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Starring: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Evan Jonigkeit, Stacy Martin, Vondie Curtis-Hall
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Psychological horror directed by David Bruckner. The Night House (2021) follows Beth (Rebecca Hall), who after the unexpected death of her husband, is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. As she tries to keep it together, nightmares begin, and disturbing visions of a presence in the house start calling to her, beckoning her with a ghostly allure. Against the advice of her friends, she begins digging into her husband’s belongings, yearning for answers. What she finds are secrets both strange and disturbing, a mystery she’s determined to resolve.
Our Favorite Quote:'Not everything gets finished.' - Claire (The Night House) Click To Tweet
Beth: My husband shot himself in the head last Thursday.
Becky: I hadn’t heard.
Beth: No, because it’s a personal matter. So, yeah. Yeah. If you want to know, he took the boat out on the lake. He took a handgun that I didn’t even know that we owned. And pow! Right in the mouth. So, which Hunter got what grade on what high school elective speech class assignment, it really doesn’t matter to me right now. So, you want a B, you got a B.
Claire: God, Beth. Don’t do this to yourself. It’s you, okay? And if it’s not you, then, believe me, there are far worse things to find on your husband’s phone than fully clothed women who look exactly like you.
Beth: Yeah, well, I guess I was his type.
Claire: Please. Owen loved you. You. He worshipped you. I mean, from everything you told me, you didn’t really give him any reason to roam. I mean, how do you know he even took those pictures anyway? He’s not here to defend himself, or explain.
Beth: I didn’t think we had secrets.
Claire: Everybody has secrets. Don’t let it weigh on you. Just remember your Owen. Who you fell in love with. Because whatever else he was, he was that too.
Beth: Do you guys believe in ghosts?
Heather: Ghosts, like how?
Claire: I do. I believe.
Claire: Well, I mean, I don’t not believe.
Beth: I think there’s something in my house. Like a presence.
Heather: No way.
Beth: I mean, I don’t know. I feel like there’s something. Like there’s something watching me. And all this weird stuff. I’m having these dreams. I mean, it feels like they’re dreams. They feel real though when they’re happening.
Beth: Owen used to sleepwalk.
Claire: I remember that.
Beth: A year or two after he built the house, it just started.
Heather: Now you’re doing it?
Heather: That’s weird.
Gary: I mean, you spend so much time in the same space with someone, it’s going to feel like they’re there. Even when they’re not.
Claire: But who knows, right? I mean, who’s to say what happens once we “shuffle off this mortal coil, what dreams may come”?
Gary: No. No Shakespeare until next fall.
Beth: Are you really going to cheer me up with the suicide soliloquy?
Beth: I’m the one who struggled with that stuff. Depression. Dark thoughts. He’s the one that kept them at bay. Maybe it got to him. I don’t know. Maybe I infected him with my bulls**t.
Gary: No. No. It doesn’t work like that.
Beth: [reading Owen’s suicide note] “You were right. There is nothing. Nothing is after you. You’re safe now.” That’s it.
Gary: That’s it?
Beth: That’s it. No “XOXO, your loving husband”. Nothing.
Heather: [referring to Owen’s suicide note] What does that mean?
Beth: Not a clue. Not a f***ing clue. Other than I was living with a crazy person, and didn’t know it. Makes you wonder though, doesn’t it? What else didn’t I know? I want to know.
Beth: [after revealing her near death experience] Afterward, when everyone would ask me when they found out, like, “What was it like? What did you see?” And I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I’d say, “I don’t know. I don’t remember.” But I remember. Owen was the only person I ever told. There’s nothing.
Claire: What do you mean, nothing?
Beth: I wish I could tell you something. A light at the end of the tunnel. There’s just tunnel.
Beth: If it’s any consolation, Owen was never convinced. Yeah, we agreed about most things, but not that. Not what comes after. He wanted to believe in a better place. And he almost made me believe it too. But you can’t unknow what you know.
Beth: “You were right. There is nothing. Nothing is after you. You’re safe now.” He told me I was right. Now I’m not so sure.
Claire: He said you were safe. Safe from what?
Beth: I guess we’ll never know, will we, Claire?
Beth: Do you really believe in ghosts?
Claire: No. I was just being nice.
Beth: Owen? Are you really here? If you’re with me, show me.
[she then sees bloody footprints on the deck]
Distorted Voice: [to Beth] It’s a dream. You’re dreaming.
Beth: [referring to Owen and the reverse house] There is a house. Our house. My house. Now, what the f*** was he building?!
Mel: I don’t know. I never saw a house. I only saw him wandering around out there, in the middle of the night from time to time.
Beth: What? And you didn’t tell me?
