The Night House needs a goofy Great Dane

Rating: 6 out of 10.

While the ghostly new haunted house film, The Night House, is sufficiently creepy and suspenseful, I couldn’t help thinking that all it needed was a goofy Great Dane and a van and it could have been a pretty decent Scooby-Doo episode.

The story begins with the end of its heroine’s husband’s life. Beth (played by Godzilla vs. Kong’s Rebecca Hall) arrives home from the funeral and before you can say “Cabin in the Woods” all sorts of creepy happenings begin in The Night House.

In the midst of what appears to be a haunting of the weird house Owen ( Evan Jonigkeit) built for Beth, the widow begins to discover unsetting clues about her deceased husband’s extracurricular (and possibly arcane) activities.

The Light House
The Night House images courtesy Searchlight Pictures

(The larger mystery here might be how this young teacher and her husband can afford such a luxurious mansion on the lake. Probably best not to ask.)

Despite her friend (Sarah Goldberg) and her neighbor (Vondie Curtis-Hall) trying to call her off her investigation, Beth persists until a mostly awkward climax and ending. (I’m telling you they needed that dog!)

Directed by David Bruckner (The Ritual – 2017) and written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, The Night House is a mostly satisfying ghost story that leans more on classic creepiness than gratuitous gore, which is a huge plus in my book.

If you are one of those people who sees something like this and says, “Uhhh… Why is she staying in that house?” then this film will drive you nuts. But, if you are good at suspending disbelief and dig eerie visuals, then you will likely enjoy this film. (Just try not to think of Scooby!)

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.