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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 14, 2021



‘THE NIGHT HOUSE’ is a horror-thriller that starts with a familiar plot line. A wife has just been widowed and she starts discovering secrets about her late husband. 

This is the gist of several movies about wives with secretive spouses, like the one we recently reviewed, “Intrusion”, and also, “Gaslight”, “What Lies Beneath” and other similar films.

The central character is Beth, played by Rebecca Hall, who starred in other thrillers like “The Awakening” and “The Gift” and just directed her first film, “Passing” to be shown soon on Netflix. 

Her husband, Owen, shot himself on the head while on a boat and she now lives alone in their big house by the lake.

Owen left a cryptic suicide note that says: “You were right. There is nothing. Nothing is after you. You are safe now.” 

She and even her friends cannot figure out what it really means. She then experiences supernatural occurrences while alone at home. 

She sees visions of strange women running and jumping into the lake. At night, she wakes up to see her dead husband walking naked on the beach. 

She sees her own self while on a boat, going to another house, sleeping on the couch. Then she can feel a strange presence in their home and thinks it’s her dead husband trying to tell her something.

She asks her friends if they believe in ghosts and they become so concerned about her. 

She rummages through Owen’s things and sees books on the occult, a reverse floor plan of their house, and the strange image of a woman with spears penetrating her body that looks like a voodoo “mangkukulam” doll. 

On the phone he left behind, she sees a picture of a woman who looks like her and thinks he’s having an affair. She also sees the address of the bookshop where Owen bought his books on the occult. 

She goes there and meets there the woman in the cellphone, Madelyn, whose features are strangely similar to hers. 

Madelyn tells her she never slept with Owen but he did kiss her and tried to choke her but she cried and he apologized. Things get more weird from hereon. 

in the other films where the husbands are just evil, this one really has a supernatural element in it involving an evil entity who’s original target turns out to be Beth herself.

We won’t go into details anymore so as not to spoil it for you. We just don’t know whether you will buy the film’s premise as believable or find its explanations about what’s going on it simply ludicrous. 

In all fairness, there are some effective boo moments that will really jolt you. Our advice is don’t watch it by yourself all alone at night as it would surely give you the creeps. 

The film offers gripping effective atmospheric horror and is boosted by Rebecca Hall’s engrossing performance. She dominates the film as she’s in almost everyone scene. 

She’s quite persuasive in the lead role of the beleaguered widow who has to wrestle with a sinister spirit.

We just wish the film had a more definitive resolution to make the protagonist’s obsession with her late husband’s predicament have a better pay off. 

As it is, towards the end, the writing becomes so contrived and muddled that made the film's final scenes become less and less credible.