The Night House is a gripping mystery, creepy supernatural thriller, and a chilling ghost story. Director David Bruckner describes his film as “both a ghost story with shades of gothic romance, and a portrait of a deeply troubled marriage. It’s a mysterious and harrowing tale of unravelling; a labyrinth that you enter at your own peril.”
Bruckner has always been attracted to the horror genre. His first film, The Ritual, as well as his earlier anthology work, have all explored themes of both supernatural and psychological fear. The same is true of The Night House’s writing team, Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, whose first film, Super Dark Times, explores paranoia and violence. When it came time for the pair to think about who could direct their script, Bruckner was an obvious choice. “David is a friend, and we always had him in mind for this movie, believing that he could bring terror to life in a unique way,” says Collins.
In The Night House, writers Collins and Piotrowski have written a supernatural puzzle that is slowly unlocked by a combination of demons and duplicates. Producer Keith Levine says, “The Night House is a descent into madness through the classic lens of a haunted house film.” Producer David Goyer adds, “What’s particularly scary about it is that the forces attacking Beth are exploiting her grief – using that wound to enter her world, and Rebecca’s tour-de-force performance really solidifies it all.”
Bruckner has a flair for creating tension, dislocation and sustained eeriness. The film leaves sinister clues throughout; an undecipherable suicide note, multiple photos of unknown women, reverse architectural plans, and a disturbing sculpture found in a secret location. Editor David Marks says, “I think of The Night House as a deconstructed ghost story. There’s a solitary, eerie atmosphere that we might expect in a genre movie. But in this case, it’s often the result of Beth seeking out the thing that frightens her rather than running from it, which creates opportunities to subvert the usual genre expectations.” Rebecca Hall, who stars as Beth adds, “Something that certainly drew me to the character is that she’s being haunted but is witty and dangerous and you don’t sit there going get out of the house! Because she’s saying ‘this is my house. Come and get me. Come on!’”
The Night House tackles themes of grief, depression, self-destruction, and the sacredness of relationships. Director Bruckner says, “the film explores the many ways we affect one another in a relationship; how vulnerable we can be to each other’s demons and the facades we maintain.”