Six films that explore the horror of grief and trauma

A scene from CENSOR, a Magnet release. © CPL/SSF. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
A scene from CENSOR, a Magnet release. © CPL/SSF. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing. /
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grief and trauma
Rebecca Hall in the film THE NIGHT HOUSE. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved. /

Rebecca Hall was a tour de force in The Night House, a moody, very dark slow burn of a horror flick. She played Beth, who recently lost her husband Owen to suicide; a suicide she did not see coming. Anyone who has lost a family member to suicide completely gets Beth’s reactions after her husband’s death.

She becomes obsessed with going through his belongings, she drinks too much, and she tries desperately to put on a brave face…but deep inside, she is unraveling.

Then there is Owen’s strange suicide note, which she is trying to figure out. “You were right, there is nothing. Nothing is after you. You’re safe now.” It seems that Beth had had been clinically dead for four minutes after a car accident years earlier, and when she came to, she declared that there was “nothing” after she died. Owen tried to persuade her otherwise.

One night, Beth discovers a photograph of a woman who looks a lot like her. Was her husband having an affair? And what’s the deal with the house she finds across the lake? It looks exactly like a reverse image of the home she and Owen shared.

When she discovers a shocking truth about the husband she thought she knew so well, she (and the viewer) think it’s the most terrible thing that could happen. But the full truth is even more terrifying. That’s all you’re going to get from me regarding the plot, The Night House has to be seen in order to appreciate the pitch black final discovery.

The Night House can be seen on HBO Max.