In an attempt to patch up their relationship, opinionated, deadbeat, college dropout - and runner-up in a Skeet Ulrich-lookalike competition - Randall (Noah Le Gros) takes his supersmart girlfriend, Emily (Liana Liberato) to his family's beach house.
As it's out of season, they're expecting to have the place to themselves.
However, due to a breakdown in communication with Randall's dad, they instead find a couple of old family friends - Mitch (Hell on Wheels and Dawn of The Dead's Jake Weber) and his sick wife, Jane (Maryann Nagel) - are already staying there.
As the house is big enough to accommodate everyone, after a few awkward moments, they agree to "get to know you" meal that, having exhausted the alcohol supply, ends with the consumption of some edible marijuana.
Senses heightened by the drugs everyone is awed by a blue luminesce that clings to everything around the beach.
And the next morning, things start to get even weirder as people start to feel violently ill.
Having witnessed an apparent suicide, Emily - the only real candidate for the title of 'final girl' - stumbles across something vile and gelatinous on the beach, and soon finds herself trying to escape an unnatural fog that's rolling in as well.
For all intents and purposes, The Beach House is another reimagining of HP Lovecraft's Color Out Of Space, only this time the alien infestation is coming from the bottom of the ocean, rather than the cold depths of the cosmos.
Mixed in for good measure is a flavouring of Stephen King's The Mist and John Carpenter's The Fog, and maybe a soupçon of Quatermass.
There's no denying that all the ingredients are there for a quality horror film, and it was trailers for The Beach House that originally got me thinking about subscribing to the Shudder streaming service.
If you're coming to this cold, you should be aware that it's a really slow burn. Pretty much nothing really happens for the first half of this 88-minute movie, except Mitch and Jane being a bit odd.
But then, suddenly, the body horror gets cranked up to 11 and we're off to the races.
There are some deliciously gross-out moments around this time when you can't help wondering if this is going to be "the greatest film of all time", but sadly it isn't.
Like Emily herself, the plot stumbles all over the place, trying to figure out what's going on.
Having a lead character's obscure area of study - and interests - corollate almost exactly with the nature of the random, apocalyptic, scenario that she has fallen into is rather heavy-handed, even if Emily doesn't really call upon her area of expertise once everything starts to hit the fan.
Instead, it is simply sown in as ominous exposition during the meal with Mitch and Jane, and like a lot of the set-up is more or less a red herring.
That said, I have no problems with stories - horror ones, in particular - where the audience isn't spoon-fed an explanation of what's occurring (if nothing else, it helps you sympathise with the struggles of the central characters), but I'm not sure writer/director Jeffrey A Brown's script gave us as much information as he thought it did.
But, perhaps, my biggest bugbear - which kept pulling me out of the moment - was the total absence of mobile phones.
There was no indication that The Beach House was a 'period piece', but nobody had a mobile phone (which, of course, would have been very useful and would have almost certainly changed the direction of the story). Nobody even mentioned the idea of finding one.
Communication-wise, all we saw were a couple of disconnected landlines and a CB radio.
Where were the mobile phones? I'm annoyed at myself over how much this bugged me, but mobiles are ubiquitous in modern society and their absence was as big a mystery as what was actually causing the water-borne infection.
- The Beach House can currently be found on Shudder in the UK.