Quick-Thoughts: The Night House

Honestly, this movie is worth the price of admission alone just so you can experience what may be the greatest use of a jump scare I’ve witnessed yet. Sound design chads, unite!

In spite of my jump scare comment, The Night House much more leans towards the mystery thriller genre than it does the horror. While the subject matter at hand is quite horrifying in its own right, it’s explored with that same curiosity something such as a Gone Girl (2014) had, and that’s probably going to piss off a chunk of audience members going in with straightforward slash n’ dash expectations. The puzzle piecing here is intriguing enough though even with its psychological confrontations of treacherous realities treading some familiar ground, but it still ultimately pays off with Rebecca Hall’s dominating performance also making up for what ends up accumulating into a needlessly overplayed and blunt finale, almost to a point of ingenuity with the down to earth and cautious dramatic tone of its previous acts; I understand its desire for internal explosion, but it shouldn’t have required the cheap plot tension to go along with it. When there are scares in this film though — especially in that first half — they are shot really REALLY creatively, and you can tell David Bruckner actually gives a s**t about nearly every frame he films. 

I hope for the near future of his career he can join the ranks of an Ari Aster or a Robert Eggers hype train with this whole horror drama renaissance going on if he were to continuously improve on these commendable ambitions. I’m looking forward to seeing his Hellraiser reboot now too. 

Verdict: B-

2021 Ranked

“The Night House” is now playing in theaters.

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