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Parents' Guide to

The Night House

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Brief, intense violence against women in effective chiller.

Movie R 2021 107 minutes
The Night House Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (5 ):

While it doesn't totally click in every way, David Bruckner's chiller still manages some truly mind-bending, soul-shuddering scares, which work largely because of Hall's wrenching performance. In its first two-thirds, The Night House uses skillful direction, set decoration, music, and editing to come up with some great shocks. A knock at the door and Richard and Linda Thompson's song "The Calvary Cross" provide some warm-up scares, but a sequence after Beth gets home from drinking at a bar with friends will make viewers' hair stand up on end. Clever use of negative space and mirror images provides more delicious jolts.

As the story begins to sharpen in focus, the scary stuff lessens, and questions arise, such as: How could Owen have embarked on such a huge building project without Beth knowing about it? A use of semi-flashbacks to explain things seems a little flat, and less interesting than the mystery itself, and a final denouement just doesn't have the intense impact it was meant to; it's almost like the punchline of a joke. But Hall helps sell every scene she's in, conveying indescribable depths of pain and horror, and, overall, there's more than enough good stuff in The Night House to make it worth a visit.

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