What the Thing from The Night House Achieved: Analysis of the Popular Thriller. The Meaning Of The Film The Night House, Plot Summary, Explanation Of The Ending, Description.
Country: USA, UK
Genre: horror, detective
Year of production: 2020
Director: David Bruckner
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Evan Yonikit, Stacey Martin
The Night House is a thrilling horror game with a non-trivial plot. The idea of mystical houses inhabited by otherworldly entities is far from new, but in this film the director used an unconventional approach. Not only does the inner demon live in the house, there is also an original architecture – an optical illusion that creates the impression of someone else’s presence. The meaning of the film The Night House is ambiguous, and the open ending makes you think. Let’s make a detailed analysis of the horror and try to find a clue to the director’s idea.
Let’s start the review with a review of the summary of the film The Night House. Meet Beth. She works as a school teacher and has recently been left a widow in a large house. Her husband Owen took his own life by shooting a bullet in the head while sailing in a boat to the middle of the lake.
Horror starring Rebecca Hall. Frame from the film.
Beth does not understand why her husband made such a decision. She didn’t even know that her husband had a gun. However, later, struggling with depression, Beth will realize that she did not know the person with whom she lived for many years under the same roof. Only a suicide note remained from her husband, which states that there really is nothing there, and Beth is safe.
Such a message may seem strange. However, in her youth, the girl suffered a clinical death: her heart did not beat for 4 whole minutes. Then she was asked many times what is there, beyond the bounds of life? But she always answered that there was emptiness. However, Beth was wrong. After death, there is something beyond the control of the human mind. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and return to the beginning of the story.
Beth misses her husband, and soon strange things begin to happen in the quiet house by the lake. The girl feels someone else’s presence, the music turns on in the middle of the night, traces of bare feet are visible on the pier near the water. One day, Beth receives a message from her husband’s number. She finds his phone and accidentally discovers a photo of a black-haired woman who looks a lot like her.
She decides to look into the situation, although her friend Claire persuades her not to. Beth finds strange drawings and books, discovers many photographs of unfamiliar women of the same type. One night, Beth sees lights on the other side of the lake, although there can be no buildings there. She goes for a walk and actually discovers a house that is very similar to the one she lives in. Here she finds a voodoo doll, but the scariest find is hidden under the floorboards. These are the bodies of the dead women.
Frame from the film.
Beth comes to the conclusion that her husband was a homicidal maniac, but, oddly enough, this does not frighten her. When an invisible Something appears in the house, she takes it for the spirit of her husband, and says how much she misses him. However, the ghost reveals that he is not Owen. As a result, the woman finds herself in the looking glass, where she sees her husband’s victims who are hiding from their killer.
Here she finds out that Owen was possessed by some diabolical entity that needed Beth. However, the man did not want to give his wife to the demon or Death itself. Therefore, he built two houses with occult traps, killed similar women, sacrificing them. However, his efforts are in vain. Something is getting to Beth.
They sit in a boat, where the devil, in the form of her husband, persuades Beth to take the last step – pull the trigger and stay in the dark. Our heroine is already ready to do this, but her friend’s voice pulls her out of oblivion. Worried, Claire arrived at Beth’s house and saw her sitting in an empty boat.
At the end of the film The Night House, the heroine is saved. Her neighbor Mel, who also arrived at the scene, sees the outlines of a human figure in the boat. Titles, final.
It is immediately worth noting that the end in the film is completed, although the interpretation remains ambiguous. An explanation for the final scene could be as follows. Beth coped with her inner demon, pushing her to suicide, and despite all the trials that fell to her, she decided to live on. This was prompted by her friend’s voice, which she heard while in a place where there are two moons in the sky at once.
However, the idea here is that the explanation of the ending and the meaning for each viewer is different. Beth still has to die. After all, there is no escape from death, so the scene in the boat is only a delay in the natural ending. However, refusing to shoot, Beth made a choice in favor of those people to whom she is dear. This is Mel’s neighbor and her high school friend Claire. Let the heroine die, but this will not happen soon, and she will definitely not interrupt her life path, obeying a demon from the other world.
The only thing that is not clear from the meaning of the plot is whether Beth will stay in the house by the lake. On the one hand, everything here reminds of a husband who really loved her and tried to protect her. On the other hand, it was here that the devilish essence overtook her, plunging her into a whirlpool of nightmares. Considering that, according to the content of the film The Night House, the heroine quite calmly perceived everything that happened, we can assume that she will stay.
The meaning of the movie The Night House
In fact, the main character here is Owen. Throughout his life with Beth, he did everything to protect his wife. A man simply physically could not harm the woman he loved. This vividly depicts the scene in Beth’s vision as she lies on her husband’s lap and sleeps. He starts to squeeze her throat, but he can’t finish what he started.
Frame from the film.
In this case, do not forget that Owen is obsessed. And in the literal sense of the word. Having survived clinical death, Beth pulled a demon into our world. She should have died, but she survived, so Death came for her to take the life that was rightfully hers. Owen was chosen as an intermediary, but he did not cope with the mission assigned to him. On the contrary, the man began to play with death.
He built the house on the principle of caerdroi – a Welsh labyrinth. According to legend, the walls of the legendary Troy were built in this way. This was done so that those who went inside could no longer get out. In our case, the caerdroya served as an occult trap, preventing death from finding its victim and breaking free.
For the same purpose, a second house was built. Owen just made a mirror image of his life. He brought women who looked like his wife there and killed them, obeying his demon. However, this was done only in order to protect his real wife. Unfortunately, the storyline does not provide an explanation for the backstory. Therefore, behind the scenes remains a turning point.
Owen protected his wife for more than one year, protecting her from death. It can be assumed that at some point something went wrong. Perhaps there was some kind of breakdown in the man’s soul. Most likely, that is why he could not kill Madeleine – the girl from the bookstore. Beth discovered her photo on her husband’s phone, starting to spin the whole story of Owen.
Then the man realized that his plan to cheat death did not work. He only multiplies evil, postponing the death of his beloved woman. Owen finds the only, as it seems to him, the right way out. He comforts his wife by leaving her a suicide note and shoots himself in the head. It seems to a man that by killing himself, he is guaranteed to protect his wife. However, suicide only launched another round of events. Death had no deterrent left, so the demon that broke free began to act on its own.
Sarah Goldberg as Claire, Beth’s friend. Frame from the film.
Apparently, the main goal was to drive Beth to suicide. After all, suicides do not go to heaven, and their souls go to the devil. Therefore, the heroine was given the necessary settings: constant memories of her husband, someone else’s presence, which only intensifies depression.
If we consider the hidden meaning of the film The Night House from the point of view of Owen’s story, then it can be expressed as follows: love is stronger than death. Owen killed himself to save the woman he loved, and Beth did not commit suicide in order to preserve the memory of her husband.