The House at the End of Time is written and directed by Alejandro Hidalgo. In addition to penning the screenplay and directing, Hidalgo also served as a producer and editor on the project. The film marks Hidalgo’s first feature film effort. But it shows great promise – it is much more polished looking than what I generally expect to see from a first time feature film director.
In terms of classification, I almost wouldn’t call The House at the End of Time a horror movie. It certainly has horror elements and I can see why it has been categorized as a horror picture but it is more than a horror feature. It fits into a variety of other genres and sub-genres but to avoid giving anything away, I will just leave it at that. The less you know about this film going into it, the better. If you haven’t seen the trailer, don’t even watch that. Just go in cold. You will get the most enjoyment out of your first viewing by knowing little to nothing about the film.
In terms of repeat visits, I think that The House at the End of Time has a great deal of replay value. I’m already looking forward to going back and searching for the tells and Easter eggs that I missed the first time around. Although it’s best to go in cold the first time, having seen the film in its entirety is likely to provided another layer of enjoyment for repeat viewers.
The House at the End of Time zeroes in on a woman named Dulce, whose husband was murdered 30 years ago. Though Dulce claimed there was an evil entity in the house responsible for her husbands death, she was sentenced to a 30 year stint in prison. As a condition of her release, Dulce is ordered to return to her home and confront the memories and inner demons with which she associates it.
The premise of this film is unique for the fact that it features a much older protagonist than we are used to seeing in a horror picture and also for the fact that she is an ex-convict, rather than the typical young bombshell we are used to seeing in a horror feature. In spite of being older than the average horror protagonist, Dulce is an extremely relatable and well-written character. Ruddy Rodríguez does a spectacular job of bringing her to life under Hidalgo’s keen direction. It’s ultimately very refreshing to see a director that isn’t afraid to break the mold.
Scripting an older than average leading lady isn’t the only way that Hidalgo breaks the mold – not by a long shot. The third act of the film is full of revelations, twists, and turns. And though the first two acts are not nearly as exhilarating as the final 40 minutes of the film, they do keep the viewer in a constant state of curiosity as to what exactly is happening.
Though the film does explore some familiar territory, it does so expertly and it ads its own very unique spin to the tropes we’ve seen so many times before. The thing that I liked most about the finale it that it was unexpected and fairly original. It was fresh and different from what I was expecting.
My only criticism of the film is that it takes too long to get where it’s going. With that said, every second that the viewer must wait for the epic conclusion is worth his or her while. I just wish that Hidalgo had made some of the scenes in the first two acts a bit more enticing. But he makes up for what is lacking in action during the first hour of the film with likable and well-developed characters. They feel like real people and all of the players deliver raw, realistic performances.
The House at the End of Time is scheduled for a November 11th DVD and VOD release from Dark Sky Films. I would absolutely recommend checking it out.
WICKED RATING: 8/10 [usr 8]
Title: The House at the End of Time
Director(s): Alejandro Hidalgo
Writer(s): Alejandro Hidalgo
Stars: Ruddy Rodríguez, Guillermo García
Release: November 11, 2014
Studio/ Production Co: Dark Sky
Length: 101 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Supernatural Horror