THE BEACH HOUSE (2019)
Shudder Exclusive opens with something being released from the ocean floor near a beachfront community, something that soon gets into the water supply and air. At the same time, young couple Randall (Noah Le Gros from Depraved) and Emily (Liana Liberato) arrive at Randall’s family beach house to sort out some relationship issues. When they arrive, they find friends of Randall’s father staying there as well, couple Mitch (Jake Weber) and Jane (Maryann Nagel). The older couple is the least of their worries, as whatever is seeping out of the ocean floor begins affecting and infecting the local lifeforms, including both couples.
The film is basically Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space set at the beach, instead of a rural farmhouse, as written and directed by Jeffrey A. Brown. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it is unsettling and spooky as people begin to get sick and change. The fear of infection element is always present and extremely relevant in these COVID 19 times. It’s Liana (2013’s Haunt, not the Shudder flick from last year) Liberato’s likable heroine Emily, though, that really makes this work for us, despite the familiarity with Richard Stanley’s The Color Out of Space Lovecraft adaptation released this past January. Emily is smart and understands what’s going on, somewhat, which makes it all the more frightening as she tries to survive it. It’s a now familiar story, but done very well, especially since Brown creeps us out in broad daylight and in such a picturesque North Truro, Massachusetts settings. The make-up and visual FX are solidly rendered and they are used sparingly enough to be effective when they are presented. Worth a watch. Streaming now on Shudder.