Return of the 31 Days of Our Favorite Horror: The House at the End of Time

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The House at the End of Time a.k.a. La Casa del fin de los Tiempos (2013) Dir. Alejandro Hidalgo

This is a movie that really surprised me when I watched it. I was not expecting this movie to be as good as I found it to be. It’s not the best Spanish-speaking horror movie that I’ve seen, but it’s definitely one of the better in that subgenre, let alone in all of psychological horror that I’ve seen in the last few years.

The set up is a little confusing at first, as it begins with an old woman coming back to the home where she started a family and eventually lost them there too. The movie is basically a time loop, one that is both unforgiving and forgiving to the sins of the past, in the hopes of setting the wrongs right. The woman, Dulce, her husband and two sons live in an old house and strange and unsettling supernatural phenomena begin occurring throughout the house. Those events also seem to have a connection to the dissolution of the marriage.

Once the phenomena begin, a set of tragic circumstances begin to plague the family, and they nearly collapse into themselves as a family. All except Dulce. She truly is the lynchpin that holds the family together, and she is ultimately the fall guy for when everything falls apart. Much like the film The Orphanage, this film has a really poetic sense of tragedy and redemption. Redemption is something that the audience wants for Dulce, who was sent to prison for 30 years after she seemingly murdered her family, but she resisted any opportunity for redemption, having given up her faith in God.

There are some genuine scares throughout, mainly some unsettling moments in the dark recesses of the old house. And the house sort of reminds me of the house in Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, where the house acts as a vessel for horror and redemption. This old house in The House at the End of Time is a puppet master of sorts, perhaps it is a proxy for God, manipulating the inhabitants to a point of no return emotionally and spiritually. Or maybe there is another inhabitant, perhaps demonic, also with the same agenda. The viewer never really knows for sure, but I felt rather satisfied by the narrative’s conclusion.

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