HOSTAGE HOUSE on Netflix is a thriller of the “TV movie”-variety. Sometimes, these types of movies work. Not this time! The acting is bad, the story is worse, and nothing really works. It did make me laugh a few times, though. Read our full Hostage House movie review here!

HOSTAGE HOUSE is a new thriller on Netflix from MarVista, who often produces movies for Lifetime. This alone should tell you a lot. Also, it takes place during an “Open House” which is yet another setting we’re quite familiar with for thriller and horror movies.


The Netflix surprise hit thriller The Open House which we’ve reviewed here >

Then again, we’ve come to learn that sometimes these movies can be a lot better than you’d expect. Other times, they’re so bad that they actually become entertaining. This movie isn’t really in either of those categories. Essentially, it’s just a bad movie with terrible acting and a story that makes little to no sense.

Continue reading our Hostage House movie review below and find it on Netflix now.

Cringeworthy lines throughout

Sometimes, these kinds of movies become so bad that it becomes kitsch. That actually makes them worth watching even though it’s not exactly for the intended purpose of delivering “thrills”. With Hostage House, the dialogue is so damn terrible that you can’t even enjoy any sort of campiness.


Our review of one of the better MarVista movies on Netflix Killer Cove here >

Actually, often there isn’t much dialogue. It’s more of one-liners and strange little monologues. All of which results in so many cringe-worthy lines being spoken aloud. Overall, this movie has “TV movie” written all over it and feels a lot longer than its runtime of just 85 minutes.

The ending of Hostage House

And yes, the ending of Hostage House is extremely predictable and should come as no surprise. In fact, the Hostage House ending delivers the most cringeworthy moments in the shortest span of time. Including someone mouthing “thank you” which could only make me roll my eyes. I mean damn, this is one of the most paint-by-numbers thrillers, I’ve ever watched.

Still, the acting could have saved some of the movie (as could the director), but that just doesn’t happen!

Okay, in all fairness, the very final scene of Hostage House did actually deliver a rather strong moment. Just not related to the main storyline or thriller element of the film.

Hostage House – Netflix Review

The cast of Hostage House

Also, the acting is so damn bad. Even from actors you know and would expect more from. I blame both the screenplay and director more than the actors. You may recognize the main protagonist, Susan — she’s portrayed by Jennifer Taylor from Two and a Half Men.

Also in the cast is Emily Sweet from Castle Freak (read our review of that one here) and Justin C. Schilling, who has mainly one facial expression. Oh, except for when he’s in pain (sorry if that’s a spoiler). His “pain face” is so over-the-top and ridiculous that it did actually make me laugh! This was probably the highlight of the movie.

To be fair, his character is one big trope, so I don’t know what he should do better. Oh, and there is one actor who works remarkably well and does manage to deliver lines and actions in believable ways. The actor is Patrick Cronen and he delivers the best performance, by far, in Hostage House.

You can watch Hostage House on Netflix now!

Hostage House was directed by David Benullo and this is only his second feature film since Hallowed Ground from 2007. In the meantime, he’s been a second unit director on movies such as Beware of Mom, Twisted Twin, A Mother Knows Worst, Into the Arms of Danger, and Escaping My Stalker. And those are just the movies released in 2020.

The screenplay for this new Netflix thriller was written by Daniel West, who began his career just four years ago. His first three movies have the titles A Stranger with My Kids, Psycho Wedding Crasher, and Killer Single Dad. I’m just mentioning these titles to set the stage for you.

Pro tip: If you want to catch all the little details, make sure you turn on “Closed Captions”, so you’ll know exactly what feelings the score is supposed to make you feel. It offers up some extra entertainment and actually made it more entertaining for me. Which really doesn’t say much.

Hostage House is out on Netflix in the US, the UK, Australia, and South Africa from July 27, 2021.


Director: David Benullo
Writer: Daniel West
Stars: Jennifer Taylor, Emily Sweet, Julia Terranova, Justin Schilling, Patrick Cronen, Richard Neil


A realtor and her daughter get taken captive by two fugitive criminals during an open house, forcing her to find creative ways to ensure their survival.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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