Next up on our Halloween marathon journey, the sparse marathon that I’ve seemed to make bad choices all over the place on movies that only seem to have horror elements to this point. However, this one is a home invasion Netflix original horror called The Open House released earlier this year.
Let’s check it out!
The Open House (2018)
Directors (and writers): Matt Angel & Suzanne Coote
Cast: Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Patricia Bethune, Sharif Atkins, Aaron Abrams, Katie Walder
A teenager and his mother find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house. – IMDB
Running at a little over 90 minutes, The Open House shouldn’t have been a chore to watch. Its a reasonable length but all this movie did was feel like a waste of time. It took the first half hour to set up the story and get them to the location and in the process of it all and continuing afterwards into a series of unnecessary atmospheric sounds and cliche moments and trying to create eerie moments in some unneeded parts. It feels like this movie is a lesson on less is more. Things can be normal for a moment. It doesn’t have to be intense dramatic scenes all the time. Or posing obvious questions about the odds things happening or “how weird an open house is” but then not noticing a squeaky door crack open in the hallway while standing in the kitchen, for a very basic example that packs in both nonsense and cliche together.
I don’t like calling movies waste of time because there has to be a mentality of why this movie was greenlit despite my obvious lack of entertainment for it. The lackluster part really goes down to the ending. Its never been my thing to have perfect bow-tied endings. Its nice to have vague endings in a way and while I try to stay spoiler free, I’ll talk further about what I think about the ending and what it was trying to achieve but didn’t. I could be wrong but if the movie didn’t feel like a eye-rolling cliche fest in the first place, while having a few better moments in the final act, the ending really did it in for me.
So here we go – SPOILER ALERT – highlight if you have seen the movie or don’t plan on seeing it so don’t mind reading about it:
The movie ended with pretty much everyone dead and us never really knowing who the killer is. What their purpose is is a question mark and nothing much else gets answered except our possible suspects pretty much get ruled out. The purpose behind this ending (as ridiculous as I found it) is that sometimes, the mystery is the horror that there is someone preying on open houses and the families in it. The unknown is the chilling factor here. Sometimes things don’t have reasons.
Like I said, I could be wrong, Sadly, The Open House was executed so poorly that if there was a message, it just didn’t deliver well. There are some redeeming scenes at the end when things get a little more fast-paced but for the most part, its really quite a boring affair that takes too long to start and overdoes it with cliches making it also very predictable on what will happen next. I’m rarely so harsh on films but I have pet peeves specifically about movies and this one ticked off so many of those boxes.