The Night House

The Night House ★★★★

Very pleasant surprise. I'd only been mildly aware of this as an upcoming release, hadn't heard much buzz or even really looked at the cast and crew. After seeing the trailer again last week, I figured I'd just go give it a look for something to do regardless so I didn't think much of it. Seeing the day of that it was directed by David Bruckner did set my standards up a little bit; I very much enjoyed The Ritual, as well as his short anthology work. I still didn't really know what I was going into, but the fresh experience was kind of...refreshing.

This is a gorgeous film, with a lot of fun and clever visual effects, that I worried might veer into cheesy territory at some point, but honestly never really did for me. In fact even when it got "bigger" I was very into it, and the way it visualizes certain conceptual elements feels clever and meaningful. Rebecca Hall gives a stellar performance, grieving and searching, but strong and wry all the same, leading to a lot of morbidly humorous interactions that feel natural and avoid the sappier trappings a story like this could've fallen into.

I did feel like we get a little bit too much direct explanation at a certain point, but the conclusion is satisfying and meaningful. I did want like, the slightest bit more of a dark nudge to it, but I saw it with a friend who enjoyed it even more with me and actually came with a different interpretation of certain aspects, which made the ending even more impactful for him. It was really interesting to talk about with him, and I applaud the movie for maintaining a certain amount of ambiguity on certain things where either read functions. Not an easy task to pull off.

So yeah, greatly enjoyed, highly recommended. Not sure what the buzz might be with this, seems like something that might not draw a lot of attention to itself, but if you were on the fence about it or just hadn't heard of it, check it out.

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