Review | The Open House
The Open House review
|Director||Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote|
|Writer(s)||Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote|
|Release Date||January 19, 2018 (Netflix)|
At a first lazy glance, on a late night Netflix binge, you could easily mistake The Open House as a movie-sequel to the TV series 13 Reasons Why. Dylan Minnette returns as Clay Jensen, rocked by recent revelations at his high school, and moves into his aunt’s house temporarily with his mother. Strange things happen.
Okay, stop fooling around. What’s The Open House really about?
The latter was true. Dylan actually plays Logan, an aspiring high school athlete who took the fatal blow of watching his father get run over. Logan and his grieving mother (Piercey Dalton) are helpless with cash and have zero home plans. The father virtually left them nothing. The mother’s sister is selling her house, but in the meantime has offered them a lifeline; they can live in it until sold, however, there is an open house every Sunday. Of course, the Netflix Original film is not all that it seems. The Open House is not just about an open house.
What’s wrong with the house?
Honestly, nothing really. It is not the house that is the problem – I think. Unfortunately, you never really understand what the issue actually is. Moments surface where Logan hears a bang or the mother keeps experiencing sudden cold showers, which is something I suffer from every day as my partner conveniently uses hot water in the kitchen everytime I attempt to clean myself: we do not have a combi-boiler yet.
Anyway, The Open House has the usual generic tropes of a 90-minute horror. Is the house in the woodlands in the middle of nowhere? Check. Is the house abnormally large and spacious? Check. Are the villagers in the ultra secluded town nosey and oddly weird? Check. Is there a basement where the broken boiler resides? Check. Is one character cynical whilst the other is suspicious? Check. Netflix wanted a horror movie, they got one. It is offensive that they feel their audiences are so easily pleased.
I guess you did not like this Netflix Original?
I didn’t not like it. The Open House serves nothing to irritate or excite. The entire thing is a played-out scenario. Despite the movie having a respectable running time, you feel shortchanged. The house does have strange occurrences and it is clear that someone is playing with the two characters. The people that visit are purposefully strange. The film provides moments for Logan where he has dreams or visions about his father. There is an old lady that is very obsessed with the house. Directors and writers Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote have forcefully placed a few themes in this horror, making it boringly vague. And it’s vague for a reason; there is not an answer. For complex and meaningful horror movies this works but for this, it feels lazy.
The Open House blatantly has suspense issues as well. The jump scares are not well timed and it feels plagued with filler scenes to get to the core objective. By the time we get to the usual survival act, it feels rather bland and uninteresting.
Are the performances bad as well?
The performance by Dylan Minnette is almost a replica of his performance in 13 Reasons Why. You sense the character has a similar background. He even wears the same style of clothes. The performances are not bad, it is just easy to observe that particular aspect.
The way the movie ended made me convinced there will be a sequel, but unfortunately, The Open House ticks genre boxes but has a watery story backing it.
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