A romantic getaway for two troubled college sweethearts turns into a struggle for survival when unexpected guests - and the surrounding environment - exhibit signs of a mysterious infection.

Director:

Jeffrey A. Brown
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Liana Liberato ... Emily
Noah Le Gros ... Randall
Jake Weber ... Mitch
Maryann Nagel Maryann Nagel ... Jane
Michael Brumfield Michael Brumfield ... Police Officer
Matt Maisto Matt Maisto ... Creature in basement
Steven Corkin Steven Corkin ... Infected neighbor
Dan Zakarija Dan Zakarija ... CB Radio Voice
Veronica Fellman Veronica Fellman ... Radio
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Storyline

A young couple head to a beach house to spend some quality time and finds it peaceful when they don't encounter any neighbors around. Their quality time is interrupted by the arrival of unexpected guests and as if that wasn't bad enough, a mysterious fog along with a mysterious infection is slowly spreading around. Written by Fella_shibby@yahoo.com

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college | See All (1) »

Taglines:

wish you were here


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jake Weber's second film on infectious disease. The first one being 2004's Dawn of the Dead. See more »

Goofs

Movie is from 2019 and does not seem to be set in the past, yet a pair of teenagers and an older couple don't have a mobile phone to call for help. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Theory: Hazbin Hotel, There Is NO Redemption! (2021) See more »

User Reviews

 
Some Entertainment Washes up on the Shore of The Beach House, yet it has Not Nearly Enough Horror or Explanation to be a Satisfying Horror Hit
19 July 2020 | by totalovrdoseSee all my reviews

The Beach House contains themes and ideas akin Prometheus, The Fog, Trespassers, The Creature Below and the more recent, The Color Out of Space, with a unique focus on astrobiology. Despite some of the aforementioned films listed, keep in mind this is very much an independent feature.

The film centers on Emily (Liana Liberato), who has returned to her boyfriend, Randall (Noah Le Gros). Their relationship is, shall we say, turbulent. To patch things up, he invites her to his family's beach house. Upon arrival however, it is not as vacant as they were led to believe, with Mitch (Jake Weber) and his wife, Jane (Maryann Nagel) currently occupying it. Unlike other creature-oriented thrillers, this does not lead to an all-out war of words. Instead, both couples calmly allow the other to stay. After some beach-side shenanigans, they begin to notice inexplicable phenomena happening in the area, resulting in, let's say, further weirdness.

The use of camera shots lingering on water and food, with a tense, foreboding non-diegetic soundtrack, adds to the movie's ominous appeal. Director Jeffrey A. Brown delightfully shows us beautiful wide angles of nature, before zooming in to show the potential threat hiding in plain sight, subtly growing the film's disturbing ambiance. Additionally, the use of ultra-violet fluorescent colors in some of the environments adds to the alien atmosphere, while the use of bright and grainy camera shots to show the affect the surrounds are having on characters is a nice touch.

The film is not particularly blood-thirsty; that said, the mild sequences of body horror are very effective and will leave anyone feeling squeamish. Similar to The Thing, The Beach House infuses the narrative with a fear of having the body physically invaded by another entity, while making us second guess everything we put into our stomachs.

The film is quite slow however, with the unease and tension creeping along. Brown demands his audience have patience, giving elusive clues that said patience will be rewarded. In a movie just over 80 minutes in length, it takes well over half of the run time before (to keep this review PG rated) crap gets real.

Emily never becomes a 'dragon slayer', instead using her scientific knowledge to solve some of the conflicts. At the same time though, she, and others, randomly make decisions that are typical silly horror movie clichés, which can seem glaringly contradictory.

For all of the credit I give to the horror aspects of the film, and despite the occasional grotesque nature of the content, it wasn't as terror-inducing as I was hoping for. This is caused by two factors.

One, characterization, or lack-of. In describing the main characters, I can say: Jane is ill; Mitch is a husband; Randall wants to spend his life vacationing; Emily wants to undertake a postgraduate science course and ummm....ummm....yeah, that's about it. I didn't know nearly enough about the characters to genuinely care about them when things went wrong. Combined with the occasional bizarre behavior and mild unease between the couples, it can be difficult to establish a close-bond with all of them as the film wants us to question whether everyone can be trusted. You can't have it both ways, film.

This is not helped by the addendum we are thrown straight into the deep end in the movie's opening. This is a daring move, and fits perfectly with Brown's aesthetic of show don't tell. I don't mind playing catch-up, yet there is so much merely alluded to, that it can be hard to clearly know things we ought to in the moment. Example, when Emily and Randall arrive, I had no idea if Mitch and Jane were supposed to be there or not, because it had not been established.

Second, there is no real sustained threat, as we don't concretely know what 'it' is. Again, I admire the use of show don't tell, and this fits perfectly with the Lovecraftian theme of the unknowable that Brown taps into. I understand, the less we know about something, the more we should fear it. To be frank though, all horror movies have rules. Example; in a slasher, we usually know; who is the bad guy; what are they doing; how will they do it. Maybe not the best comparison, but in this film, we see quite a lot, and yet none of it really fits. At the start of the movie we see an incomplete puzzle, and that is a good metaphor for the film's horror; there are lots of pieces, but there is no evolution to it.

The Beach House is a film that will leave you with a lot more questions than answers. It is not a movie that holds your hand, and so much of what is shown could be interpreted in over a dozen ways. This is a good thing, though this narrative decision will frustrate about as many viewers as it enthralls.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Beach House See more »

Filming Locations:

North Truro, Massachusetts, USA

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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