The Night House Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The Night House is a horror film from David Bruckner, the creator of the famous horror “Ritual” & the series “Kaleidoscope of Horrors”. Filmed in 2019, but was released to a wide audience in home video format only in October 2021. The main idea of ​​The Night House is voiced by the film director and screenwriters as follows: to help each viewer understand what scares him more – “the belief that ghosts really exist, or the realization that they really do not exist.”

To fully penetrate the intention of the authors, what you see must be perceived both as a psychological thriller and as a mystical horror. The filmmakers cleverly mix the occult and ritual details with mysticism and paranormal phenomena, adding to this the horrific deeds of people, their everyday and mortal sins. In fact, David Bruckner turned out to be a dramatic slowburner about how a person tries to survive the grief that “covered him with his head”.

Architect Owen suddenly committed suicide, leaving his wife Beth a strange farewell note. It says that now she will “definitely be safe.” Grieving for the loss of a loved one, a woman is trying to find out the truth about what really pushed him to such an act. She returns to the family home built by Owen on the shore of the lake: sorting through the deceased’s belongings, reviewing the home video archive, indulging in memories and drowning out the heartache with alcohol.

In dreams, the widow begins to see their house from a former life, but upside down and mirrored. It is not idyllic, but ominous: the corpses of women are hidden under the floorboards, outwardly very similar to her. One day, Beth takes the boat in which her husband shot himself to the other side of the lake. There, a double of their house also appears before her, but it is unfinished and empty. Some of the circumstances seem very strange to her. Neighbor Mel, who loves to hunt in the protected forest, has never seen this building. And one of the women from the photos found on her husband’s laptop – Madeleine – claims that she and Owen met there. He almost strangled her during the kiss.

Beth has a question: who was the person with whom she lived for 15 years (an exemplary family man, a simple womanizer or a serial killer). And his architectural developments are beginning to unfold from the other side. The bottom line is that architecture is at the same time the personification of love and the dark secrets of its creator. Every house has a hint of what’s going on, but none of them can give the full picture. A woman’s life depends on whether she can put the puzzle together correctly out of these real and imaginary houses.

Once in a kind of purgatory between denial and acceptance, the main character begins to feel the cold breath of the underworld. She sees a ghostly something, which she at first takes to be the spirit of Owen. Beth even tries to hug him and talk to him. But the infernal essence explains that it is Nothing (or Void), which was once seen by a woman. Here her story about a car accident pops up. After the accident, Beth experienced clinical death. When she “returned”, she claimed that there was nothing there. It turns out that the Nothing (or the Void) personifying death was offended by these words and got out into our world in order to finally take Beth to him.

A year ago, Owen realized that his wife was being pursued by an otherworldly force. He decided to protect her. He built a mirror copy of The Night House of the lake, likening it to the occult construction of the caerdoy – the earthen labyrinth of the Welsh shepherds. But he failed to lure the demonic essence into this trap. Then the man decided to deceive the paranormal creature and kill a woman who looked like Beth. The monster figured out his trick and demanded that Owen kill his wife. He committed suicide when he realized that an unknown force was about to subdue him to his will and force him to harm his beloved.

In giving his life, the husband failed to keep Beth safe. Nothing (or Void) is the personification of Death, which continues to attack the victim and demands from her to “repay the debt.” In the final shots, a distraught and morally destroyed Beth is sure that she has nothing to live for. The battle with the unknown evil is lost. She tries to kill herself exactly like Owen did. With a pistol in his hands, he gets into the boat and sails to the middle of the lake to shoot himself. However, the desperate scream of her friend Claire, who ran out onto the pier, brings her out of a trance. And finally “return” Mel’s words that no one except her sees the outlines of the demon in the boat.

This story, invented by screenwriters Collins and Piotrowski, touches on universal themes about death and the afterlife, tells about the difficulties of overcoming grief and loneliness. The meaning of the film is that a woman finds the strength to live on, comes to terms with her loss, lets go of the situation that destroys her psyche. And the authors also ask questions: is it possible to really know another person well; where lie the true causes of our psychological fear of the unknown and unknown. In essence, The Night House is an artistic analysis of human tendencies towards dark things and ways to free oneself from depression, anxiety and self-destruction.

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