Review | The Open House

January 19, 2018
Daniel Hart 23
Film, Film Reviews
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The Open House review

Director Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Writer(s) Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Rating 15
Release Date January 19, 2018 (Netflix)

What’s this?

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.

Recommend?

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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21 thoughts on “Review | The Open House

  • January 19, 2018 at 8:11 pm
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    The house belonged to her sister and if it takes him 5.07 minutes to run 100m I think he’s a way off the olympics yet! It’s hard to believe in a critic who doesn’t get the facts right!

    I do agree that it was dull and had the potential to be a good story line but the fact that it all seems so random, with completely unrelated characters in it, meant it made no sense at the end. As a viewer of quite a lot of films I most definitely like a solid explanation at the end.

    • January 19, 2018 at 8:23 pm
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      Thank you for pointing about the small details I missed. I’ve amended accordingly.

      As for your points – completely agree which is ashame because I felt it held all the ingredients to be a good horror but it lacked good storytelling and direction.

    • January 23, 2018 at 6:57 pm
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      I actually thought for a Netflix film it was bloody good left on a cliff edge waiting for next one so it may have usual type of don’t go into basement and house in middle of nowhere scenario but and that’s a BIG but I really enjoyed it and if you can do better go ahead I’m a serious horror fan but loved every minute of it so WELL DONE NETFLIX WHEN IS THE SEQUEL PLEASE

  • January 19, 2018 at 10:08 pm
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    Agreed, when the end happened I kept thinking have I missed something, something that tells us who or what the hell is going on.
    I like my plot to actual have an ending, doesn’t have to be neatly wrapped up for me but at least a few basics so you can come to a conclusion.
    There was no conclusion to come to…just is that it.

  • January 20, 2018 at 1:41 am
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    I don’t know what that was. Depressing beginning, I noticed some secret financial banter between the Mom and Dad before he went for eggs.. and (WHAT), forgot the milk. My mind went everywhere..did they owe money to the wrong people? Why didn’t the Dad leave them anything? Was this some crazy revenge Snuff film. Why break all her fingers, and leave her a knife? The movie went SAW for a second then bam, son kills mom. So, was this psychological? Is this an open house Purge. Was the driver of that Bronco looking car actually the black man? Why do they hide who the evil dude is? Is this the Truman Show?…Was this supposed to give me a Black Mirror feeling? The only thing I know for sure, is I recognize that neighbor woman from True Blood…and she is still creepy as hell…

    So, thank you Netflix, I am going to go watch some Amazon Originals now. ?

  • January 20, 2018 at 1:53 am
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    Was one of the worst horror movie I ever saw left two many questions open like why r who the movie was very boring and ended horriable

  • January 20, 2018 at 2:37 am
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    Yeah, you suck at reviewing movies. You probably thought jigsaw was a good movie. Do us a favor and quit your job. The open house was a good new twist on horror movies. This is by far the worst review I have ever read. You don’t cut it as a reviewer. Go find a new job

    • January 20, 2018 at 8:11 pm
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      Sounds like you’re a relative of the writers. The movie was crap (a movie about people who get killed for who knows what reason). Total waste of time.

    • March 6, 2019 at 2:43 pm
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      If this was a bad review, please give us a good review of this movie. I think that you will have a hard time coming up with positives. The actors were good, the movie wasn’t.

  • January 20, 2018 at 3:01 am
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    By far one of the dumbest movies I’ve seen on Netflix. What was the story line? There was no point no opening no ending. The only psychological thrill was how did I waste my time watching this.

    • January 20, 2018 at 8:04 pm
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      Agreed

  • January 20, 2018 at 3:21 am
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    It’s like the screenwriter got to the 80-minute mark and had a writing block. Ridiculous, gratuitous ending. This made me angry. Stupid, unresolved and disappointing.

  • January 20, 2018 at 3:24 am
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    I feel like I wasted my time watching this movie. It is unfinished. What happened? Do you run out of money and not have time to finish this hot mess. I love horror movies. The only thing horrible about this movie was the end or the lack there of.

  • January 20, 2018 at 4:05 am
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    Welp that is 90 mins I will never get back! So many unanswered questions and I’m not sure if I even care to know anymore

  • January 20, 2018 at 4:07 am
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    I hated the ending! I’m home alone with my kids so the initial premise felt creepy to me ? but the ending?! Come on! My only hope is a possible sequel just so we can get some freaking answers!

  • January 20, 2018 at 2:43 pm
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    The ending was meant to drive home Logan’s statement to his mother about how creepy open houses are. Opening up your house to strangers and the realtor not checking your house after to make sure all is well. Someone could easily stay behind, hiding and waiting in your home to do terrible things. It was random, there was no explanation, just a crazy guy preying on unsuspecting home sellers. It clild have been done way better, but the message was clear.

    • January 21, 2018 at 8:59 am
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      Thank you! Finally someone gets it! I rather enjoyed the movie. Granted, ya, it definitely had potential to be a lot stronger with the story. But i rather enjoyed that the typical jump scares weren’t there, but made the audience think they were coming. I’ve seen others say the movie had timing flaws. No, this was done purposefully i believe. I.e.the tunnel scene in the basement, the build up, then nah, just a dead end. Then he falls thru the stair haha! This movie was real life. Totally believable. It Could happen. Ok the ending, the “bad guy” some crazy vengeful psycho murderer. It just happens. Sometimes murder has no answers. But it gives a sense of true actual life scenarios. The mom is scared and helpless. The son is brave for his mom, but has no clue what to do. What would real people do in that situation? Too many movies are filled with unrealistic resolutions. Heroes; everything going a little too choreographed. Real life situations don’t always have answers people.
      I think this movie was a fair attempt at a fresh new take on horror movies/ psychological thrillers. The acting was not too shabby as well.

  • January 21, 2018 at 4:10 am
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    Please god….give me that time back!

  • January 21, 2018 at 6:00 am
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    Worst thing was the hype that made me watch it. Don’t hype something that has nothing. If the message was “open houses are kinda weird?” That’s stupid, that’s not a concept

  • January 22, 2018 at 1:27 am
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    Awful. Boring. Theatre 101 teaches RESOLUTION at the end…what a waste of money paying actors, screenwriter, etc. pointless

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  • March 6, 2019 at 2:39 pm
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    I think something must have been left on the cutting room floor. This movie was so slow and had no direction. There was no real reason for anything that happened. Why wouldn’t she call her sister and tell her what was going on? It is her house, after all. I really like Dylan Minnnette as an actor. The premise of this movie had so much potential, yet did nothing with it.

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