The House, the Netflix series in stopmotionIt’s a cheat experiment. One that bases its effectiveness on a placid image of deceptive tenderness. After all, the anthology film is a care stopmotion of rare precision and with an outstanding visual section. One that uses the tropes of the horror genre in an immersive experience that goes from the plot curiosity to the frankly unpleasant. But what could be a watered-down version of a sinister premise is actually it’s a disturbing gem.
The production tells the story of a mysterious house as time passes and the darkness inside it deepens. The argument of each of the chapters is assembled in the manner of a careful narrative thread that extends in three different directions. It does so as it highlights that what binds the unexplained and often terrifying events together is a core of indecipherable darkness. The House, uses the visual to underpin the fact that every version of reality often has multiple dimensions. And that this disturbing dual quality manifests itself through time as a measure of the absurd.
The surreal and the oneiric create in The House a sense of urgency to escape from a nightmare. Either because their characters are humanized animals or because the stories become more unbearable. The center point of The House is the disorientation. The nagging sense that the shadows — the danger, the horrors — are moving fast. That as the three storylines converge in a look back at the past, the weight of guilt and spiritual anguish. that’s when The House reaches a peculiar and inexplicable breaking point. What is the film trying to tell? What lurks in the shadows of darkness? What lives under an apparently innocent appearance?
The fear that hides under naivety in The House
The House does not title its chapters: each of the fragments function as anonymous ideas. Apparently, these are separate and unconnected events. In addition, the directors of each chapter use the space — places and things — as a shifting and blurred stage. It is the same house, but in different times and situations. But furthermore, it is an identical circumstance even if it is not immediately obvious. The most amazing: it is also the very hint of terror, hidden in plain sight.
There is a set of mirrors in The House which grows darker from story to story. As the lovable characters go from room to room, laughing and wondering about the place they inhabit, something putrid grows in the periphery. Indeed, the first episode, directed by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, sets up that agonizing pace of secret to be revealed. Little by little, the house, in all its sweet beauty, reveals itself as the mask of something alive, sharp and black.. A discordant element that provokes a clash of sensations and presumptions that overwhelms with gloomy eloquence.
From the first scene, which begins with the cryptic phrase “and you listen inside, a lie is woven” to the last, with all its bitter surprise. The House it is a thoughtful journey and better constructed through a subtle horror that takes advantage of all the virtues of its narration. The stopmotion it acts as a double creation by sustaining the plot and its sinister ambiguity. For your final scene, The House makes it clear that terror can be told in many ways. And that the series chose one, impeccable and sharp as a dark and sharp weapon.