The Witch in the Window (2018) | Explanation, Spoilers & Recommendations | Film Review
The Witch in the Window (2018) is an American supernatural-horror film written and directed by Andy Mitton. The film stars Alex Draper, Charlie Tacker, Carol Stanzione, Arija Bareikis and Greg Naughton. The Witch in the Window (2018) was distributed by Shudder and released on July 23, 2018. The film is currently streaming on Shudder, Amazon Prime, Roku and YouTube Primetime and is available to rent on Vudu, Google Play, Apple TV and Redbox.
In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Simon (Alex Draper), a father who seems to be estranged from his wife. Actually, I'm not sure if they are supposed to be estranged or divorced or what, but they say something along the lines of, "When we were married..." Anyway, his wife or ex-wife, Beverly (Arija Bareikis), tells Simon, who is apparently visiting her apartment in New York in order to collect their son, Finn (Charlie Tacker) for the summer, not to forget to feed Finn some food other than the crap food (like pizza) that Finn prefers. You know, real food, like vegetables.
As Simon and Beverly talk, we learn that Simon plans to take Finn to Vermont, where Simon will flip a house over a six-week period. Beverly tells Simon that Finn is allergic to shellfish, has had some recent behavioral problems and she's pretty stressed out about all of Finn's poor decisions lately. I mean...it couldn't possibly have anything to do with his age and the fact that his parent's relationship has turned to shit, right? Probably. Sure, no connection there at all...just sayin'.
Anyway, Simon listens to Beverly and asks her what the rules are about phone time, etc. and Finn makes some snide comment. Simon tells Finn not to talk to his mother like that and Beverly freaks out and runs to the other room, telling Simon they have to be a united front when it comes to Finn and that for her, it's getting more and more difficult to deal with Finn because of the state of the world. She feels that she is trying to keep Finn safe from the world, but it is almost impossible, especially without Simon's help. Finn listens to this because it's New York and the apartment is tiny and sadly looks out the window.
In the next scene, Simon and Finn drive up to Vermont, looking at all the nothing that's around while they drive. There's a lot of grass, trees, road and animals and that's about it. Finn's nasty attitude has not changed as Simon finds out when he tries to talk to him while Finn pisses on the side of the road.
Finn complains about the smell of fresh cow patties and Simon tells him that's what Vermont is, fresh cow patties and in fact, that's the state motto..."Vermont...Come and Smell the Cow Patties! They're FRESH!" Okay, he doesn't really say that, but I sure would. And that's why I can't be around children. Who knows what my influence would bring to the world? More weirdos, that's what.
Simon tells Finn his attitude sucks and that the Finn he used to know would have loved the place he's fixing up. Finn doesn't really say anything in response to this, just taking in the smell of boredom and fresh cow shit, I guess. When they get to the house, it seems pretty nice and it has a small pond nearby.
Simon tells Finn that he actually bought the house and intends to flip it, which is, you know, not what he told Beverly. Finn calls Simon out on this and Simon tells Finn that he just told Beverly a fib and that Beverly doesn't like when he flips houses because she views it as a gamble. Finn tells Simon he's probably going to cut his hand off with a saw if he helps Simon fix up the house and Simon tells Finn that that's exactly what Beverly said. Finn nastily says, "What does she know?" and storms off after Simon tells Finn that's pretty rude.
Simon takes a phone call from the electrician guy, telling him he'd leave the house open so he could get in to fix the wiring. He hangs up and walks towards Finn, who has walked to the pond to...hahahah ponder. Haha I'm a riot.
Finn tells Simon that he's upset with Beverly because she broke his computer, but Simon reminds Finn that he broke the rules Beverly set for Finn to use the computer. Finn tells Simon that if there was a door to the world and on the other side there was an answer to every question you ever had, but the door had a crappy lock on it, would he open it and take a peek? Instead of admonishing him, Simon asks Finn how much of a peek he took and Finn looks ashamed.
They go up to the house and enter the front door and Finn seems pretty excited about he house. He tells Simon to tell him that people got chopped up in the house and Simon tells him he doesn't think anyone got murdered in the house because the sellers and/or real estate agent would have to disclose a murder.
They walk around the house and Finn tells Simon he sucks at cooking and he hopes the plumbing is never fixed so Simon can't attempt to turn everything they eat into ash. Simon tells him all they need is the number to the pizza place, so I guess there will be no vegetables to be had all summer. Zero. Z. E. R. O.
