July 9th saw The Beach House drop onto the Shudder platform. A horror movie from Jeffrey A. Brown and directorial debut for the writer of this weird and glitchy story. Despite art imitating life in more ways than one in 2020, I am drawn to tales that use words like ‘mysterious’ and ‘infection.’
The Beach House has little room for error with a cast of only four players. All of them end up at the same picturesque vacation home. The cast does an amazing job with their assigned characters so there is nothing to complain about. Liana Liberato plays Emily and she takes up most of the screen time within the unusual cosmic palette this story offers up. She heads to her boyfriend’s father’s house to sort out some issues. They’ve both reached a crossroads in their lives. Randy (Noah Le Gros) forgot to mention he didn’t tell anyone they were coming to stay. Subsequently, Emma is surprised to learn some other family friends have also arrived at the same time.
You’ll Recognise Jake Weber
Additionally, Jake Weber is a recognizable face for most as Mitch who’s come for one last hurrah with his wife Jane (played by Maryanne Nagal.) Jane is suffering some unspecified illness but seems in high spirits, happy to see a now grown-up Randall who she knew as a child. Emily is into science stuff and talks a lot about the environment in an almost mystical way. It’s as though she sometimes taps into the universe and sees it differently from everyone else.
The four newly acquainted housemates make the best of an unideal circumstance and bunker down for the evening. Randall offers up some marijuana-infused chocolate and the married couple settles in for some fresh oysters they recently collected from somewhere nearby. The drugs are an odd choice for a movie like this and serve no purpose apart from diluting what is already a fairly thin premise. Personally, I would have left the edibles out, they didn’t add anything to the end result.
Movies Like of Colour Out Of Space
Fans of movies like Colour Out of Space, Sea Fever, or any sort of Lovecraftian tainted story where something unnatural has been stirred will appreciate The Beach House. Dubbed a cosmic horror movie, this is all about the creation of atmospheric tension through unknown origins. Brief glimpses of some spiny creatures washed up on the shoreline, contaminated water, and a hallucinogenic fog. In some moments I was reminded of The Mist, in others, it was a simplified version of psychedelic creature features except The Beach all happens in a normal seaside town.
Overall there is nothing in The Beach House that you haven’t seen before. A pleasant time-passer for those looking for this specific type of movie.
I give The Beach House
3 tainted oceans out of 5