Mel: He asked me not to.
Mel: [referring to Owen] I caught him once. Like I caught you this morning. Taking that same route around the lake. He had a woman with him. I thought it was you, so I called out, and when she turned…
Beth: It wasn’t.
Beth: [referring to Owen] What did he say?
Mel: That he had urges. Shameful urges, that he was rightfully ashamed of, that he was trying to shake. Said he’d found a way to keep them at bay.
Mel: Don’t think I haven’t wrestled with this, okay? But I swear on Shelly’s grave that I never saw anything like that again. Ever. I wanted to tell you so many times, but he just seemed good after that. You both seemed so good.
Beth: Well, I guess you were wrong.
Mel: [to Beth] He left a hole in your life, and you’re desperate to fill it. That’s what this is. All I can say is that, if I’m allowed to say anything, is that you don’t need to fill it with something dark. You’re closer to death than you’ve ever been.
Beth: Well, that’s not exactly true.
Beth: Your hair. Ponytail. Lose it. Take it down.
Beth: Well, because you slept with my husband, and I’m asking you nicely.
Madelyne: I didn’t sleep with him. Honestly, I barely knew him.
Beth: [referring to Madelyne] She said she barely f***ing knew him.
Claire: What did you say?
Beth: Same. I said, “Same here, kid.”
Beth: I looked on his computer, and there are tons of pictures, like half a dozen women. They all look a little bit like me, but not quite. So if he wasn’t f***ing them, what the hell was he doing?
Beth: I had this dream the other night. It was our house, but not. It was backwards, and I saw him with someone.
Claire: Nothing you find is going to help you right now.
Beth: Am I not being clear? He had a secret life. Are you really going to stand there and lecture me about his posthumous right to privacy?
Beth: I felt him. I felt my husband. “You were right. There’s nothing.” Why would he say there’s nothing? He didn’t believe that.
Claire: Beliefs change. Look at you. You’re the most skeptical person I know, and here you are, telling me that your house is haunted.
Beth: Yeah. I mean, when you put it like that, it does sound kind of silly.
Beth: It’s not finished.
Claire: Not everything gets finished. You may never know what he was thinking. He’s gone. You’re not. You still have a life to live.
Madelyne: I laid down for a minute after work, and I had this dream. I dreamed I was you. Well, I was me, but I was you too. And something was chasing you, and it was all around you. Well, us.
Beth: But did it get us?
Madelyne: I’m not sure. That’s when I woke up.
Beth: [after finding out Owen tried to strangle Madelyne] Did he hurt you?
Madelyne: God, no! I asked him to stop, and he stopped.
Beth: But do you think he would have?
Madelyne: But he didn’t.
Madelyne: He was afraid he couldn’t hold it back.
Beth: Hold what back?
Madelyne: I don’t know exactly. But in the end, he said he knew what he had to do. He had to end it for good.
Madelyne: [to Beth] He clearly felt guilty about cheating on you. That’s what he was talking about, right?
Beth: We need to talk. I’m not leaving until we do. You called, I came. Don’t you want to talk to me? You talked to her. I’m here. I’m still here. Wherever you are, come and get me. Just come get me!
Beth: [message for Claire after finding bodies of women under the reverse house] I should have listened to you. I did something that I shouldn’t have. I went across the lake, and I saw something. I saw something, so. I don’t even know if it’s real or not. I know my husband. I know who he is, and I refuse to believe that he would have… I don’t know. I wish that you were here. I wish that it were morning.
Beth: You’re really here?
Distorted Voice: Yes. I’m here.
Distorted Voice: No. I’m not Owen.
Beth: [as she sees the demon in Owen’s form] You’re not Owen.
Owen: I’m what you felt when your heart stopped.
Beth: No. I felt…
Owen: Nothing. Do you remember? You saw me. And I’ve been with you ever since.
Beth: What did you do to my husband?
Owen: I went to him. I whispered in his ear, over and over. To send you back. But he wouldn’t. He sent me them instead.
Beth: He tricked you.
Owen: For a while.
Beth: Where is he?
Owen: Gone. But you already knew that.
Owen: [to Beth] He thought he could protect you. He was wrong. You were right.
Owen: [to Beth] There is nothing. There is only me. Come back to me. It doesn’t matter. Let go. Come back to me.
Mel: [after Beth comes out of her trance] What happened?
Claire: I don’t know. I don’t know. Beth? Are you here? Are you here?
Beth: I’m here. I’m here. I’m here.
Claire: I got you.
Claire: Just breathe. You’re safe now. You’re okay. You’re going to be okay.
Mel: [as Beth sees the outline of the demon in the boat] What is it? There’s nothing there.
Beth: I know.