Have fun trying to walk when your bones get soft from malnutrition ya fuckers. Should've listened to Beverly, then you wouldn't have a future of osteoporosis and soft bones.
They head over to a pink barn (why is it pink, though?) and Finn talks about how it should be turned into a movie theater. Yeah a movie theater full of rats, mosquitos and spiders. No, thanks. Horror theater, more like it. They head into the house after exploring the barn and Simon shows Finn his room, which has been set up already with a bunch of toys and collectable figurines.
Finn seems appalled at how his room is decorated, making it seem like he's too old to have that stuff around. Shiiiiit, Finn, you're never too old for collectables...get it together, kid. Why are you in such a hurry to grow up anyway? You're like, 12-years-old...enjoy being a kid.
Finn stops at a picture on the wall and looks at it. We see it's a 3-D picture and it says "Finn" on it. I'm sure this will definitely change later. Probably it will say something else, like..."Die!" or "I hope you get incurable diarrhea!" or maybe, "You can't figure out which way to eat a pizza slice!". I mean, may as well go with some targeted insults if you're a ghost, right? Simon tells Finn he could never figure out the 3-D pictures, so we're left to surmise that he won't be able to help Finn when the inevitable threatening messages start to show up.
They walk out to the hallway to a window that has a chair sitting in front of it. I'm guessing this is where the ol' "witch in the window" is going to show up if I had to guess, but let's find out, shall we?
We see Finn, alone, upstairs, exploring the rooms on his scooter when he hears some kind of thumping, like a heartbeat. He goes over to the nearest wall and listens, hearing what sounds like a heartbeat coming from the house. Um. Cool, time to leave guys. I've seen House on Haunted Hill (1999), I know what happens when a house is alive...it's not good. So, is the house alive or is there a ghost haunting it? What's going on?
They go into the basement and Simon tells Finn that the furnace is the heart of the house and the house's heart appears to be weak, even though he can't find anything wrong with it. This appears to freak Finn out, as he recently might've heard the house's actual heartbeat. I mean, what's going to make it stronger? Them fixing it up? Their deaths? What? I mean, nothing good probably if I had to guess.
Suddenly, the lights go out and a creep appears out of the dark. It turns out, after some screaming, the creep is not a creep, but Louis (Greg Naughton), the electrician guy. No one knows why Louis doesn't have a flashlight and didn't announce his presence, but cool, let's meet Louis.
They go outside to talk near the pond and Louis tells Simon that he main line has been cut outside the house, so he'd fix that. Other than that, there's some problems with some fuses, which he could also fix. Simon relates that it's pretty cold and asks to move to the porch, but Louis won't even look at the house and refuses to go up to the house for some reason.
Simon picks up on his reticence to go to the house and asks Louis about it. Louis tells Simon the story about the house, that a mean old woman that the children in town had deemed a witch. She lived in the house when Louis was a child with her husband and son and the rumor in town was that she killed her husband and son using a hay baller, although no one could prove it.
Apparently, the "witch" would sit in the chair in the hallway (I knew it!) and stare out the window. Over time, the children who would go to the house to see her in the window noticed she never left the window and one day someone called the police and discovered she had been dead for three to four weeks. Gross. Probably smelled like old pork chops in a hot dumpster in Florida in July.
Louis tells Simon that he felt that the witch was evil and liked knowing that she scared people, so he's always been afraid of the witch and the house. He also tells Simon that she most likely died of heart failure (this might be connected to the house's heartbeat, who knows?).
Finn asks for the witch's name and Louis tells him her name was Lydia. Later, Simon takes a pill as Finn brushes his teeth. Finn asks why he's taking medicine and Simon tells him he has a hole in his heart, so he has to take medicine for it. Great, more heart stuff. I wonder how it will all come together?
The rest of the film follows Simon and Finn as they discover what's really going on the house and what it could possibly want from either of them.
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* Discussion contains spoilers and an explanation of the film
That night, Finn hears the house's heartbeat again and eventually falls asleep. The next day passes and as night falls, Simon puts in a lightbulb and we see a hand in the distance moving just out of frame. Simon senses someone is nearby and grabs the lamp, sure he has to confront an intruder.
