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The Beach House

“Life is so fragile.”

What begins as a romantic getaway quickly evolves into an unimaginable nightmare. Emily (Liana Liberato) and her boyfriend Randall (Noah Le Gros) head to his family’s beach house for some much needed alone time. Their relationship is on the rocks and while Emily hopes this trip will help mend the wounds of the past Randall is still as aloof as ever. Their reunion is interrupted by two new faces at the beach house. Older couple Mitch (Jake Weber) and Jane (Maryanne Nagel), longtime friends of Randall’s estranged dad, just happen to be staying at the house as well. Randall decides they’ll all stay at the house together and Emily is not given a choice in the matter. The couples bond over dinner, admiring the natural phenomenon happening outside their door. But something isn’t quite right. The fog, the glowing dust and the mysterious invertebrates take over, infecting the foursome. Will Emily and Randall be able to escape the seaside town before the phenomena consumes them for good?

The Beach House is an infectious genre film that will linger long after the credits have rolled. In his directorial debut, Jeffrey A. Brown offers indie horror that feels both classic and brand new. This is a quiet, atmospheric film with a slow build up of tension that will reward patient viewers.

Liana Liberato is the anchor of the film and Emily is a compelling and complex female character. She’s a biology student who offers deep philosophical observations on what it means for organisms to survive in extreme environments, unaware that she’s about to face the same thing. Randall is absolutely useless and only holds Emily back. I relished in the patheticness of his character was and kept rooting for Emily to dump the dead weight that was their relationship.

Horror films are completely out of my wheelhouse so I can’t speak as to whether this entry is worthy of its genre. I did find it comparable to other films I enjoyed including Sea Fever, Outbreak and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And being from Massachusetts, I appreciated the fact that this was shot on location in North Truro, Cape Cod.

“I wanted to take what I felt was missing from horror movies and inject that into the script and production plan. My concerns about the onset of an environmental apocalypse provided the vehicle for the horror, while an interest in evolutionary science became the microbial fuel of the story.”

Jeffrey A. Brown

The Beach House is available to watch on Shudder.

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