The Beach House: Movie Review

We typically criticize a film for being too long but with its slim running time of ninety minutes or less, the ecological horror film "The Beach House" needed around a half hour more for its narrative to be fully developed and be more substantially satisfying. While we wouldn't say that "The Beach House" was scary, it was disturbing and off-putting when it wanted to be.

Escaping to his family's beach house to reconnect, Emily (Liana Liberato) and Randall (Noah Le Gros) find their off-season trip interrupted by Mitch (Jake Weber) and Jane Turner (Maryan Nagel), an older couple acquainted with Randall’s estranged father. Even with their age gap, the two couple unexpectedly form bonds with each other. As they let loose and take some recreational drugs, ominous and strange environmental phenomena begin to happen. As the evening progresses, no one really knows if what's happening is the immediate effects of what they took or something unseen but deadly real. But when an infection across town becomes evident, Emily and Randall struggle to make sense of the odd contagion slowly creeping into their midst.
The first thing that we noticed about "The Beach House" is that things escalate pretty briskly. From being a romantic getaway, it soon transforms itself into an apocalyptic invasion story. This transition, if we can even call it that, happens with little or no warning. We had a hard time connecting with its characters and it also doesn't help that the film was cryptically hard to comprehend and there's always this nagging feeling that we really don't understand what's happening on-screen for most of the way. A too quick to digest narrative aside, the film mesmerized us with its cinematography and visual effects. Director Jeffrey A. Brown knew how to work the camera and the film had its undeniable bouts of tension-filled scenes even if it had the most mundane of setups. Another thing that caught our eyes were its disturbing and nauseating practical makeup effects. For an independent film, this had seemingly high-budget effects for its body horror and had us reeling both of disgust and glee at the same time. The acting also doesn't disappoint as both leads Liana Liberato and Noah Le Gros had authentic and convincing performances even with the limited script and material.
Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- the cinematography and practical effects can rival any big-budget film

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the narrative develops too briskly due to its slim running time
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