Finn comes out of his room and asks what's going on and Simon reassures him nothing is wrong. Finn asks Simon point-blank if he thinks something is wrong with the house and Simon tells Finn that yes, he does think something is wrong with the house. Simon then asks Finn if he thinks there's something wrong with the house as well and Finn tells him he saw something in the mirror, but it was too fast to see what or who it was.
I'm not saying it was a leprechaun. Of course, I'm not saying it wasn't either. I mean, probably it was Lydia, but we can't rule leprechauns out until we, you know, rule them out.
As they talk, we see a shadow behind Simon, standing in the doorway. Neither Finn nor Simon notice this, but it's indicated that whatever is going on, it's been getting stronger since they arrived and started fixing the place up. Simon asks Finn if he wants to leave and Finn says no, he'll stay with Simon.
The next morning, Finn is awoken by Simon, who seems like he is standing just out of frame, at the end of Finn's bed. Simon tells Finn he had a dream where he asked Lydia if they could stay in the house and instead of answering him, she showed Simon what would happen to Finn if they stayed. Simon's voice breaks as he says this and it's actually really f-ing creepy. Finn wakes up completely, but Simon isn't there. In fact, Simon isn't in the house at all - he's outside, sawing something. So, that's great.
Finn doesn't seem to be that perturbed by what happened, but as he goes to the window to see Simon outside, he sees Simon wave to him and doesn't wave back, so maybe it bothers him more than he's letting on.
Later, we see Finn outside, staring off into the distance. Simon calls to him, but he doesn't seem to hear him. Simon gets his attention and asks if he's okay, and Finn tells him he's fine, so Simon asks if he can help him carry a board. Finn acquiesces and they start to carry the board. Simon is obviously worried about Finn and asks him if whatever he took a "peek" at on the world wide web bothered him. He also tells Finn that if Finn has any questions about what he saw, he can ask Simon and Simon will "set the record straight" about whatever he saw.
I think this is a very good parenting move. You can't really always protect your children from the world, as Beverly tries desperately to do. Sometimes they are going to see things you don't want them to, have experiences you can't protect them from and hear things they don't always want to hear, but you can be there to tell them the truth and let them know that despite what the world may bring to them, they can trust you and depend on you. It seems like Simon knows Finn will eventually find out about how the world really is and he wants to prepare him, rather than try to shield him for as long as possible.
Finn acts as if he doesn't want to talk about what he saw, so Simon lets it go and they keep walking with the board. Finn accidently walks into mud and gets stuck, so Simon tries to get him to walk back, but Finn can't get out. Simon puts down the board to go help him and they both fall over comically into the mud. This moment shows us that although Simon knows he can't protect his son from the world, he has deep compassion and empathy for his son and wants to help him in any way he can.
Later, in the barn, Simon and Finn are cleaning up boards and Finn finally asks Simon if he ever saw anything on the internet and Simon tells Finn it's normal to want to look at girls or boys. Finn tells him he didn't look at anything like that, he watched some news report about a guy getting decapitated. Um. What. I don't watch the news anymore, personally, but that kind of shit is on the news? Even more reason not to watch the news, lol.
Simon reacts badly to this revelation, but he doesn't appear to be mad at Finn, just at how bad the world has become and that his son witnessed some it. He asks if Finn asked his mom about the video and he says he tried to, but she was just really upset and didn't answer him. Finn apparently snuck out of his room later that night and overheard Beverly talking to someone on the phone. She told the mystery person that she was so upset because she didn't want Finn to know the world was terrible and was going to end.
Simon looks perturbed at what Finn overheard Beverly say to her friend and tells him that's just what Beverly believes. He tells Finn they both need to leave the city because it's bad for their mental health. Finn asks Simon if he thinks the world will end and Simon says no. Finn asks if he would tell him if he really did think the world was ending and Simon tells him he probably wouldn't. Finn is sort of shocked and asks Simon if he would just lie to him and Simon tells him yes. Finn asks if Beverly lies to him too, and Simon says she lies to Finn all the time.
Simon goes on to tell Finn that all parents lie to protect their children and it doesn't matter if the parents are good or bad, they all lie. He tells Finn they lie because they are trying to protect their children from knowing that they are never really safe. He also tells Finn that parents will tell their children that they are strong when they aren't strong and it's all to give the illusion that their children are safe. Damn, man.
