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Staunch Test FAIL.

Beth (Rebecca Hall) has just lost her husband Owen (Evan Jonigkeit) to suicide. She lives in the house he built for them and, even if that hurts her, she doesn’t want to leave because she can still feel his presence in it. She tries to look calm and stable with her friends and co-workers but when she finds pictures of various women in Owen’s phone she’s confused and shocked.

Was he cheating on her?

The Night House is a slow-paced, modern ghost story with a quite original plot and a great cast. It mostly deals with Beth trying to uncover his husband’s affairs before his death.  

The final twist was different from what is usually expected in a movie of this genre. Owen did not kill himself because he was cheating on Beth, he was actually trying to protect her from a demonic entity that was forcing him to kill her. 

It’s refreshing to see a male character who doesn’t want to kill his spouse in a movie like this. He was actually trying to learn how to stop the demon so they could live normally. However, even if he resisted the urge to kill his wife that doesn’t mean he didn’t kill at all. He murdered numerous women who looked like Beth in order to trick the demon. The weird thing is that the movie still wants you to root for Owen even though he was a killer. It’s good that he didn’t cheat on Beth and that he was trying anything he could to stop the evil entity but he still couldn’t resist the demonic urge that was possessing him and killing so many innocent young women by doing so. But at least Beth is safe now, right? Wrong.

The reason why the entity wanted Owen to kill Beth it’s because the spirit fell in love with her and wants her to go into his dimension, which means dying. The last scene of the movie involves a confrontation between the evil spirit and Beth. The demon chokes her, squeezes her, pushes her down the stairs and hits her head slamming it into a mirror. It then tries to convince her to kill herself but she doesn’t. 

Director David Bruckner does what he can with a story full of plot holes. Was all that killing really necessary if the spirit could just go and confront Beth by itself? Couldn’t it just possess Owen in order to make him commit suicide? Why didn’t Owen realise that killing all those women wasn’t tricking the entity?

The Night House is a #StaunchTestFail.

Simona Columbano

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