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 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!)