The Night House Investigated and Explained

The Night House Investigated and Explained
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The Night House Investigated and Explained. Halloween Season is here – and today we have a great movie for the season. This is a super smooth, gorgeously design investigative story about grief and the great beyond. The Night House is the antithesis of all things slasher Halloween movies. This is not a Jason unhinged with a chainsaw movie. Rather, it’s more of a slow burn investigation into the world of addiction, and torment, and the duplicity of those we think we know best. It’s a movie that, since you are here at THiNC., will suit you best… trust me. It’s a fun investigation and it doesn’t shy away from a really scary moment or two. But the thing that I enjoyed most was the complexity of the characters and the explanation. Which, I’m almost certain, 90% of viewers have no idea what is going on here. But that’s why we are here together! Let’s talk about it from beginning to end – and at the end? We can see what we can make of that crazy ending. 

This should go without saying – but please don’t continue if you haven’t seen the movie yet. 

The Night House Walkthrough

The film tells the story of Beth (Rebecca Hall) who has just suffered a stunning blow – her husband, Owen (played by Evan Jonigkeit), has committed suicide. Beth is exceedingly unclear as to why he did it. And it’s really bothering her because if anyone was going to commit suicide, it was going to be her, not Owen. So, WHY? It didn’t add up to me either. Hrmmm. What could be going on here? 

As the stress of this situation sort of increases, and the pieces add up less and less, Beth begins digging deeper and deeper into Owen’s life even as she starts throwing out his stuff. Eventually she starts hearing things at night… even knocking at the door. Notice how she opens the door to let the evil in? 100% happens in every horror movie. The person allows the evil in explicitly through some doing of their own. Now that you know this little Horror nuance, you’ll see it in every horror movie that you watch, promise. Back to the story, she starts going through all his stuff, and starts seeing weird things about architecture, confusing patterns, mazes, tricks, and other weird nuances. What was Owen into? What was going on here?

As Beth digs deeper into Owens’ things, and into his books, and as she tries to figure out what Owen has been doing, s he starts to find photos of women on his phone and computer that look nearly identical to her. Eh? And eventually, she tracks down one of the women by finding the bookstore where he had been getting his books from. Eventually Beth and this other woman begin talking, and she learns a lot from this doppelgänger of a female. She learns that Owen invited her to come to the house, where he showed her the second house. She learned that he crafted it backwards from the other house, and while there, he began to choke her… but then stopped when she asked him to. Wow. And after that? He took her back home… safe and sound.

What is that all about? What was Owen up to? First there is this backwards house. Then next there is this matter of the woman look-a-likes.

In time we discover that Beth actually died at the age of seventeen. She was in a horrible car accident, and she was gone for four minutes. And while there, crossed to the other side, she realized that there was nothing in the great beyond. If anything it was just one horrible tunnel, no light, no nothing. And it was this realization that made Beth depressed most of her adult life. Owen though, was always wanting to encourage her that there was something beyond death. That there was a reason to live here, and that these experiences here made their experiences across the great divide matter. But when Owen committed suicide, his suicide not explicitly pointed out that there was nothing on the other side. Why? Seems like a horribly cruel trick to play on someone, even if true.

Eventually, after the night terrors, and the night chaos, continues Beth figures out that there, in the second house, under the floor boards, are a number of women’s remains that look just like her. WHAT?!? Owen? Her lovely, stable husband, not only committed suicide, but he is also a serial killer? Something is wrong with this picture. Like, horribly wrong. I mean, even to us, the viewer, it just seems so terribly disjointed and doesn’t make a lick of sense. But maybe all of this cultic maze stuff, and weird voodoo doll stuff, all equates to weird ritual murderous craziness? (hint, no… no it doesn’t.)

Then, after one particularly crazy encounter in the bathroom between Beth, and who she thought was Owen… (hint, it wasn’t – btw, I got so ASMR’d -goosebumped during this scene – it really freaked me out, just saying) she is flipped into this right angled world… where she is convinced to go out into the boat, in the lake. And she is given the gun, and she’s convinced she needs to kill herself. But thankfully, her friend swung by to do a wellness check on her, and she found her in the boat. And just in time, she intervenes to keep her from committing suicide. THE END.

The Night House Investigated and Explained

“Uh. Pardon? What? That? That is the ending?” “Yup. Why?” “But, um… I mean. It doesn’t make any sense at all.” “Sure it does. Why? I mean, it’s all right there… and phew, thankfully Beth is safe!” “Sure, we are all glad Beth is safe… but I was sort of hoping for an explanation… you know, as to why Owen was a serial murderer?” “Oh, he wasn’t. Yeah, that wasn’t a thing.” “WHAT?! OWEN ISN’T A MURDERER?” “Dude, calm. Calm down. No, he wasn’t.”

“I’m calm. Everything is fine. But, could you do me like, a huge solid, and just walk me back through it again… from the beginning? And this time, explain what the hell, sorry… heck, what the heck happened?” “Uh, okay. Sure.”

Let’s take this re-walk through chronologically… shall we? Might help make more sense to those of you that are still confused.

  • At 17 – Beth dies in a car accident.
  • And when she returns back to the land of the living, she brings a demon with her that is determined to murder her.
  • This demon manifested itself in depression and a desire to commit suicide.
  • Soon though, Beth meets Owen, and Owen is determined to protect her.
  • The demon begins effecting Owen, and twisting him into killing Beth – but he can’t do that.
  • And in order to protect Beth, he begins studying how to confuse spirits with tricks, architecture, confusing patterns, mazes, reversed blueprints, etc.
  • And the tricks worked, sort of… mostly.
  • But when they didn’t, Owen realized he needed to surround himself with women that looked like Beth in order to trick the spirit into thinking they were her.
  • Occasionally though, the spirit would win… would break Owen’s will, and would convince him to kill Beth, or force him to actually.
  • Thankfully, he had confused the spirit into thinking that this other woman was Beth, even though she wasn’t.
  • Thus the dead women in the inverted house.
  • But what about Owen’s suicide?? Great question.
  • Having been thwarted by Owen too many times, the spirit just decided to force Owen to commit suicide… Owen was murdered by the spirit.
  • And the note? That was an evil last communication crafted by the spirit to break Beth’s heart and mind.
  • It was written to convince Beth to commit suicide and finally give the demon what it was that it wanted.
  • But she eventually realizes what was happening, and refuses the demon the satisfaction, she refuses to commit suicide.
  • The end.

See? Owen loved Beth eternally… and was only trying his best to protect her. He saw the spiritual war that was happening over her soul, and he was doing everything he possibly could to keep her safe. If it meant a few women were accidentally killed? Yeah, sad, but he had to do what he had to do to keep Beth safe. He didn’t anticipate though that the demon would eventually come for him instead. Which is how he ended up losing the advantage, and ended up getting him killed.

My Thoughts on The Night House

I really enjoyed this slick little thriller. It was cleverly played, and had a ton of really intriguingly insightful commentaries on life, and on love. Loved the way the production designers created a demon out of the negative spaces of the house. Really was an Escher-esque experience that was fun to see happening. The way in which the movie squirreled away all the details we needed to know in order to put all the pieces back together again was amazing. But for those of you that came away from the film thinking it was just a commentary on the sadness of suicide, and loss? You really missed the deeper story that was going on here. Trust me, that isn’t what this movie was about. Not even a little bit.

Want to watch my video breakdown of this movie? Check it out right here on Patreon!

Edited by: CY