The Night House (2020)

Directed by David Bruckner

#92
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I’ve found it more and more challenging in recent years to find a truly great (or event good) Horror film that I haven’t seen. I would venture a guess that the ratio of good to bad films leans more heavily toward the “bad” end in the Horror genre than in any other genre. A quick search led me to this article which, using data from IMDB, ranks genres for films between 2008–2018 based on their average rating across that genre. Guess which comes in dead last?

According to the article, the highest-rated genre is Documentary with an average rating of 7.27 and 218,653 votes, and the lowest is Horror with an average rating of 4.89 and 4,172,760 votes. I don’t know about you, but I’m not at all surprised.

Bottom 5 Genres on IMDB by Rating (2008–2018)

Genre Average Rating Number of Votes
Action 5.70 30,839,648
Western 5.70 63,005
Sci-Fi 5.56 11,097,552
Thriller 5.46 9,588,469
Horror 4.89 4,172,760

Because the genre is so overloaded with subpar films, it makes it all the more special when you stumble upon one that bucks the trend. Such was the case with The Night House. I already knew that I liked David Bruckner’s previous work (see The Ritual), and I love Rebecca Hall, so I felt pretty confident that this film would, at the very least, be somewhat enjoyable. But it wasn’t. It was downright fantastic.

It’s a really fresh take on a ghost story with Rebecca Hall skillfully carrying the weight of the entire film on her shoulders. She is, more often than not, the only character on screen. There are several scenes that could have come across as very hokey (you’ll know which) that instead end up breaking your heart for her. The plot moves along swiftly with several unexpected turns that actually build on the story instead of undermining it. Strong recommend.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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