The review of The House, the stop motion animated film available on Netflix from January 14, 2021 that tells three dark and unsettling stories.
There is always great joy when we find ourselves writing articles like this review of The House, because it means that an animation project like the one made by Nexus Studios has found the way to reach the general public of a popular streaming platform such as Netflix. And it is not a goal to be overlooked, both because it is animation with an adult and dark look, which did not easily find space in the past, and because the names that sign it, namely Emma de Swaef, Marc Roels, Niki Lindroth von Bahr and Paloma Baeza, are among the most important in the field of stop motion and it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to appreciate their work. And there is so much to appreciate in a work like The House, both on the technical and animation level, and on the narrative one, with its eccentric dark humor.
One house, three stories
There is indeed a common thread in The House, even if the film brings together different stories that revolve around the house, as the title suggests. A common thread that is above all in that surreal feeling of estrangement that the three stories evoke, something more or less subtle that crawls under the surface. It begins with a first chapter signed by Emma de Swaef and Marc Roels, which looks at a past time and shows us an agreement between a family man and an eccentric architect for the construction of the dream house. A beautiful, huge, almost magical house due to some oddities that occur, but which little by little lets something disturbing emerge.
With the second chapter signed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr we move to the present day to follow an entrepreneur engaged in the renovation of the house with the intention of seeing it and earning the money he absolutely needs, but he will have to deal with various problems and above all with an infestation , of insects and more. Another temporal leap forward is made with the third chapter of Paloma Baeza, which takes us into a future that sees the house surrounded by water and the landlord refusing to accept the reality of the facts and move on.
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Those in The House are not horror stories, but stories that evoke a subtle sense of disquiet that gradually creeps under the viewer’s skin, despite the figures of anthropomorphic animals that animate two out of three of the chapters. A surreal atmosphere that uses an eccentric humor to bring out dissonant notes, which displaces and at the same time conquers. Because we find ourselves captivated by the three stories that are told to us and by their protagonists, net of a central chapter perhaps less focused on the whole, by the three variations on the theme that have their roots in this surreal and unsettling house of the title.
The high technical and artistic quality of the animation of The House certainly plays a part, a stop-motion at the top of the sector, which gives depth to the environments and fluidity to the figures that move inside. An excellence that is made of great care and delicacy in outlining the models of the characters, as much attention in moving them, but also a mise-en-scène that moves the room with skill and foresight to follow the stories. It is not a front page animation, of those that attract the general public in the room or views on the platform, but of those that lovers of the medium would do well to watch, because they will find so much to appreciate and love.
We can only reiterate it at the end of the review of The House: the stop-motion anthological film available on Netflix is an excellence in its sector, signed by artists at the top of this technique and with a very high artistic quality. However, he also has the ability to tell three stories that exploit an eccentric dark humor to insinuate themselves under the skin and surprise the viewer.
Because we like it
- A stop-motion of great quality, fluid and suggestive.
- An equally high artistic level, which outlines an atmosphere of great atmosphere and intriguing characters.
- Three stories that know how to kidnap and surprise the viewer …
- … Net of a slightly less successful central chapter.
- It is not an animation for everyone, but the advice is to give The House a chance.