Monday, July 6, 2020

The Beach House - Movie Review

The Movie: The Beach House

The Director: Jeffrey A Brown

The Cast: Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber and Maryanne Nagel

The Story: A romantic getaway for two troubled college sweethearts turns into a struggle for survival when unexpected guests - and the surrounding environment - exhibit signs of a mysterious infection.

The Review:
Jeffrey A. Brown, whose Hollywood career has mostly been as a location manager according to his IMDB page and now, with his first feature directorial effort he has managed to locate a story that horror fans should surely enjoy. Taking cues from films like The Mist and Annihilation, Brown goes deeper into the psychological side of things with a very intimate and claustrophobic tale that leans into science fiction in some very subtle ways while firmly holding onto its horror premise as well.

The story is more creepy and subtle than shocking or scary which isn't a bad thing at all and there are a few bits of gore thrown in because why not. I will say that the beginning of the movie is a little confusing as we are introduced to the primary couple in the movie Emily and Randall played by Liana Liberato and Noah Le Gros who are looking to patch up their past by spending time at Randall's family beach house. That's always a solid set up so no worries there but then we get another couple thrown in sort of by accident and there are some weird subplots about drugs and family history or something, none of which is really explored after they are brought up, except for some drug enhanced awkwardness that didn't really make sense either. Ultimately you need expendable bodies so there they are and once we get through all that, the story kicks into high gear and doesn't miss a beat from then on.

Brown slowly reveals what's happening with this mysterious fog or bacteria or whatever it is and things actually get more interesting as those pieces fall into place. Liberato's character is an aspiring astrobiologist (look it up, it's actually pretty cool) so she is actually well equipped to deal with this mysterious mess her and her boyfriend have found themselves in and, while she is as confused and scared as anyone else, you can tell there is an underlying current of understanding that leads to the conclusion of the story. I really feel like Liberato's performance is one of the keys to why this movie works as well as it does. She seems to have a complete understanding of the genre and how to have her character react in believable ways and especially when the stuff really starts to hit the fan.

The Verdict:
The Beach House is the type of dark and creepy horror movie I love to kick back and watch on a Saturday night with the lights turned off. It's not going to scare the crap out of you, but it will keep you on edge, Liana Liberato gives a strong performance, and the movie should satisfy most of your late night genre cravings.

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