I even went as far to just stare at a speaker on the wall and let one moment play out in my peripheral vision. And I’m not even exaggerating about this. I was on edge for almost the entire runtime. Even the dialogue scenes where I was genuinely safe, I just felt this cloud of fear hanging over me. Every single dark corner and every shadow just freaked me out. I don’t know if I was just on edge or my overactive imagination was like “time to go into overdrive,” but I thought this film does a really good job setting the audience directly into this character’s shoes and almost consistently unsettling the audience anytime the sun went down. In terms of the contents of the film, it almost feels very un-horror like. There’s no opening stinger or anything. There’s not like crazy onscreen deaths. There’s honestly not that many jumpscares (yay!). It’s mainly just a story about grief, depression, and some existential terror that actually manages to speak about all of that in a meaningful way… and it just so happens that this film is also legitimately terrifying. And I think it works mainly due to David Bruckner’s really strong direction, Elisha Christian’s playful (in a terrifying way) cinematography, Ben Lovett’s atmospheric score, and Rebecca Hall absolutely devouring this role. It’s great. This worked so well for me. I’ll try to write a more coherent review someday, but all I can confidently say right now is shoutout to Rebecca Hall and David Bruckner literally has my money for whatever he makes next.

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