It's a really heartbreaking scene because we can see that Simon is stuck between trying to protect Finn and trying to let him know the truth about the world. It has to be really hard to let your children go and explore the world, but being sick at the same time at the thought of them getting hurt in some way. Trying to protect their innocence while at the same time, knowing that you can't. Ugh, this film. It's getting harder to watch it because I really like Simon and Finn and I'm afraid something awful will happen to them if they stay in that house.
Later, Simon is on the roof and Finn is below on his scooter. Finn asks Simon what other things he lied about in the past and ask they talk, we see the silhouette of a tall person standing in the doorway behind Finn. Great. I mean, it's got to be Lydia and now we're seeing her all over the house, watching Finn and Simon.
In the next scene, we see Finn and Simon upstairs, where Simon is teaching Finn to apply caulk to a window. Finn asks Simon to stop bullshitting him and only tell him the truth from then on, to which Simon agrees. Finn basically tells Simon that he knows Simon is not flipping the house and is intending to keep it and Simon looks shocked. He asks Finn how he knew and Finn shrugs and tells there have been signs that Simon wants to make the house his, like decorating Finn's room and all the love and care he has been putting into the house.
They are interrupted by a thumping noise (the house's heartbeat?!) and they both rush downstairs to see what the noise is, hoping it's not an intruder. They determine the sound is coming from the basement and discover the furnace has mysteriously turned itself on. Hmm, right, just after Simon confirms he wants to stay in the house? Great. So, basically, we are left to surmise the furnace turned itself on because by fixing the house up and Simon stating his commitment to stay there, they restarted the house's heart.
Finn asks how the furnace could have turned itself on and Simon looks concerned, but doesn't have an answer for him. Simon changes the subject, saying they should go out for pizza instead of getting the pizza delivered to the house as usual. He suggests Finn go upstairs and get his raincoat and Finn quickly runs upstairs, only to reappear shortly afterwards, telling Simon that Lydia is upstairs. Simon, probably saying in his head, "Oh, fuck.", goes upstairs to see what Finn is talking about.
Me, I'd be like, "Cool, let's go get pizza buddy. And you know, never come back. Bitch can have the house, I'll get another one in Vermont. Or New Hampshire. Maybe Maine. I mean, anywhere that's not infested with ghosts or with walls that have a heartbeat."
Unfortunately, no one goes with my plan, so Simon climbs the stairs and soon joins Finn at the end of the hallway. Sure enough, someone appears to be chilling in that chair the witch-bitch died in, in front of the window she used to look out of.
Awesome. Best case scenario, right there. Instead of running down the stairs, Simon tells Finn to stay there and starts to walk towards Lydia. Nope, nope, nopity, nope. It's time to fuck off right out of there, not get closer to the ghost. But, sadly, they just get closer and I guess we have to go as well.
Lydia doesn't answer as Simon calls to her and Simon turns to tell Finn to go outside. Instead, Finn detaches himself from the wall and walks towards Simon. It's here where we see more of the transition Finn is making from a child to an adult. He's very sweetly protective of his father and is very empathetic towards him.
Finn understands Simon is very scared and even though he's scared too, he wants to support Simon instead of running away like a child. Simon has done him a favor by being honest with him and refusing to treat him as just a child, like Beverly has, so he's repaying that favor by trying to act like how an adult would. Instead of insisting that Finn leave, Simon seems grateful for the support.
Together, they walk towards Lydia and stand next to the chair. Finn takes out his phone to see if Lydia appears on the camera, but she doesn't, so she really is a ghost. She's just sitting in the chair with her chin dropped towards her chest and her eyes are closed, so we don't really know if she is aware of their presence or not. Yeah, right. She's about to scare the shit out of them, that's what she's about to do. I ain't no dummy. I hope they remembered to put on their Huggies that morning.
Finn suggests to Simon that he should call Lydia by her name, so Simon states her name and she wakes up and comically chases them out of the house. I mean, this didn't really scare me because it was like a spry old grandma chasing an unruly cat out of the kitchen, but it was enough to make Simon forget to close his sphincter and make a mess as he ran out of the house.
* Not the unruly cat in question
Finn and Simon make it to the truck and book it out of there, but not before looking back up at the house and seeing Lydia standing at a window, staring at them. As they race down the road, we look back and can see Lydia striding out of the house and down the walk as if she is still coming after them.
Some time later, we see Simon and Finn at the pizza restaurant and they just sit there as the server brings the pizza, not talking. After they finish their pizza, they sit outside in the truck and we see the brakes flash briefly as if Simon is about to leave, but then they turn off and we are now inside the truck. Simon seems to change his mind from going back to the house to getting Finn out of there.
