Spoilers are not coming in.
When this film begins, we’re dropped right in the middle of a suspenseful yet unexplained event. The movie wastes no time in letting us feel the dread inside this house, and letting us form our own conclusions. It’s a rather unique way to start a supernatural thriller that in the beginning seems to play like another horror film. It’s actually more than that under the surface, and it’s definitely one to watch. I would strongly suggest stopping now and making a visit.
The House at the End of Time / La Casa del Fin de los Tiempos (2013) was written and directed by Alejandro Hidalgo with screenplay consultant Frank Baiz Quevedo. The story starts in the middle of a gruesome murder that results in the imprisonment of Dulce (Ruddy Rodríguez). She is convicted of killing her husband Juan José (Gonzalo Cubero) and her son Leopoldo (Rosmel Bustamente) although the kid was never found.
The story is told both in the past and the present. Dulce and Juan José are going through some rough times trying to make ends meet. They live in a house that was abandoned, claimed by the government and sold at a low price. They have two sons, Leopoldo and Rodrigo (Hector Mercado). One night, someone seems have gotten inside the house. What they are after, we do not know.
In the present, thirty years have passed and Dulce is allowed to continue her life sentence back at her old house due to her old age. She is visited by the local priest (Guillermo García) who wants to help her come to terms with her past. You’d think she’s telling the story to him, but it’s more than that. Dulce is still very much a part of an unfinished story and the house still has surprises for her. This is not a line meant to sound ominous, but saying more than that would be spoiling the mystery.
Director Alejandro Hidalgo weaves a simple but complicated tale in which the horror genre is turn on its head to reveal a thriller with supernatural implications. I don’t want to say exactly what it is, but let’s just say there’s a major hint in the title. Missing details that you might perceive as flaws turn out to be part of the main plot. As a matter of fact, very little is left to chance. This movie is a shining example of what Venezuelan horror/thriller films can be. The movie also has a heart. Ruddy Rodríguez really gives her role a lot of humanity and that makes the outcome a heartfelt one.
Highly recommended with minimum reservations. I would dare say, that it’s only minimal flaw is how conveniently it fits pieces together at the end. On the other hand, there’s also the matter that once I mention twists and turns, you might be tempted to wait only for those. At the same time, if I don’t let you know about a twist in this horror film that subverts the genre, you might discount it another run-of-mill jumpscare flick. It’s smarter than that and emotionally deeper than most thrillers. I would dare say it’s almost destined to become a classic. It’s just a matter of time.
That will do for now.