When their beach getaway is interrupted by some unexpected guests, a young couple will find a more unnerving arrival awaits. Starring Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber and Maryanne Nagel, The Beach House is the latest release from SHUDDER and serves as the debut film for director Jeffrey A. Brown. While a mild call to the genre-bending sci-fi films of past, this film delivers some unsuspecting horrors that give the indie an identity all its own.
In order to reignite their dwindling romantic flame, Randall takes Emily to his family vacation home for some alone time. The two have been failing to see eye-to-eye on some major life events and the weekend is their last effort to patch things. Their tranquil getaway is interrupted by the arrival of Mitch, an old friend of Randall’s father, and his wife Jane.
The couples sit down for a dinner that night, in order to better get to know each other, before going about with their respective weekends. As the conversation and wine flows, Randall offers up an extra treat, which sends them all on their own individual trippy mind adventures. The next morning, things seem a bit off and Emily is concerned with the wellbeing of both Mitch and Jane. She begins to worry that what they are experiencing may be something beyond a drug-induced haze.
I went into The Beach House expecting somewhat of a typical slow-burn horror film, one where the isolation of its setting serves as the biggest sense of unease. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the isolation bit as more of a background character than a crutch to build on suspense. Its beachy aesthetic is anything but relaxing, with the sound of the waves serving as a disembodied, unnerving experience; rather than the calming sound we typically hear.
While it positions itself as a recognizable thriller, it flips in an unsuspecting way, as it transitions so smoothly to this science fiction tale; that beautifully blends a series of genres and does something uniquely it’s own. As the nightmare unravels, there are some great practical effects that will leave you squirming in your seat.
During quarantine life, I’ve really been powering through all the horror films I can. I’m left disappointed by many for relying on predictable ideas, that just leave the entire thing mangled in the end. This film felt very refreshing for once. It eloquently wraps up its story, without giving everything away. And while you may be wanting to see more, it doesn’t leave you with a sense of disappointment by the ambiguity.
The Beach House is such a strange, yet wonderful, film the has a toe dipped in so many genres. It’s a thriller with body horror elements, that dives into this environmental apocalyptic film – it’s truly hard to place it into a category. If you’re a subscriber to SHUDDER, I highly recommend adding this to your watch list. And if you are not a current subscriber, fear not, you can sign-up for a 30-day free trial with promo code SHUTIN on Shudder.com.
THE BEACH HOUSE is available on SHUDDER July 9th
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