Simon tells Finn he's going to "do this" and Finn protests as Simon calls Beverly to tell her Finn needs to go back to New York. He tells her Finn will travel by bus and be at the bus station the next day by 3 p.m.. Finn continues to protest and we hear that despite Simon's rational, protective parental measures, Beverly is disappointed in him and seems resigned to Finn coming back, almost like she knew it wouldn't work out. I mean, how unfair is that?
Finn tells him that he can either stay and they finish the house together or they just leave together, but Simon tells him it's too unsafe for Finn to stay and he can't leave the house because he put all his money into it. He then obviously lies to Finn, telling him it will be fine, he'll finish the house, sleep at a motel at night and remain safe.
Finn seems to know this isn't true, but knows he's unable to change the situation. It's again that we see the transition between child and adult, only this time Finn leans towards being a child in order to become protected by his father. He wants to believe the lie because he wants to believe Simon will be safe, even though it's clear he knows the truth.
Finn tells Simon that he heard Lydia and he knows that Lydia wants Simon to stay, not go and Simon tells Finn that he should get along fine with Lydia if that's what she wants, because he wants to stay.
Later, we see that Finn and Simon arrive at a house, but it turns out it belongs to their neighbor, Louis the Electrician. Louis invites them in and Simon and Louis go to sit outside on the porch while Finn hangs out with Louis' son inside. Outside, Louis basically tells Simon he lied about the history of the property and his relationship with Lydia.
He starts off by telling Simon that he was the one that cut the power to the house because about four or five years ago, Louis had gone to the house and saw Lydia watching him through the window. After he saw her, he started sleepwalking and would walk down the road to her house. Every time he woke up, he'd be a little closer to her house. Um. What. Fuck that. Time to move, buddy. Not, you know, live really close by and visit occasionally.
Louis goes on to explain that one week there was an ice storm and the power was out the whole week. During that week, Lydia didn't bother him and he didn't sleepwalk, so he figured she liked having the power on because it gave her power, so he decided to cut the power to the house so she'd leave him alone.
When Louis recently arrived at the house to restore the power, he knew something bad would happen, but he knew it would get restored even if he wasn't the one to do it, so he went ahead and repaired the cut line. The problem, it turned out, was that very morning, Louis woke up at 3:30 a.m. at the head of Simon's driveway. Noooooo. No, no, nope, nopity fucking nope. Ugh, that's so creepy. He tells Simon that Simon has to stop whatever he is doing at the house or it will get worse.
Simon, feeling like he can be more honest because Louis is an adult, tells him that he was never flipping the house, that he bought it because he was hoping to entice Beverly to get back with him because she had always wanted a country house with room for horses.
Louis asks if Beverly loves him, tells Simon that love is something you can't flip and that he should just leave if she doesn't love him. Simon can't seem to let go of his dream of having his family whole, despite seeming to know Beverly doesn't really love him and tells Louis even if she doesn't love him, he still wants to do something really good for his family.
Louis tells him that the house will never be his, that it belongs to Lydia. Simon tells Louis that Lydia can scare the crap out of him if she wants, but she can't hurt him. He reminds Louis that Louis told him it was a good house once and that it's possible it could be a good house again, so he won't give up.
Louis gently reminds Simon that no matter what, every repair he makes just makes Lydia stronger, but seems resigned to Simon's determination to fix up the house, despite his warnings. Simon seems to know what kind of ending he's heading for by continuing to stay and fix the house, but doesn't seem to care if it results in his death, as long as his family is happy.
The next morning, Simon takes Finn to the bus station and watches as Finn boards a bus to New York. We are left to wonder if Finn will somehow try to come back to the house and try to be an adult or go back to New York and revert to being a child, safe from Lydia's reach.
Simon goes back to the house and hesitantly climbs the steps to the house. He looks for Lydia, doesn't see her, so he opens the front door. As he opens the front door, we have a view from the top of the stairs to both the front door and the chair in front of the window, upstairs, which appears to be empty for the time being. Great. So, now we have no idea where the witch is or what she's up to. Awesome.
Looking around some more downstairs, Simon doesn't see or hear Lydia, so he proceeds to take his heart medicine, then starts to paint the ceiling in what looks like the kitchen or dining room area. He spots an open door and goes to close it, which shows us he's not as calm as he is portraying himself to be.
