6.5/10 An extremely strong horror film that only falls apart in the third act, “The Night House” excels in many areas and would have been an 8/10 or 8.5/10, except for the flimsy ending which brings the film down to a 6.5/10. As someone who sees a lot of films each year (obviously since this is my 91st film in theaters this year and there are still three months of the year left), I sit through a lot of horror films. Most lesser horror films rely on cheap jump scares that frighten you for a moment but never leave a long lasting dreadful feeling that true horror films burden you with. “The Night House” succeeds in not only establishing a tone/mood that will creep you out but has the most effective jump scares I have seen in years. I was genuinely scared throughout this film, which is something that almost never happens to me, as I am desensitized to the horror genre after having seen so many horror films. The trailer kind of undersold how scary the film would be, so it was a refreshing surprise to genuinely be as on edge as I was while watching this. The plot had me intrigued, Rebecca Hall gives a fantastic performance as a grieving widow, the location was perfectly eerie for this kind of story and even the supporting characters accomplished exactly what they were supposed to in terms of the story. The score was well done and the mystery/questions established had me hooked. Director David Bruckner used strong visual flair with illusions that were as unsettling as they were effective. The pacing worked well and the film grabs your attention right from the beginning as opposed to taking forever to get the overarching plot into motion. Every aspect was firing on all cylinders and I was so curious as to how the plot’s events would be explained but once we get to the final act and answers begin to be revealed we are left with a confusing, muddled, disappointment of a finale. I never get into spoilers in my reviews so I can’t get into specifics but I’m still trying to wrap my head around certain aspects of what was going on and the aspects that were easier to understand, felt like a cop out to me that left me wanting more. The script takes the easy way out by choosing the ending it did and not getting into specifics of what was going on, instead painting with broad, vague strokes. We also find out that Hall’s husband had a lot of secrets and I wondered how Hall’s character never knew what was going on or why her husband would disappear at all hours of the night. Did he sneak away when she was sleeping or wait until she was out of town? Why did her husband have certain incriminating pictures on his phone? There are several unanswered questions that leave the audience unfulfilled by the time the end credits begin rolling. It is disappointing since this was such a wonderful horror film for the vast majority of the time the film unfolds. Changing the third act could have made this a modern horror masterpiece with its solid direction, fantastic pacing and horrifying nature but since the screenwriters failed to stick the landing at the end, we end up with a mostly strong horror film that unravels at the finish line.

#RebeccaHallucinations / #TheFrightHouse / #BeAtBethsDoor / #BethDefyingFeets / #TheBFGBigFreakyGhost / #MeanSpirit

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