“The Beach House reminds you that sometimes romantic beach vacations can turn into an apocalyptic nightmare too!”
Everyone is understandably upset about the lack of typical summer activities this year due to Covid-19. No camps, no lake parties, no beach vacations, etc. Well, Shudder’s new movie The Beach House does everything it can to ruin the thought of a nice little romantic trip to the coast.
Emily and Randall are a couple on the rocks who decide that a trip to Randall’s father’s beach house would be a good way to work some things out and reconnect with each other. When they arrive at the beautiful looking town it appears to be empty as the summer season doesn’t pick up for a few weeks. However, shortly after arriving, they realize that they aren’t alone in the beach house and that Randall’s father has been letting an older couple stay there. As they get past that awkwardness over a nice dinner and some edibles, Emily starts to notice a strange phenomenon occurring along the water and spreading to the trees. This phenomenon begins to infect everyone at the beach house and all hell breaks loose as Emily tries to understand what is happening.
The Beach House is by no means new when it comes to the premise or beats but there are plenty of original tweaks to make the movie immensely enjoyable. Most of the heavy lifting is done by Liana Liberato as Emily who does an incredible job carrying the movie as the audience’s avatar. Liana is given a few moments to play more than the character who is cursed with the knowledge of all those around her getting sick and she takes full advantage of those opportunities. The lighting added another interesting wrinkle to the storytelling; the glow of a tv, a strobing construction light, luminescent algae are all used to perfection in making a scene more suspenseful.
One of the biggest things this movie proves is that a solid story structure, inventive directing, and serviceable acting can make up for any budgetary constraints. I can’t imagine this movie cost as much as one of Iron Man’s prop helmets, yet that lack of big-budget flare never derails the film. The rudimentary creature effects and limited gore are just as cringe-worthy and unsettling as anything I’ve seen in recent horror movies over the years.
When all the pieces come together you are left with a very enjoyable horror thriller that is worth your time. Part Cabin Fever, part Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with a touch of The Crazies, The Beach House is worth watching if you have the chance to catch it. Let it take you away from Covid-19 and remind you that sometimes romantic beach vacations can turn into an apocalyptic nightmare too! Mask up and hit the beach from your couch.