‘The Night House’: A Supernatural Psychological Thriller That Delivers Pure Horror

Occasionally, a horror movie performance captivates audiences to the extent that it seems worthy of an Oscar nomination. Toni Collette’s performance in Ari Aster’s ‘Hereditary’ (2018) was one such instance, yet the Academy overlooked her talent. Similarly, Rebecca Hall’s performance in David Bruckner’s ‘The Night House’ was remarkable but went unrecognized. Both films explore the depths of grief, with ‘The Night House’ delivering a particularly shocking twist. Originally conceived as a ‘Hellraiser’ reboot, the film evolved into a standalone horror masterpiece.

‘The Night House’ was penned by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, who previously wrote for ‘Siren,’ ‘Super Dark Times,’ and ‘Stephanie.’ Initially, they aimed to revitalize the ‘Hellraiser’ franchise, focusing on Julia, a character-driven by grief to dark, occult places. However, the studios rejected their art house vision. 

Also Read: Tom Cruise and Sean Penn Shine in ‘Taps’ Gripping Military Drama

The Night House
Image Courtesy: Prime Video

Undeterred, they repurposed elements of their ‘Hellraiser’ pitch to create ‘The Night House,’ a film about confronting grief and hidden secrets. Ironically, during the making of ‘The Night House,’ producer David S. Goyer was working on a new ‘Hellraiser’ film, ultimately bringing Collins and Piotrowski back to the franchise after the success of ‘The Night House.’

Rebecca Hall stars as Beth Parchin, a widow unravelling the mystery behind her husband Owen’s (Evan Jonigkeit) suicide and his cryptic note: “You were right. There is nothing. Nothing is after you. You’re safe now.” Beth’s grief intensifies when she discovers a photo of a woman resembling her on Owen’s phone, leading her to suspect infidelity. This grief is compounded by a near-death experience years prior, where Beth saw no afterlife, which profoundly impacted Owen’s beliefs.

The Night House
Image Courtesy: IMDb

Beth’s descent into mystery deepens as she encounters inexplicable phenomena and a mirror image of her home in the woods. This doubled reality symbolizes her isolation and the duality of her life with Owen. The film navigates through themes of death, grief, and the supernatural, revealing that Beth’s perception of her life and surroundings may not be what they seem.

‘The Night House’ stands out in the horror genre by transforming a tale of grief into something darker and more unexpected. It explores familiar horror themes through a fresh lens, posing questions about love, protection, and the lengths one might go to for their loved ones. 

The Night House
Image Courtesy:  IGN

The final act delivers a twist that makes it clear why the film started as a ‘Hellraiser’ project but is ultimately more terrifying on its own. Bruckner’s film not only addresses the profound nature of grief but also introduces a supernatural element that elevates it beyond a typical horror narrative, making ‘The Night House’ a uniquely compelling experience.

–Farheen Ali