Later, he goes to the barn to clean up some boards and as he is throwing some boards out the window on the second level of the barn, he comes back out of one room and sees Finn standing there. He is angry at first, because he wanted Finn to be safe, but it's obvious he's glad Finn came back. Only, when Simon asks Finn to help, Finn tells him he is helping, but he's the lookout. Um, okay. THAT'S NOT FINN.
First of all, Finn would always help Simon with the safer physical labor. In every scene he was helping Simon with physical stuff. Second, how would Finn have come back on foot from that far away by himself? Third, how would Simon not have heard Finn come up the barn stairs and walk right past him without seeing him? He would've had to go through the room he was just in to get in there. I mean, unless he can fly through the window like Peter Pan, that's Lydia. Not. Finn. Fuckity fuck fuck. Great.
Simon tells "Finn" he'll be on the next bus in the morning and Finn tells him to shut up. Okay, further evidence that's not Finn. He's only ever been nasty to Beverly, not Simon and he wasn't nasty to Simon the night before or even that morning, he was just resigned to Simon's fate and sad that he had to leave.
They go back in the house and as Simon is working on the ceiling again, Finn tells Simon that Simon is his favorite person, only he doesn't show it all the time because Simon often leaves him. Simon seems shocked at this revelation and also touched. He stops his work and goes to sit down beside Finn on the floor.
Finn asks why Simon keeps leaving him all of the time and Simon is finally honest with Finn, telling him that he often leaves because he thinks Finn is perfect and that he is a screw up who doesn't want to ruin Beverly and Finn with his very nature. He tells Finn that he questions why anyone would ever give him something so perfect when he only has a million ways to wreck it and he thought it would be better to just stay away.
I think for any parent that truly loves their child(ren), they worry constantly they are going to screw them up. Maybe some parents remain distant from their children emotionally and/or physically because they worry so much about messing up their children that they don't even give themselves a chance to parent, even though everything I've seen about Simon demonstrates he's a really good parent when he tries to be and is actually around Finn.
This film really demonstrates that no matter what age you are, you are still half a child and still half an adult. Sometimes we need the comfort of a parent in the form of actual parents, siblings, or from our significant others; sometimes we need the illusion of safety to keep going in the world, like a child. And sometimes we need to be strong for others, to show them that we are able to protect them, that not everything is hopeless, our challenges aren't insurmountable and we can omit the truth that sometimes we are not safe and we need help, like a parent. I like that this film shows us that everyone goes back and forth between being an child an being an adult and it's sometimes hard to know which one to be.
Simon gets a phone call after hugging Finn and it's Beverly. She's called to tell him Finn arrived at the bus station and is with her, safe. Finn, while Simon is taking this call, begins to hunch over and sit exactly how Lydia was sitting in the chair when they first saw her. You know, hunched over with her chin to her chest and her eyes closed. Beverly puts the real Finn on the phone and Simon tells him he loves him. When he hangs up with Finn, he looks over at Lydia, who is still in the form of Finn and Lydia looks over at him and smiles creepily.
Simon gets up and runs out of the house and as he runs through a doorway, we see Lydia has changed back into her own form and is chasing Simon through the house. He makes it outside to the truck with Lydia still chasing him and finds that he doesn't have his truck keys. He screams in frustration and fear and looks up to see the witch walking towards him at a fast clip. He takes off running down the road to Louis' house and knocks on the front door. Louis comes outside, obviously drunk and Simon asks for his help. Louis tells him he can't help him, because in order to help him, Simon would have had to have left the house in the first place. WHAT.
Simon wakes up and finds himself passed out on the stairs (who knows what really happened?) and he runs upstairs to grab his truck keys. He goes out to his truck, only to look up and see himself pounding in a rhythmic fashion on the sliding glass door of the house. I don't know if the image he sees of himself pounding on the glass is the house itself and he's hearing its heartbeat, or if it's Lydia messing with him, but he looks over and sees Lydia sitting with him in the truck. He screams and wakes up again and finds himself inside, staring out the window at the truck.
Simon runs outside, and we see behind him is Beverly, who has just come from inside the house. She tells him she had to come because she was worried about him. Simon knows this is not Beverly, but rather Lydia or the house preying upon his weakness of hoping for a family that is whole and his hope to be loved unconditionally, but he seems to stop caring to fight it. He wants the illusion, just like a child. He wants the comfort of a parent, a wife, and the feeling of being loved and belonging to someone.
