The Night House

Yesterday I went to the cinema because I like going to the cinema and there wasn’t really a lot else to watch. The film was being shown in screen 8 and that’s my favourite of them apart from the shitty right speaker which I might have to email the cinema about, but still, a film being shown in screen 8 is a bonus. The traffic was bad heading to the cinema so I missed all the adverts which can only be considered a good thing but I’m experienced enough to know that the film normally starts 15-20 minutes after the advertised time. While checking the state of the tide I decided to take a photograph to illustrate the view I have.

The View I Check Every Cinema Visit
The View I Check Every Cinema Visit

In the picture above you can see the Medway bridges, I wrote about them here, the North Downs and a little bit of Borstal along with boats and things.

Medway Tides - Annotated
Medway Tides – Annotated

I look for the following as I drive along the esplanade.

  • A – the edge of the mud bank.
  • B – the little water channel.
  • C – the “dip”.
  • D – how high are the boats that are anchored over this side of the river.

Each of those four things and how much I can see or not tell me about the state of the tide. I suspect I probably have spent too long of my life wondering about and looking at this view – who cares anyway?

After watching the film I rated it on IMDB and there’re communications that deal with the rating system but the most important one is this one. At some point after I’ve rated it I tweet the result.

There are going to be spoilers ahead so you should consider yourself warned that I will give away a lot of the film plot points in the next few paragraphs. Overall I actually nearly enjoyed this film. About halfway through I remember trying to work out whether I cared about the main character or whether I was just staying in the theatre to see how it ends and it turned out I actually wanted to know how the person coped. Now, let me point out something I think film makers need to know:

You don’t need fucking pop-scares to make a film scary.

I Parish

It was a touch annoying, for me, that this film could have been a decent psychological thriller and an investigation into a woman’s grief for her husband and yet, for me again, it was spoilt very slightly by the supernatural aspects of it. The big problem for these films and their relationship to me is that I don’t believe in any of that shit and so I just write it off as childish. Let’s get into this in a little more detail:

One way of interpreting this film is that, following a near death experience, a malevolent spirit keeps trying to claim the “soul” he is owed by whispering to the woman’s husband that he must kill her. To avoid killing the wife he loves the husband kidnaps and murders women who looked like his wife to trick the spirit into thinking he had killed his wife. Eventually the husband kills himself to save his wife from being murdered by the spirit through him. The woman knows nothing of this until she discovers some photographs on her husbands phone and computer of women who look like her. She considers killing herself to escape the torture of the spirit who has finally decided to take her on himself rather than act through a proxy. The woman’s best friend saves her and the neighbour sees a dark shadow on a boat.

The upshot of this interpretation of the film is that spirits want what they are owed and are willing to act through someone else to get them even though they can interact with the main person themselves. They are lazy? Or just like contrived plots? I don’t know. The film seemed to want us to believe this interpretation because of the shadow at the end of the film. If the film was written with this in mind then it really opens up many many questions about an awful lot of the film and kind of removes all the mystery.

For me, a better interpretation is that, following her husbands suicide a woman descends into psychological and emotional hell. She discovers some photographs on his phone and twists her reality around to make sense of them. Slowly, she goes mad, including hitting herself onto the mirror and making up stories about finding bodies. She suffers many hallucinations, including some of extreme sexual torture. The alcohol keeps pushing her towards suicide and eventually after deciding that she needs to die to stop her emotional pain she rows out on the lake only to be found by her friend who “saves” her. Now, the film stops at this point but it would have been far more scary and mysterious if this was the acknowledged reality.

I wrote the words “extreme sexual torture” in the previous paragraph mostly because this was mentioned at the beginning of the film and close to the end of the film I found myself wondering where the sexual torture was. I didn’t really see any. There was a statuette thing that the main character found but there wasn’t really any sex stuff. The movie had teased me but failed to deliver. Not that I wanted to see that type of thing. Sexual violence [unless consensual in which case I suppose you could argue it’s not violent] is a horrible thing.

To think the best of this film is to remove all the supernatural and just read the meaning as the complete psychological breakdown of a grieving widow. Humans are complicated enough without adding all that god-shit to everything.

This is number 1933 and so here are some things that happened that year:

  • The bodyline Ashes tour.
  • Dachau is opened.
  • The birth of radio astronomy.
  • FM radio is patented.