Open House (2010)★★★★☆


There’s been an “Open House” sign on my street for the past few days so I was inspired to watch this one again. It’s a good one. A bit disturbing, but then again, so am I. Also not unlike me, this movie has a lot going for it.

Have I mentioned I’m a sucker for a good understated title screen? Maybe once or twice? This movie is a perfect example of that. And the movie starts much like its credits – unassuming and quiet. Things start to get creepy pretty quickly, though, and keep building from there. I love that the background music is largely absent, and perfectly timed and placed when it’s not.

And what about the cast? There are so many familiar faces in this one that I’m surprised more people haven’t seen this movie. I love Anna Paquin, and though she’s only in this one briefly, she’s great. Her husband (in the real world) Stephen Moyer gets a bit more screen time than she does here, but just barely. I’ll admit that the actors who played Lila and David are largely unfamiliar to me, but they were fine here. I found the idea of Lila and David more interesting than I found their characters. I think it was partly the at times poorly written dialogue and partly a general lack of chemistry between the two.

Rachel Blanchard is the real star of this film, though. It’s fitting that she’d star in a scary movie that I really like – I first saw her as Kristen of the Midnight Society on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, (perhaps unsurprisingly) my favorite weekend show when I was younger. She’s excellent here as Alice.  Ultimately this is less a movie about slashing and more a movie about surviving. And Rachel Blanchard’s uncannily convincing performance here is what makes it so good.

And it is good. There’s a lot of cat-and-mouse being played here and it’s hard to predict who’ll come out on top (some pun intended) before it happens. I’m sure that’s a large part of why I like this one so much. I should warn you that there’s some disturbing stuff (particularly if you’re sensitive to scenes depicting sexual assault) here, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.