PLATFORM: SHUDDER + DVD | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Randall (Le Gros) and Emily (Liberato) take a trip to Randall's parent's beach house for some private time to work on their relationship. However, when they arrive, they find that the house is already occupied by Mitch (Weber) and Jane (Nagel), who are old friends of Randall's parents.
Jane is clearly suffering from a disease that is going to kill her, and she and Mitch are enjoying the quiet time the breakaway provides. They are more than welcoming of the two youngsters and as the evening meal finishes up, they all partake in some legal marijuana. As they all trip, what appear to be luminous spores float around the house, along with a heavy mist that descends rapidly.
The next morning, Jane appears to be gravely ill, Randall is suffering from stomach pains and Mitch is acting strangely. When Mitch decides to have a swim in the ocean, he just walks into the water in front of Emily and disappears. After this, Emily and Randall make a grim discovery and, as they try to escape from the area, the mist descends once again.
The Beach House is a slow burner, setting up the characters before the spanner is thrown into the works, and the general plotline echoes other films like Cabin Fever - albeit without the excessive gore - or perhaps even The Bay, where biology changes from working with us to being our mortal enemy. The acting is decent and the somewhat suffocating location, especially with the ever invasive fog, looms eerily throughout, transposing the beauty of the shore with the paranoia that escape may not be possible. The way that each character is affected by the events that are unfolding and how this directs their actions are varied, but when put into perspective with their knowledge and experiences, they make sense.
Where The Beach House falls down slightly is that it can't quite seem to decide if it wants to be arthouse with a nod to Cronenberg, or a horror film focused on the idea of nature fighting back after all we've done as human beings to destroy the planet. Nowhere is this better shown than the final shot, where we are told to not be afraid. To say more would spoil the film, and this is better watched knowing as little as possible, but it could have been a stronger production with perhaps a slightly bigger budget. That said, The Beach House should be commended for the effort it makes to stand separate from other horror films out there.