Rebecca Hall on The Night House, the Most Expertly Made Horror Movie of the Year – Vogue

Before you see David Bruckners disconcerting and expertly made new horror film The Night House, in which the Rebecca Hall delivers a tour de force performance as a grieving widow in a haunted house, you should watch Bruckners previous horror movie 2018s The Ritual. Or try to watch it. My wife left the room after the first 30 nerve-rattling minutes of The Ritual, which tells the story of four grieving British friends who go hiking in remote Sweden and encounter something ancient and horrifying in the woods.

It was the first question I asked Hall when I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago about The Night House: Did you manage to get through The Ritual? I did indeed, she said, as part of her research into Bruckner's work. I ... I had to, she added. And I was horror stricken.

Let me say up front that I liked The Night House even more than The Ritual. The Night House has more nuanced things to say about grief and secrets, but I was glad Id prepared myself for what Bruckner is capable of, as one of the most interesting young American horror filmmakers working today, which is to fray your nerves and deliver shocks to the systemnot with gore but with technique, sound, lighting, editing, production design. As Hall told me, This is a director really in control of the craft of his genre. He is someone quite serious to be reckoned with.

The Night House is set on a lake home in the woods of upstate New York, where Halls character Beth, a local high school teacher, has recently suffered the suicide of her architect husband, Owen. The house shes left with was his passion project and its stylishly made, simple and opennot the kind of place we associate with ghosts. But this one creaks at night, and the stereo plays Beth and Owens wedding song without warning and those are definitely ghostly footprints leading from the dock to the house (Owen shot himself in the rowboat). As she becomes convinced that Owen is haunting her, Beth starts to uncover his secrets: a mistress who looks just like her (Stacy Martin), a stash of occult books, another mirror-image house he was building across the lake. She also obsesses about the meaning of his ambiguous suicide note (You were right. There is nothing, nothing after you) and a near-death experience she had years before.

Reality and the supernatural mix and Hall is intense and committed and carries you through a movie that will scare you senseless and also disorient as it layers on the secrets and proceeds to its strange, ambiguous conclusion. It is one of Hall's very best performances in a varied and impressive career. I spoke to her about the extremities of playing Beth.

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Rebecca Hall on The Night House, the Most Expertly Made Horror Movie of the Year - Vogue

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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