Horror fans are privy to thousands of films that focus on haunted houses. In the 21st century, it can become tedious to constantly watch movies that collapse into cliches and parodies of itself. What The House at the End of Time does to avoid these pitfalls is rely on intelligent writing, amazing acting, and an elaborate plot.
At the beginning of the film, the viewer is immediately dropped into a terrifying scene where a mother, Dulce (Ruddy Rodriguez), is attempting to survive in a dangerous setting. We have absolutely no idea what is going on, but it feels incredibly refreshing to find yourself in the midst of horror without a slow paced buildup. The confusion never really goes away as the viewer is thrown through different spaces and time. The intelligence of the film is astounding due to the complexity of the camerawork, acting, and plot lines. The Venezuelan setting is used in full effect and local sounds or music can be heard throughout the film. The acting is incredible. All of the actors are Venezuelan and mostly unknown in the United States, which again results in a very refreshing circumstance. Themes of time travel, repentance, mental illness, and family stressors collide to create a 101 minute film reel perfectly paced and forever exciting.
Whenever a movie connects the dots for you, it is inevitable that they may take away a sense of ambiguity that horror fans love. The House at the End of Time may perfectly twist and warp every plotline by the end of the film, but it feels a little overcooked at times. Time travel is incredibly complex due to the constant threat of paradoxes, but it wouldn’t be amazing if it wasn’t for its complexity. The end of the film gives all of the answers, which many viewers will find apt, but it does so at the cost of mystery and realism. Furthermore, not every plot twist feels appropriate, which results in unrealistic moments that can feel cheesy for many viewers.
I judge many horror films I watch on how much I think about them weeks or years in the future.
Ever since watching The House at the End of Time, I haven’t stopped thinking about its acting and creative storyline. Of course, every horror fan cares about the scare level of a film they are watching. Numerous well placed jump scares and an overall sense of doom results in a very sinister and claustrophobic experience. It may not be the scariest movie of all time, but it is one of the more intelligent horror films I have seen. All horror fans that appreciate thinking while being freaked out will enjoy the constant bends that take place, even if they end up where we didn’t want them to.
If you liked The House at the End of Time, you might also like Oculus.