First, on this site we discuss various subgenres, it’s not just slashers or zombies we tend to dive into the unique corners of the horror realm, discovering or unearthing those unusual creations, The Beach House is just one of those, it presents itself as a H.P. Lovecraft, but plays as arthouse horror. It is not for the typical horror fan, a rather slow burn to it, beautiful cinematography, and dives into a wonderous cosmic bliss that takes some cues from Color Out of Space . Jeffrey A. Brown, wrote and directed this independent creation, as feature length debut incorporates both drama and mystery into the storyline with a touch of body horror to gross out the unsuspecting viewers.
It starts with some imagery of a chemical reaction occurring in the floor of the ocean and that reference of it bubbling to the surface plays out repeatedly in multiple layered forms throughout the movie. However, the story really begins with a young college couple with a cliché fractured and fragile relationship clearly on two different tracks in life, Emily (Liana Liberato (Haunt )) and Randall (Noah Le Gros (Depraved )) traveling to his father’s beach house in the off-season, while the landscape is picturesque it’s also barren of human existence. Just one of among many problems is that Randal lacks any direction or motivation, he’s an empty bottle floating on the ocean just waiting for it to sink to the bottom, while his girlfriend is highly educated and looking forward to grad school. Once inside a brief romantic interlude shows Randal’s insensitivity to Emily’s educational passions and a bit of blatant stupidity that he can just live at his father place without consequences. Emily realizes that they aren’t alone, unclean dishes and fresh food scattered in the kitchen, then soon afterwards they awkwardly encounter Mitch (Jake Weber (Dawn of the Dead )) and his wife Jane (Maryann Nagel) old friends of his father; a 30-year age-gap hard to overcome even in the best of situations. Mitch had taken the proper route of asking permission to visit the location as the hints mount that his marriage is coming to a sad ending. That evening they all gather for a dinner, where Emily discusses her graduate school intentions which goes over everyone’s head. They sadly run out of wine, but Randall proposes the usage of edibles which they all quietly discuss beforehand before venture down the adventurous path it is during this mental escapism that the outside world goes through a metamorphosis change. A fog is scattering the landscape with bright orbs, which lay on everything, likely changing, enhancing, and morphing it to its ‘alien-like’ or natural form on a metabolic statis. As Randall becomes lost in his own world, Jane is mesmerized by this new discovery and ventures further away from the house, Mitch becomes concerned about his love and chases after her.
It is by morning everything has changed, a new metamorphosis is occurring all from the soft it feels different, something invaded it and it’s the perfect deployment, after all 80% of the world contains seas and oceans yet to be explored and the human body is made up of about 60% what better place to hide. One can’t dive or even tread any further with the story without revealing a discovery one should make on their own.
Brown uses the fog outside to block the couples into tight confinement and thereby depending on the facial expressions he achieves for a minimalist approach, and tight budget constraints. In addition to convey the drug enhancements and the new lifeform he deploys reverb imagining as seen in The Andromeda Strain  from directed Robert Wise, all done, with fantastic cinematography, to show the barren landscape and endless scope of the ocean how truly minor and insignificant the human race see itself reduce. This actually became an interesting footnote during many of the lockdown of 2020 pandemic nature correcting itself with humanity sidelined.
Needless to say, the movie won’t appeal to everyone, at times it wants to engage an environmental horror and chemical awareness that can affect the physical form when its natural selection or cosmic undoing of human life. It advances theories that the human form is merely a husk stage in the evolutionary scale of constant changing as our lifespan is arbitrary short and fragile, compared to many others on the planet and of course in the harsh ruthless undersea world. Therefore, to some this is a one viewing and done flick and others might enjoy it as a new storyline on the vein of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers franchise.
- wish you were here
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10