A mother and son are being terrorised by strange happenings following the death of their patriarch. Is The Open House a worthy Netflix original?
“Curiosity killed the cat” is a saying that couldn’t be more indignantly true in cases such as this Netflix original horror thriller. I approached this movie with an open mind; at least, I had it in mind that maybe, just maybe, it’s not that bad.
The vitriol this movie invites is a marvel to behold. Because Open House was a scathingly apoplectic experience from beginning to end. This movie features some of the worst writing and character development I’ve seen in a horror movie.
This is a laughably god-awful thriller that appears to be clueless as to what we are supposed to be frightened by. The movie leaves a trail of breadcrumbs leaning towards a paranormal threat, but once the movie’s over, you’ll be left with a bizarre amount of questions because this movie just jettisons all sense of logic and plausibility.
There’s no functioning schema to begin with.
The characters are so gauntly materialised and so thinly written that it is impossible to care about them. The direction and the editing further emasculates proceedings as the movie has no real emotional foundation thanks to the hack job that they did with the opening showing the dad getting killed.
Because the preceding five minutes did nothing to preordain some semblance of a dynamic in the family. I was never invested in them. I could not believe how lazily realised these people were.
Dylan Minnette is an actor I’ve enjoyed seeing in the past but here his performance flips back and forth between average and really terrible, and that’s not a good sign. His character is tenuously one-dimensional, largely thanks to a rancid script but his overall performance dispels all charm and humanity.
Piercey Dalton fairs much better and she’s not too bad, but her character is astringently idiotic. There’s a moment where the villain surreptitiously lies down next to her in bed. She gets up (unknowing of his presence) and then comes back yet does not notice him. Minnette had a moment identical to that in terms of sheer stupidity but it’s not worth mentioning.
Also, the villain’s motivation is not explained. We literally get nothing. This movie has no concept of how to execute ambiguity well. ‘Apoplectic’ really is the definitive word to describe Open House.
This movie feels so fraught with absolute sloth in its craft. The story is a never-ending series of stupid decisions followed by execrably leaden direction leading to scares and clichés that are so astoundingly weak.
The characters are too boring to care for and the threat’s goals are non-existent, what’s the point of any of it? It also looks so unpleasant. It’s colourless, tasteless and charmless.
It’s not even ‘funny bad’, it’s just bad. It’s a nocuous horror movie and is easily one of Netflix’s worst original productions.
Take your chances elsewhere.
Written by Seán Mac G.