The House at the End of Time, (“La Casa del Fin de los Tiempos” in its native language) is a Venezuelan film with English subtitles. It premiered in the summer of 2013 at the Venezuelan Film Festival. According to Wikipedia, it is the “highest grossing thriller of all time in Venezuela.”
In the house that’s the subject of this film, husband/father Juan Jose is murdered – son and young boy Leopolodo “disappears”. He is presumed dead and wife/mother Dulce is reputed to be the murderer. She serves thirty years in prison for these crimes. She is then released and she returns to the house, a.k.a the scene of the crime, where strange things are afoot.
It’s difficult to tread into the weeds of the plot without unearthing major spoilers. However, a few key words in the title of the film provide an important clue to the secrets of this film: “end of time.” Therefore, one can expect a film that deals with the supernatural while challenging the linear notion of time. And this expectation is met – quite brilliantly so! There are clever twists and turns throughout the film, so much so that at times I became lost in the plot. But never mind that – at the film’s end I was completely satisfied. Besides, getting lost helps one to identify with the bewildered characters that are forced to confront the startling mysteries within this house – mysteries that are doled out; never allowing an understanding of “the big picture” until all is said and done.
The movie has archetypal haunted house moments – something is banging on closed bedroom doors. Apparitions wander about from “time to time”. Then there is the staircase that leads down to dark and cryptic tunnels of stone; very convenient for a horror movie, especially since there seems to be no purpose for these tunnels other than to add an extra layer of eerie to an already haunted environment.
Alejandro Hildago is at the helm of all of the creative and executive roles of this film. IMDB lists him as the writer, director and executive producer. However, The House at the End of Time begins and ends his resume, at least according to IMDB. I certainly would like to see more from this man. But if this is to be his first and final film, at least it’s a good one.