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Netflix’s The House released in January this year, and I simply can’t express how much you need to watch it if you like adult animations full to the brim with eerie delight.
Directors Niki Lindroth von Bahr and Paloma Baeza, plus writer Enda Walsh, deliver a surreal film that twists and dives like a fever dream through its creeping plot. If you aren’t already sold, we’re going to take a look at why you need to watch Netflix’s The House. It will not disappoint.
Insidious surprises amongst stunning animation
While searching for a movie and doing the never-ending Netflix shuffle with my friends one night, we came across The House. As the mini-trailer played out, one of my friends jeered that it looked like a weird movie. I snatched the remote out of her hands and promptly added it to ‘my list’ to come back to when I could enjoy it alone. This film, in the approximate 15 seconds I had seen it on my screen, had intrigued me.
When I returned to the movie sometime later, I was taken aback. The film is weird, but that’s exactly why you’ll love it. The stop-motion animation is without a doubt overflowing with love and special care. It’s stunning, and most importantly, it’s resoundingly unsettling. I found the first segment to have an especially creepy animation style that left me both unnerved and unable to look away.
There’s an astounding level of heart that comes along with the animation of this movie, because unbelievable effort must have been required to pull off such a visually vibrant feat.
A flawlessly executed plot
The film is split into three separate stories, all of which revolve around an ominous house. If you’re like me, an anthology isn’t exactly appealing at first glance. Multiple stories can be difficult to remain attached to and interested in. But The House surpassed my expectations.
Not once did I wonder how long the plot of each story would continue, because I was fully hooked the moment the first story began. Each story felt like it was its own small enthralling movie, sucking you almost unwillingly into its universe.
The first story follows a poor 1800s family who mysteriously receives a fully furnished, beautifully made house that appears too good to be true. The second follows a rat from modern times who is attempting to develop and sell a house by rushing preparations. The final story is set in the future and follows an unruly landlady who is unwilling to let go of the house.
Each story focuses on the misplaced desires and wants that our main characters have, and their eventual relinquishment of them. The important message to gather from these stories, for me, is why each person is able to move on. One is forced, one is swayed, and one is willing.
Thrilling voice acting
The House boasts an experienced and delightful cast. They bring natural colour and life to their characters while not taking themselves too seriously. I often found myself enjoying their ability to naturally stumble throughout certain moments that called for it, and pull from wells of true, raw emotion at other times.
I particularly took notice of Rosa the landlady’s voice actor, Susan Wokoma, who managed to convey Rosa’s frustrated and emotional tone flawlessly throughout the film. Each voice actor completely understood the emotional intensity required for their roles. For particularly scary scenes, their contributions to the terrifying atmosphere using dialogue were never distracting, only adding to my delighted terror.
You’ll find yourself laughing
I understand I’ve hyped up the horror factors of this film, so humor is an unexpected feature for me to mention. But The House can’t help but be funny at times. It is unbelievably able to make you shudder as you watch, and then immediately make you chuckle to yourself at its pure absurdity. The famous bug scene (you will know it when you see it) had me blinking in disbelief at my screen. The House had endearing humor that made me fond of its latter two stories. I wasn’t quite expecting to laugh, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
Resonating underlying messages
I relish in the fact that as I shove this undiscovered gem down the throats of everyone I meet who will spare me a moment, they will each interpret the film differently. You can uncover multiple theories on what the messaging of The House is through forums like Reddit, but few people are able to agree on the intricacies of just what The House is trying to say.
To each person, one of the stories may be more well received than others, or the message gathered for each person could be completely subjective. To me, The House is trying to say that your aspirations can often consume you, and it relies solely on you to realize when you’ve taken things too far.
It’s about the inherent desires people are born with, and how far they will go to achieve them. If you want to find out what message The House wants to send you, you’ll need to sit down and give the film 1 hour and 37 minutes to find out.
So yes, The House is weird. It’s weird in the best possible way. You know you’re walking into a strange creep-fest, and you do so willingly when you choose to watch this film on Netflix. It’s about enjoying the wild ride that the plot takes, and trying to discern meaning from its unpredictable storyline that you’re sure to enjoy. If you’re looking for a film that will leave you wondering to yourself for some time, I would absolutely recommend watching this charming film.