The Night House (2020)
March 27, 2022 5:31 AM - Subscribe

Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep it together -- but then nightmares come. Disturbing visions of a presence in the house calling to her, beckoning her with a ghostly allure. Against the advice of her friends, she begins digging into her husband's belongings, yearning for answers. What she finds are secrets both strange and disturbing -- a mystery she's determined to unravel.

Currently available for digital rental in the US on the usual services.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total)
I watched this a few months ago and I loved it. Rebecca Hall nailed the self-deprecating grieving widow and she was so much fun to watch. Also had some good scares, which when you watch as many horror movies as I do, can be hard to find. I predicted the ending near the start but it was still great to see how it unfolded. This was definitely one of my favourite horror movies in the last few years. May need to watch it again, in fact...
posted by kittensyay at 11:38 AM on March 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Heads up to HBO Max subscribers, The Night House will be premiering there on April 8. (I’ll be watching it then.)
posted by ejs at 12:28 PM on March 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

Saw this awhile ago. Loved the first half. I like Rebecca Hall, I like slow burn horror. I loved the aesthetic.

The ultimate reveal about the husband prettymuch ruined the movie for me; it really did not fit at all with all the emotion that had been spent on Rebecca Hall's character's grief. Seemed so horribly tacked on, unnecessary, felt like the movie just throws itself away.

Came out of it thinking how much I liked What Lies Beneath.
posted by fleacircus at 7:30 PM on March 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just watched it on HBO and I loved it! I agree that the character of Beth as played by Rebecca Hall was a treat. My favorite bit was when she confronted the woman in the bookstore who she thought was sleeping with her husband, and Beth said “The matter… is resolved.”

I’m also a huge fan of movies where a haunting means you can’t trust your own senses. Oculus is my favorite example, and this one is better in that sense than Blair Witch Project.

Absolutely LOVED the conceit of the evil presence appearing in the negative spaces of the house’s architecture. So original and frightening.

The ultimate reveal about the husband pretty much ruined the movie for me; it really did not fit at all with all the emotion that had been spent on Rebecca Hall's character's grief.

fleacircus, did we interpret the ending the same way? My take was that the husband did the horrible things he did to protect Beth from a fate she narrowly avoided before she even met him. He did what he did to protect her, and as awful as it was, he did it out of love. It did not feel at all tacked on to me, but rather a statement of the movie’s thesis, which was (IMO) “what wouldn’t you do for love.”

Also loved seeing Sarah Goldberg as the best friend, Claire—I had to run to IMDb to find out where I knew her from, and it turned out to be the HBO show Barry, in which she is excellent.
posted by ejs at 10:48 PM on April 9, 2022

Well for my money, "I killed someone to save you" could work, but it would have to be something the audience could sort of identify with. Stuffing a mirror house full of dead bodies is absurdly too far and makes Beth's grief a silly joke.

In addition, I think the story would have been better if it had stayed more vague and psychological and not eg had the negative space nobody turn out to be like a Final Destination avatar that does ghost-radio-manipulation for yuks.
posted by fleacircus at 10:48 AM on April 10, 2022

Yes, loved that thread! Especially because I did not think for one second that any of it was practical. I love seeing filmmakers keep the old ways alive.
posted by ejs at 7:25 PM on April 12, 2022

I also was deeply underwhelmed by the end of the movie, but I spent most of the very spooky runtime screaming at shadow men and scaring my cat, so came away with overall positive feelings!
posted by quatsch at 8:40 AM on July 15, 2022


1. Rebecca Hall was great as a person who is kind of unlikeable but very understandable. She’d be excellent asLois in Experimental Film.

2. The practical effects were great.

3. The rest of the cast was also very solid, especially Sarah Goldberg and Vondie Curtis-Hall.

4. The house was a great set, but I never really got a sense of where anything was, which was a pity, especially with the mirror house.

5. “Owen the Killer” was so far out in left field that it did undercut Beth’s grief and the general flow of the movie. Couldn’t he have used the mirror house and pictures of the Not-Beth’s to confuse Nothing? That would have served the plot as well without making Owen a monster….

Still, an interesting movie with a great central performance.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:02 PM on September 5, 2023

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