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Things That Go Bump in the Night

The Night House on IMDb

Plot Overview

laying tilesSchoolteacher Beth Parson (Rebecca Hall) having lost her husband Owen to suicide is in the first stage of grief: Denial. She reaches for him across the bed to encounter … nothing. She plays back videos of him building their lake house, with her recorded commentary telling that his work (“biceps”) makes him part of the house. At night she hears him walking in the bumps and creaks of a settling (new) house, and talking in the soughing wind off the lake. Her night­time drinking doesn't exactly give her a clear head, either. And an earlier traumatic brain injury wouldn't have helped.

waste basketShe had thrown a condolence pie into the trash and now broods alone in her thoughts. Her best friend Claire (Sarah Goldberg) from school and her Negro neighbor Mel (Vondie Curtis Hall) worry about her and tell her she should be around other (sympathetic) people at this time. Beth demurs.

puzzled ladiesShe discovers mysterious occult dabblings in Owen's effects, which make the audience, Beth, and eventually Claire wonder if there is not some­thing super­natural in play. Pretty spooky.


graduatesAgainst the advice of her peers, Beth comes into work now at the end (“Congratulations Graduates!”) of the school year. A parent Becky McLaughlin (Samantha Buck) comes in to complain about her son Hunter getting a "C" in English. Beth consults her records. He was given a "C" because he failed to submit a required presentation. Yes, but he was allowed to make it up. Okay, but he didn't turn in the make-up on time. Yes, but that was because he had some kind of personal day when he was supposed to do it, but he did bring it in on the last day of class. Yes, but Beth had her own personal absence day that day. Hers was because her husband blew his brains out. What was Hunter's excuse? Nothing compelling by comparison. (Prov. 22:13) “The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”

Daniel's accusers fed to lions(Prov. 22:14) “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.” Searching her husband's picture files, Beth discovers first one then several pretty women generally resembling her. At Books and Melodies Bookstore, she confronts Madelyne (Stacy Martin) one of the women from Owen's photos. She admits to pleasant conversation with him. Being pressed she admits to more than that: to a visit to his secret lair, to some kissy-face, some love-play, and then that she'd called it off when it got too rough. Neighbor Mel confides that, “I caught him once. He had a woman with him.” Seems that too much fraternization got out of hand.

architectsMight not God have considered this man abhorrent? Beth finds his architect plans for a twisted (mirror image) version of their lake house. God the architect behind Solomon's glorious temple might have been repelled by it. The shack was under construction in county forest land with­out any permit. It contained in it a garish voodoo doll. Owen had admitted to Mel that, “he had shameful urges.” His suicide note says he believes in nothing, but God is only pleased by faith in Some­thing. He lacks innocence in sleep as he sleep­walks. And his suicide on graduation day occurs on the calendar day polar opposite to Christmas­time. Doesn't seem like this guy can count on getting any kind of break from the Divinity.

(Prov. 22:15) “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” At the tender age of seven­teen, Beth in a Tennessee high school was young and foolish. She and a friend after drinking got in a car wreck that left Beth clinically dead for four minutes. That pretty much shook the foolishness out of her, but her discussions of the event left Owen wondering and then he sort of went off the rails.

Production Values

” (2020) was directed by David Bruckner. Its screenplay was written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski. It stars Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Evan Jonigkeit, and Stacy Martin. The cast sure did bring it. Lead Rebecca Hall as the grieving young widow had the most screen time by far. Vondie Curtis-Hall as the concerned neighbor refrained from upstaging anyone.

MPAA rated it R for some violence/disturbing images, and language including some sexual references. Twice it employed a bad word. It was filmed in Syracuse, New York, USA. Run­time is 1 hour 47 minutes. It was more story than frights. It was very atmospheric and tense, a well-made, film.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Here's one that'll keep you up at night. Not for the faint of heart. Meatier than a lot of horror flicks. For when it suits the mood.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

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