Lydia tells him in the form of Beverly that he is free to go, she won't trap him anymore, but it's too late for Simon; Lydia knows that he doesn't feel like he has any other option, so she knows he will stay. She tells him that he won't have to share the house with her, that he will basically die in the house and be stuck there, like she has been. She tells him she will finally be free if he agrees to stay.
So, it seems like the house is alive and needs an energy source to revive it. It chose Lydia, but since Lydia was bad, she used the house's energy to scare others. Simon seems to know that if he dies and the house is connected to him, it can be good again, like Louis told him earlier.
Simon looks up and sees that Lydia has disappeared, but the house porch light turns on, like it is welcoming him in. Simon tells the house that he'll stay, but he has some work to do still, indicating that he won't become part of the house until he finishes renovating it for Beverly and Finn. Later, he puts his hand on the wall to seemingly feel the house's heartbeat and receives a phone call from Beverly.
Beverly tells Simon that Finn has been having bad dreams about the house and Simon, and Finn is worried about him. She goes on further to explain that she saw the pictures Finn took of the house and figured out Simon bought the house to renovate so they could all live together. Simon asks what she thinks of that and she tells him it was really nice of him to do that and think that, but basically she didn't want that kind of relationship with him, which it seems like he kind of already knew based on his conversation with Louis earlier.
Still, he seems sad and disappointed, like he was still holding out hope she'd say yes. It's really sad because as he's talking to her, he sitting in that creepy chair in the dark, looking out the window while Lydia sits beside him, waiting for his phone call to end so he can die and she can leave. This sucks, ugh.
The next morning, we see Louis sleepwalking on the road again as he makes his way to the house. He arrives at the house, wakes up and sees Simon sitting in the chair by the window, looking out, and he's obviously dead. I'm not sure if the house called Louis, Lydia called him or Simon called him in order for him to discover the body and tell Simon's family about it or if it's just messing with him still, but I also don't know who else would go up there so soon after Simon passed, so maybe it was one of them passing the message along so Lydia could leave.
A few weeks later, we see a van driving up the road and Beverly and Finn have arrived at the house. Beverly tells Finn that they own the house, but they'll sell it soon because no one would expect them to live in a house where someone died. Finn tells Beverly he's a little scared to go inside and she suggests he stay in the van and she will get some things and come back, then they can go to the motel they're staying in. Finn tells her no, he'll come inside and they go up to the house.
Beverly and Finn are amazed at how nice the home is inside and look around in wonder. Beverly goes upstairs and finds Simon's heart pills and indicates to us that either they thought something was wrong with the pills Simon took, that he either had or didn't have a heart condition (maybe was prescribed the wrong pills) or didn't go the doctor often enough. Whatever it was, that's not what happened. The house took Simon's heart for its own and their hearts are now connected. That and heartbreak is what killed Simon.
Finn goes to his room and finds a note from Simon, hidden among his toys. Based on what the note said, Finn understands that Simon is part of the house and is there with him, just as Lydia was. Finn convinces Beverly to stay and make the house their own and Simon is finally with his family, always.
We are then whisked away to New York, where we see a bunch of people in the city, walking around and we see that Lydia is there, finally free as well. Well, that's great. The evil got loose and is walking around. Best case scenario, right there.
We go back to Vermont to see Beverly and Finn living happily in their new home and as Finn gets ready for bed, he places his hand on the wall and says, "Goodnight, Dad" feeling and hearing the heartbeat of the house, but knowing this time his father is watching over him and he is safe.
I thought this was an amazing film. It was way deeper than I thought it would be, but I appreciated how much detail and thought was put into the writing and how great the acting was. It was scary and very creepy in some parts, but it was also very sad and thought-provoking in others. I thought it did a great job at portraying the differences between a child and an adult and how you can be both, no matter how old you get.
This isn't a light film, nor just a regular horror film. I think if you like deeper, slow-burn films, you will like this film. It is really heavy at times and you might need to watch something more light and happy after this one, maybe something like Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2000-2015) or Half-Baked (1998), just sayin'.
I hope you liked this review. Have you seen this film? Do you plan on watching it? Do you have other theories about what was going on in the house or do you think the house was alive and wanted a "good heart" instead of Lydia to become part of it? Please share your thoughts below!