Film #25: HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME aka LA CASA DEL FIN DE LOS TIEMPOS
House at the End of Time (aka La Casa del fin de Los Tiempos)
2.75 out of 5 stars
With this, his first film, director Alejandro Hidalgo, plays fast and loose with his audience’s perception of time and the supernatural to varied results. The film (which is essentially Nacho Vigalondo’s TIMECRIMES meets J.A. Bayona’s THE ORPHANAGE) spends a lot of its time purposefully obfuscating what’s going on and does its best to be a classic “old dark house” movie, but soon… it gives away its narrative game and reveals itself to be, instead, a “time loop” flick. The acting is good across the board, but… overall, the film stumbles due to its “molasses in January” slowness. I mean, the film takes FOREVER to get where it’s going and does its audiences no favors by wallowing in its own novelty. That said though… the “reveal” at the end is handled deftly and with no small amount of resonance. All in all, HOUSE is a solid Venezuelan puzzler. It’s just that the script tries too hard and the director seems to feel compelled to slather on the confusion for it to be considered a solid film. The uniqueness of its premise is simply not enough to support an entire film. This would’ve made a great short, if you get my drift. Also… look for one of the WORST old-age makeups of all time in this film. The makeup is so poorly done that it left me scratching my head as to why they let that fly. But yeah… Well made, but again, slooooow, HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME won't make you forget films like THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE or Jaume Balaguero’s DARKNESS, but it does hold one’s attention and, again, that pay-off at the end is handled REALLY well.