The Night House Parent Guide
This is a dark ride, literally and metaphorically.
Parent Movie Review
Following the tragic suicide of her husband, Owen (Evan Jonigkeit), Beth (Rebecca Hall) has been struggling to make sense of her life. Her work as a teacher has lost much of its appeal, but more than that, she’s struggling to sleep. She is haunted by nightmares which leave her terrified and waking up in different parts of her home. She’s taken to drinking more than she should. Her friend and colleague, Claire (Sarah Goldberg) is concerned – but Beth’s problems are only beginning.
I don’t scare easily. My job involves sitting through just about every horror movie that comes out and taking notes – an added layer of professional distance. So when I tell you this is easily the scariest movie I’ve seen in years, take my word for it. This is a dark ride – literally and metaphorically. If you like deep existential terror, things that go bump in the night, and tragedy, then this is the film for you.
There were a few instances where I legitimately thought this movie was going to make me wet myself. Admittedly, not emptying my bladder before the movie was probably inadvisable, but the fact remains that there were some close calls. And this isn’t a film that relies on jump scares – at least, not exclusively. The Night House expertly creates an atmosphere of unremitting tension, throws in some truly unsettling sounds, and then leaves you to wander the dimly lit halls of the titular residence, waiting with bated breath (and crossed legs) for something to happen. And even when nothing does jump out at you, you’re left feeling just that much more nervous about the next one.
I’m not sure this will hold the same appeal for teens as it will for adults – this isn’t a fun slasher flick. This movie will genuinely make you anxious, depressed, and probably just downright scared. If that doesn’t daunt you, then you probably won’t be deterred by the brief violence, drinking, or two dozen-odd profanities.
I realize that I’m unlikely to lure you into theatres with promises of a mild neurotic breakdown and some nihilistic despair. But if you’re an adult fan of horror who wants to be scared witless, then you’ve got to see this movie. After all, there’s some catharsis in confronting your fears. Just don’t do what I did – remember to take a trip to the bathroom before strapping in for The Night House. You’ll thank me later.Directed by David Bruckner. Starring Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, and Stacy Martin. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release August 20, 2021. Updated February 24, 2022
Watch the trailer for The Night House
The Night House
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Night House rated R? The Night House is rated R by the MPAA for some violence/disturbing images, and language including some sexual references.
Violence: Women are briefly seen being strangled or beaten. In one case, a man slams a woman’s head into a mirror. A man pins a woman down by holding her neck. A woman is throttled by some kind of supernatural being. Individuals are seen jumping off a cliff. There are frequent graphic references to suicide. Some blood and a few corpses are seen.
Sexual Content: There are brief references to adultery. A woman is briefly seen from the shoulders up in a shower. There is a brief scene of non-sexual male posterior nudity.
Profanity: There are 17 extreme profanities and three scatological terms, along with infrequent uses of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: The protagonist is shown drinking to excess to cope with emotional trauma, and this is portrayed negatively and commented on by other characters. Other characters are shown drinking socially and smoking tobacco.
Page last updated February 24, 2022
The Night House Parents' Guide
It can be difficult to know when people need help. If you or someone you know is struggling, please seek out mental health professionals. If you are in a crisis, Wikipedia has a list of international suicide hotlines which can connect you with professional assistance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines
Loved this movie? Try these books…
If you like that feeling of deep existential dread, you will certainly enjoy Stephen King’s Revival.
Related home video titles:
Other existential horror films include It Comes at Night, The Lodge, The VVitch, andHereditary. Similar themes can be found in The Invisible Man. Other haunted house stories include Things Heard and Seen, The Conjuring, The Woman in Black, and my personal favourite, The Shining