The Open House (2018) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Open House (2018) Review

Horrorific content by TE Simmons on July 13th, 2021 | Movie Review | Killer, Single Mom

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It’s about an overwhelmed mom and her son relocating to a splendid, remote, and dangerous home.

The Open House was co-directed and co-written by Matt Angel (who does a cameo here as “Cop #1” and who once guest-starred on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) and Suzanne Coote (who also has a cameo in this film, as a waitress). It stars Dylan Minnette (from Don’t Breathe) as boy-scream-queen/track star Logan Wallace along with Piercey Dalton (from The Orchard, another real-estate themed flick) as his mother, Naomi. 

What if a house is so expensively massive that a malevolent intruder could remain undetected?

Open House Review

An open house, to a real estate broker, represents a sales method by which potential buyers are lured in with free look-sees. In most contexts, being “open” signifies a wholesome quality – such as in having an “open heart” or adopting an “open door” policy. But houses are not supposed to be open. They’re supposed to be secured for their inhabitants.

When an open house takes place, the inhabitants are temporarily evicted and the interior fills with gawking strangers. An open house is unnatural and even a little perverted. A house – like a wound or a marriage – is one of those things that is not meant to be open. Thus, although it might not sound like the sexiest title or theme for a horror film, it’s a commonly reused one. Consider Open House (1987) and Open House (2010). Plus, there’s this one, The Open House (2018), and, unfortunately, it does not have a lot going for it.

Still, the “sandwich method” of criticism demands two praises for every opprobrium. To that end, I offer these observations:

1. The Open House effectively conveys the disorientation of the recently widowed Naomi and her teenage son, Logan, then magnifies their misery by having them uprooted. They relocate to Naomi’s sister’s home which is empty, but on the market and scheduled for weekly open houses.

The economic straits of the damaged family are dire; their emotional reserves and their bank balances are zeroed out and only exacerbated by extreme lavishness of their temporary abode – with a kitchen with more square footage than most living rooms. They feel truly trapped there, and out of place. Add in some mild ghost pranks, like a misplaced cell phone and a missing pair of glasses, and their dysfunction spirals.

2. The scene in which Naomi and her son return to the home to find the table set and a heartwarming “Silent Night” playing on the hi-fi is supposed to be horrifying. It’s not. It’s more like the scene from Beetlejuice where the possessed dinner guests do some Harry Belafonte lip synching, only less funny.

3. The producers of The Open House do have some pluck in managing a film budget. Those special effects and virtuoso editors can be pricey. So, we don’t get any Rick Baker prosthetics, nor a Psycho shower scene, but we do get a shower scene (two, actually) where the water temperature mysteriously goes from hot – to cold. Just like that! (Cue spooky music.)

Worth Watching?

No. In case you’re not aware of the fact, it’s a seller’s market in real estate right now. Take a pass on this one.

Open House Review (2018) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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