In The Night House there is every imaginable haunting, but nothing is as terrifying as the fear reflected in the eyes of the grieving widow. Rebecca Hall's outstanding performance in this thrilling horror story captivates the audience. Her performance carries the entire film.
Written by Atlanta Kroehn
Rebecca Hall plays Beth, a New York schoolteacher whose husband Owen has just taken his own life. She now lives alone in the large lake house Owen built and she is tormented by the mystery surrounding his suicide. Little by little, Beth comes across puzzling clues. Alarming sights and sounds haunt her at night, and vague shadows hover around her. Her marriage of 14 years was a happy one, but only in retrospect do dark secrets come to light.
The Night House plays with the horror as well as the fascination for the unknown and breaks with some of the ghost story clichés. As you are curious to see what is behind all the ominous clues, you just wish the main character would go deeper into the eerie darkness instead of running away from the haunt. Furthermore, the multifaceted emotional world of a dewy person is excellently portrayed. Just the solution or the ending of the film is the most conventional yet plausible way out of this disturbing nightmare.
Nevertheless, The Night House is a terrific film that uses narrative as well as cinematic means not only to bring pervasive horror to the screen, but also to show the ambiguity of human relationships. Although Beth hopes she is wrong with her mistrust, she keeps on searching for answers. The transitions between dream, reality and deceptive memory are fluid.
The camera, which captures the house from a variety of perspectives thus depicts all the reflections as well as all nebulousness, and the excellent sound design, which shakes the audience, make this work a terrific genre feature film. The Night House is David Bruckner's most well-rounded work to date.