Movie Review: The Open House (2018)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2018 thriller starring Dylan Minnette and Piercey Dalton.

Synopsis: Still reeling from the sudden death of her husband and heavily in debt, Naomi Wallace reluctantly accepts her sister's invitation to move into her unoccupied mountain home until she can get on her feet. There is just one condition, since the home is up for sale, Naomi and her teenage son, Logan, must leave the house every Sunday so the realtor can have an open house.
The house is beautiful and their neighbors seem friendly. But, when strange things begin to happen after they move in, they begin to suspect something isn't quite right.

Review

My wife and I settled down a bit earlier last night than we normally do and, because of that, had time to watch a movie. However, since we were both a bit tired, I decided to find a film that was somewhat shorter and, after some consideration, picked out this movie.

I have watched the preview for this film on Netflix on more than one occasion and, to be honest, it was a bit lacking. So, as a result of that, I really didn't know what to expect when we started watching the movie. As it turns out, it wound up being a big disappointment.

Actually, to be fair, the first hour or so of the film was actually pretty good. The movie moved at a relatively fast pace, showing us what happened to the husband (Aaron Abrams), why they wound up in a giant mountain home and introducing us to the secondary characters without feeling as though the movie was getting bogged down.

And, I liked how it built the suspense. First Logan's (Minnette) phone goes missing. Then the hot water keeps turning itself off followed by items (like Logan's bowl of cereal) getting moved, making it look as though someone attended the open house and didn't leave.

The movie also seemed to make a big deal out of the basement and even the likable store owner, Chris (Atkins) seemed to take an unusual interest in that part of the house. Plus, to be fair, it was an interesting basement, complete with a strange tunnel that seemed to have gone somewhere before collapsing.

The big problem with this movie, however, is the fact it is incomplete. Watching this film was a bit like going fishing, catching dinner and having it break the line just as you are getting it to shore. The movie did a good job building up the mystery and suspense but, after all of that, just ends. We never find out anything about the mysterious man (Olson) and his obsession with the house and those living in it. We also never find out what is so great about the basement or if there was someone in the house with them the whole time (and, if so, where they were hiding).

It was almost as though the writers never came up with a decent ending so they just decided to kill off everyone and call it a day. And, I have to tell you, that was a pretty big disappointment in my book because it completely ruins what could have been an excellent thriller.

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Final Opinion

This is a good movie up until the ending. Unfortunately, the ending was bad enough to completely ruin the rest of the film.

My Grade: D

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Updated: 12/17/2018, StevenHelmer
 
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