Good evening Gals and Ghouls and welcome back to Nightscrawlers. As many of you may have noticed, I have a thing for horror movies. Especially those of which many people think are either no good, or are very loosely labelled as “horror” when most people see it fall into a thriller or drama category. Tonight I want to discuss a movie that I recently watched on Netflix called The Open House. If you want to hear more about this surprisingly “meh” movie, scroll down.
***WARNING: SPOILER ALERT – IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS FILM AND DON’T WANT THE ENDING SPOILED FOR YOU, PLEASE SKIP OVER THE SYNOPSIS. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.***
The Open House is a brand-new Netflix Original movie starring a young rising actor named Dylan Minnette. You may have seen this young man in films including “13 Reasons Why” and “Don’t Breathe”. With a highly budgeted horror film like the latter on his resume, one can only imagine what he could bring to a small screen flick! Unfortunately, this film was not as fulfilling as I had hoped. But more on that later.
Following the tragic death of their loving father and husband, Logan and his mom Naomi move into a secluded mountain side home owned by Naomi’s sister. Logan was a high school track star in his last years of school, when everything was put on hold so he and his mother could rebuild their lives following the tragedy that, unfortunately, Logan witnessed first-hand. The only catch for them staying in this beautiful, massive home, is that they must stay off of the property during the weekly open houses as the owners were trying to sell their vacation home.
Things seemed a little bit off from the get go as the closest neighbours and “friendly” small-town people gave off a creepy vibe. Logan and his mom shrugged this off as people who don’t get to see new faces very often. Following the first open house during their stay, bizarre things started happening. Doors were opening on their own, phone calls were coming in that were simply echoes of sounds in the home, and most suspicious of them all, the hot water heater’s pilot light continuously went out only when Naomi was in the shower. No matter how many times they would go down to the (super scary) basement to relight the pilot, it would keep going out every single time.
Tensions started building when Naomi accused Logan of causing all of the weird phone calls and blowing out the pilot light while she was showering. Relatively early on, Logan’s phone mysteriously disappears, and drama begins when Naomi finds it right next to the hot water heater, allegedly proving that he was in fact the one who was messing with the heater in the first place. In the midst of this tension, whilst out of the house, they are alerted to a break-in at the home. When they arrive back at the house, nothing is stolen, however the door is open and all of the furniture is moved around and music is playing. Following this, things started feeling a little more normal for a while.
Finally, one night everything goes completely to hell and the unnamed intruder breaks in and essentially everyone dies. I don’t want to say how because that would be giving a little too much away (even though I totally gave away the ending here…. Sorry!)
The Good Parts
There are a lot of really great things about this movie that sent shivers down my spine. If you’re not a fan of creepy AF basements, please, for the love of God, do not watch this film. The whole film seems to revolve around the strangeness and eeriness of the basement of the mountain side house. People go down there and don’t come back out until all of a sudden they’re seen days later out in public, it’s always pitch black because there aren’t any friggin’ lights, and on top of all of this, one area of the basement is never fully explored… The old, brick lined hallway to the right of the staircase.
These filmmakers were brilliant and making me come to conclusions of my own, and making me think I knew what was going to happen, even when I was TOTALLY wrong. They also make me hate the fact that I wear glasses. The main character, Logan, is basically blind without his glasses on or contacts in, and the intruder completely takes advantage of this in the middle of the night. Yeah, this dude comes in on multiple occasions before the climax of the film.
These are the good things I have to note – however, there are a lot of bad things we need to discuss as well.
The Bad Parts
So many things in this movie make absolutely no sense in retrospect. I understand the reason why the filmmakers included them; attempting to throw the viewer off of the track of what’s actually going on, but it really didn’t have that affect on me.
Obviously, going into this movie I assumed it was going to be some sort of home invasion movie considering it’s called “The Open House”, but the way the story progresses, it almost makes me think that it’s going to be some twisted cult-like film that involves stalkers and maybe even sacrifice or something along those lines. When the friendly neighbourhood dude disappears into the basement of the house and seemingly never leaves, it makes me think that he is probably involved and that whatever is going to happen is going to explain why he went down there and why he was so creepy about it. Unfortunately, those questions are literally never answered.
For days this mother and son duo are tormented by haunting phone calls and doors opening on their own and loud bangs coming from the basement, and it gets to the point where you think something crazy dark has got to be happening here. But nope. Sorry to ruin all the fun, but that’s not what’s going on. Another thing that lead me towards the “cult” theory, is when they arrive after the break in and the dining room furniture is set up in the main living room and the phone is on the table and a familiar song is playing. But again… nope. It’s all just things to leave you saying… “What?” at the end of the film.
The ending is infuriating because in reality, the intruder is just some dude who drives around to different open houses and hides away for a couple of days so he can kill the people who live there.
That’s it. That’s all.
What Others Have To Say
“‘The Open House’ is a Deeply Frustrating, Cliched Wreck.” – Bloody Disgusting (www.bloody-disgusting.com)
“A disappointing case of ‘How Did That Get There?'” – Film Inquiry (www.filminquiry.com)
“Don’t go into ‘The Open House’: Netflix’s Awful Horror Flick” – The Daily Dot (www.dailydot.com)
In summation, this movie isn’t very good. I had high hopes for it and it was all fine and dandy until the end when nothing came together and movie watchers everywhere were left saying “Wait… what?” However, if you’re anything like me and you enjoy watching bad, B-rated horror films, go ahead and give it a watch! It’s only about an hour and a half long and if you’ve got nothing better going on, then why not?
Thanks again for joining me for tonight’s edition of Nightscrawlers’ Honest Reviews. Tonight we learned that not every movie we see is going to be a hit, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth giving it a shot, right? If you have any suggestions of movies we should watch or review, please comment below and let us know.
Until next time… Keep it spooky!