Coming out of nowhere and completely blowing my mind was David Bruckner’s latest effort, ‘The Night House’. I had seen the trailer just a few weeks ahead of release and thought I was in for a creepy thriller. Being a fan of ‘The Ritual’, I really should have known to expect more.
The plot is a simple one. A grieving woman uncovers disturbing secrets about her husband after his death. The pacing is slow. The film is a slow burn chiller. Just when it was about to lose me, it slapped me in the face with an unexpected twist and ultimately ended up being one of the most original pieces of genre cinema I’ve seen in decades!
This film made me feel uncomfortable in a way that ‘Hereditary’ did. Whilst watching both, I wasn’t particularly horrified or disturbed, but they got under my skin and lingered in my brain.
One of the strongest parts of the film are the organic jump scares. Yes, there are the expected loud bangs, but this had one of the most jarring jumps scares ever committed to celluloid. Equally well-crafted and executed are the story beats. The film does a good job of hiding its secrets deep within, until revealing them at just the right time.
Rebecca Hall first came to my attention 10 years ago in the excellent ‘The Awakening’. I haven’t seen her in much, but this role will have done wonders for her career.
This is an art house type thriller done on a bigger budget, so I don’t want to hype it up too much. If you’re not into story driven features focusing on existential dread, then you’ll likely find this boring. There were a lot of audibly disappointed people at my screening, but I thought this was excellent. It certainly gave recent output from A24 a run for its money.
I’m excited to see what David Bruckner does with ‘Hellraiser’ now, as it’s become apparent to me that he’s a perfect choice for the film.