The notion of discovering nightmares in a borrowed house seems to fuel so much American horror that it's almost a genre in itself, from House of Long Shadows to The Changeling. We could call it "Airbnb horror." The Beach House (out on VOD, Digital HD, DVD and Blu-Ray December 15) brings that horror to a breathtakingly beautiful locale– in this case, a well-appointed beach house on a pristine Massachusetts beach– and then slowly cranks up the tension until in its final minutes it plunges into an alien, foggy dread reminiscent of Frank Darabont's The Mist.
In The Beach House, a young couple played by Liana Liberato ("Light as a Feather") and Noah Le Gros (A Score to Settle) borrow the young man's house in hopes of re-igniting a waning relationship. But they're not alone: the house doesn't have ghosts but semi-squatters, older couple Maryann Nagel and Jake Weber (Dawn of the Dead, "13 Reasons Why"). They're friends of the family. The couples decide to make do and spend the night drinking. And then comes the most uninvited guest of all: a contagion rolling in from the water. Soon there are moments of body horror that are not for the squeamish. Not everyone is going to make it, and as the young people try to understand what's happening, it becomes clear that maybe nobody is going to make it.
In this episode, Jason chatted with the director, Jeffrey A. Brown, at the time of The Beach House's premiere. He chatted especially about the unexpected metaphor that will ump instantly to mind in an audience watching this film during a pandemic that snuck up on the viewers as much as the gloppy unknown contagion does on the characters. This is a well-made, tense film that will make you think twice before borrowing someone's beach house.
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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the "Castle of Horror Anthology" series. He is the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror series "Surf Mystic," under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, debuted with the novel Night of the Book Man this summer.