A Mediocre Slasher with No Plot, No Horror, and No Character- The Open House (2018) Review- Netflix Original
The Open House is CLOSED!
First thing I have to say is that this will be a short review, because I don't have much to say about this movie. When this trailer first started showing around Netflix last year, I thought to myself, "What a cool slasher film this must be. Plus, it has Dylan Minnette, who has clearly proved his acting chops in "13 Reasons Why" (no matter how crappy and problematic that show is) and "Don't Breathe."" This movie contained none of the things I had hoped for. If you were hoping for a classic slasher film like I was, this ain't it. If you were expecting some Grade-A, emotional life-or-death acting from Minnette, this ain't it.
Now, I don't want this entire review to just be me shitting on the movie. It did have one thing going for it- Piercey Dalton, who plays Minnette's mom. I truly sympathized with this character, as she had to deal with the effects of an irresponsible husband and an ungrateful son. She didn't need many words, and I didn't need to see her doubled over crying in every scene. She was tired, and the audience knew it. Her performance was beyond believable.
"The Open House" is about a newly widowed woman (Naomi) and her son (Logan) moving into her sister's mountain home, while they spend some time getting back on their feet. This beautiful home is ~of course~ secluded and ~of course~ the nearest town only contains about 10 other humans- just like every other scary movie in a mansion trope. This particular house is also on the market, so there are open houses every Sunday, where Logan and Naomi are not allowed to be in or near the house.
Anything apart from that summary plot makes no sense at all in this movie. As a series of strange events occur in this home, from the water heater being messed with to items being moved around the house, the audience comes to an understanding that this small family of two are not alone. There's also their crazy neighbor, who wanders the woods and who has a very loose touch with reality.
It almost feels like they didn't know what story they wanted to write. Did they want a mystery intruder, a senile neighbor, or a creepy town? Why not all three? The writers just took several stereotypical horror-movie scenarios and lumped them together to make this movie- from the beginning death of the father and all the way down to killing the only black person in the movie for absolutely no reason. At some point, I almost guessed that there were ghosts in the house. No joke.
There's all of this mess without an even-near satisfying ending. There was bone crunching just for the sake of bone crunching. There are no questions answered, no story-line revealed, and just no sense made with the ending of this movie. It just ends. Then, they try to add some ominous BS. No, we don't buy it. We didn't buy this entire film, and the ending just made it even worse. There's no character development and no growth in the relationship between the son and mother. They had us listening to this boy griping at his mom for over an hour, and he absolutely learns nothing. This movie is completely aimless, and on top of everything else, Dylan Minnette kept this confused face for the entirety of the movie. How?!
DO NOT STREAM!
starring, Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Sharif Atkins, Patricia Bethune, and more
written and directed by, Suzanne Coote and Matt Angel