RHODY LIFE

At the Warwick Showcase

Posted 8/25/21

At the Warwick Showcase

THE NIGHT HOUSE

**½

(Psychological horror)

The problem with “The Night House” is that it doesn’t know whether to be a psychological drama …

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RHODY LIFE

At the Warwick Showcase

Posted

THE NIGHT HOUSE

**½

(Psychological horror)

The problem with “The Night House” is that it doesn’t know whether to be a psychological drama or just another dumb horror flick.

The movie starts out with great promise and ends up leaving you asking, “Say what?”

Rebecca Hall is great as Beth. We meet her as she is returning to her lakefront house after burying her husband.

Owen took a boat out into the lake and blew his brains out, and no one knew why.

Beth has nightmares. She hears strange noises. She wakes up on the floor in different rooms. She sees strange things and people.

She drinks a lot.

Is Owen talking to her from the great beyond?

Beth digs into his possessions, trying to find a reason for why he killed himself.

There are loads of clues. Or are they red herrings?

She discovers some very odd and disturbing things about his past.

Ominous music plays throughout. Beth’s reactions range from fear to a cavalier response to friends who try to help. Hall’s emotions are picture perfect.

And then we wait for a big ending that explains or at least hints at why things happened.

Like too many of this genre, there is major violence at the end.

And like too many movies, the ending is completely unsatisfying.

Rated a big R with violence, profanity and a few scary moments.

At the Avon

CODA

****

(Poignant, humorous story of a deaf family)

The big winner at the Sundance Film Festival this year is a charming, humorous, poignant tale of a deaf family and their CODA, or “Child of Deaf Adults.”

Emilia Jones plays 17-year-old Ruby, a high school senior in Gloucester, Massachusetts, who is bullied by the other students because of her stilted speech and fishy smell, coming to school after early morning fishing duties with her father and brother.

Ruby loves to sing, even though her family can’t hear her. She joins the school choir and is encouraged to apply to Berklee when her taskmaster choir director sees a special talent within her.

She teams with a young male student for a duet in the school concert and they fall in love.

Meanwhile, conflict arises in the local fishing industry as fishermen fight to make a living under falling prices for their fish.

Conflict also arises within the family as Ruby tries to balance her singing with serving as the interpreter for the family.

Her G-rated interpretation of her father’s R-rated language is hysterical, as are a few antics between her father and mother.

Deaf actress Marlee Matlin, who plays Ruby’s mother, brings a true sense of authenticity to her role and the entire film.

A scene where the family attends her concert is heart-rending, as we see the performance through their eyes.

We won’t tell you the ending, but bring a handkerchief for some joyful tears.

movies, cinema, film

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