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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The House at the End of Time
The House at the End of Time
Other // Unrated // November 11, 2014
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeremy Biltz | posted January 9, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Movie:
Haunted house movies are thick on the ground in almost any era. They are the go to sub-genre for erstwhile horror filmmakers. The creepy old house does half the work. All you need are unexplained noises, jump scares, a decent sense of timing and some halfway sympathetic characters, and the film almost makes itself. Alejandro Hidalgo makes his best effort, and though his pacing is leaden and plodding, the payoff is good enough that it almost makes up for it.

Dulce (Ruddy Rodriguez) is a wife and mother convicted many years ago of the murder of her husband Juan Jose and son Leo (Gonzalo Cubero and Rosmel Bustamante), though Leo's body was never found. After serving 30 years, she is released to house arrest on compassionate leave, due to her deteriorating health. She moves back in to the decrepit house that was the scene of the crime so long ago.

Much of the film is told in flashbacks as we see the sequence of events that led up to the deaths, and we jump back and forth in time regularly. We see Leo's somewhat contentious relationship with his younger brother Rodrigo (Hector Mercado), and Rodrigo's untimely death in a sports accident. The first two thirds of the movie are relaying this back story, and the intricate interactions of the residents of the house and various ghosts and apparitions, including that of an elderly man holding a knife. This portion of the film is incredibly slow moving and tedious. It doesn't seem to have any point, and while there's some real tension from time to time, it's mostly boring, low level family drama.

But the third act is where the film really pays off. During the tedium and droning slog of the first two acts, things were happening that were actually very important and that fit together quite neatly in the end and in a very satisfying and cool way. The big drawback is that all of these things were relayed in an opaque and uninteresting way on the front end. To be honest, if it wasn't my job to watch The House at the End of Time to the end, I would have given up well before the climax, and would have thereby missed some very, very cool reveals. It's too bad that writer/director Hidalgo couldn't have done more to intrigue the viewer in the run up.

As I said, the third act awesomeness almost makes up for the awfulness of the first two acts, but really not quite. It was difficult to get through the film, and a little more oomph at the front end would significantly increase the number of people who will make it through to the cool parts. Overall, the film is something of a wash, but nevertheless is Recommended.

The DVD

Video:
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and looks pretty good. The image is a tad murky and grainy at times, but this fits in with the oppressive mood of the film. The colors are all muted and the light is always low, but overall things look very good.

Sound:
The audio is Dolby digital 5.1 Spanish, with available English subtitles. There are a lot of soft noises and creepy sounds, and these are well presented and subtle. No real problem in the audio is detectible, and the dialogue is always easy to hear, though for non-Spanish speakers like me the subtitles would take care of that anyway. No hiss or other issue can be heard.

Extras:
The only extra included is a trailer for the feature.

Final Thoughts:
In the final accounting, The House at the End of Time is a pretty cool film, but more effort is required to find this out than should really be necessary. The excruciating first two acts make it very difficult to persevere to the end. But the reward for making it through is quite substantial. Check it out, and have patience.

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