Netflix isn’t shy astir wanting to go the go-to streamer for the biggest and champion anthology bid around.
From animated fare successful Love, Death and Robots to live-action projects including Black Mirror and Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting series, the streaming elephantine is making a concerted propulsion to execute that goal. And, with anthology shows similar Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities besides successful improvement for its streaming service, Netflix’s anthology TV show slate volition lone proceed to grow.
Based connected the captious reception of akin projects, Netflix should person precocious hopes for its adjacent multi-narrative production. The House, a halt question anthology miniseries from Nexus Studios, whose erstwhile works see Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever Disney Plus animated special, seems good placed to proceed Netflix’s anthology blistery streak.
So is it immoderate good? In short, yes. The House is simply a surreal and unsettling horror-comedy bid that feels similar a Wallace and Gromit-cum-David Lynch fever dream; its interconnected stories seemingly serving arsenic 1 large parable for however we unrecorded our lives successful the contiguous day. There are immoderate missteps with its wide execution and finale, but The House mostly delivers connected the creepy vibe that its teaser trailer promised.
Home is wherever the bosom is
Billed arsenic an eccentric acheronian comedy, The House follows 3 tangential stories, acceptable successful antithetic clip periods, successful the titular but unnamed abode.
The archetypal tale, occurring successful the 1800s, is centered connected a mediocre quality household that moves into ‘the House’ pursuing a accidental brushwood with a mysterious but eerie benefactor. The 2nd crippled follows an unnamed humanoid rodent (Jarvis Cocker) successful the contiguous day, who works arsenic a spot developer and, aft coming into possession of the building, battles immoderate unexpected guests arsenic helium tries to renovate it. Set successful the adjacent future, the last communicative introduces audiences to Rosa (Susan Wokoma), an anthropomorphic feline who struggles to reconstruct ‘the House’ – which was her puerility location – to its erstwhile glory.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the archetypal communicative that sets the full miniseries successful motion. ‘The House’ is lone built aft the eerie benefactor slyly convinces the family’s drunk hubby and begetter Raymond (Matthew Goode) to commercialized their lowly cottage for a beingness of alleged royalty.
But, conscionable arsenic the Butterfly Effect mentation suggests, Raymond’s seemingly tiny determination ends up having huge, nightmarish ramifications – not conscionable for his family, but for whoever owns the gathering down the line.
Events that yet materialize are of the intelligence fearfulness variety, with the foreboding and dread-inducing atmospheres making mode for shocking twists and turns arsenic each communicative barrels towards its conclusion. Such moments are elevated by the usage of halt question animation, which lone adhd to the spookiness done the jagged and unnatural movements of its characters. Think Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox meets David Firth’s Salad Fingers – or, going backmost further, Ray Harryhausen’s 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts – to get a consciousness of The House’s ocular benignant and tone.
Links to the past
That isn’t to accidental that Nexus Studios’ usage of halt question is outdated – acold from it. Sure, the animation benignant isn’t wide employed successful modern productions but, portion Nexus uses halt question to adhd immoderate horror-based creator flair to proceedings, the wide animation is beauteous fluid. Those unaware of Nexus’ usage of halt question and puppetry whitethorn adjacent judge the miniseries’ aesthetic was created utilizing VFX and CGI effects – a compliment that shows however seamless immoderate of The House’s animation is.
And it isn’t conscionable the exertion of halt question animation that’ll beryllium a pleasing throwback for immoderate viewers. The 2nd and 3rd stories, with their anthropomorphic animals, person a distinctly Sylvanian Families feel; the 1980s Epoch-created flocked figurines’ affable aesthetic, which appears to person inspired the look for The House, juxtaposing the miniseries’ acheronian drama vibe.
The House’s formed and philharmonic elements are hat-tips to decades gone by, too. Acting icons of the 1980s and 1990s, including Miranda Richardson (The Crying Game, Blackadder) and Stephanie Cole (Tenko, Doc Martin) are among the show’s stellar cast. The summation of Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter), is besides fitting, fixed that The House is occasionally reminiscent of the works of Tim Burton, Bonham Carter’s ex-partner and collaborator.
Speaking of Burton and the aforementioned Wes Anderson, The House is beauteous amusing. Yes, its drama is of the smirk oregon chuckle variety, alternatively than entering laughter retired large territory, but its subtlety is what makes it enactment truthful good successful the miniseries’ context. For a amusement that tin beryllium very macabre, a sprinkling of wit passim eases the hostility astatine indispensable moments.
As for the miniseries’ score, Gustavo Santaolalla (The Last of Us Part II, Narcos) provides immoderate haunting pieces that infuse the amusement with much terror. But it’s the additions of ex-Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker and, much unexpectedly, Pharrell Williams’ hip-hop stone set N.E.R.D that’ll astonishment audiences most. Cocker lends his dependable to section two’s rodent protagonist, arsenic good arsenic co-writing and performing the extremity credits song, portion N.E.R.D way Lapdance is besides utilized during section 2 – the duo’s inclusion bringing an unusually nostalgic portion of 1990s and aboriginal 2000s euphony to proceedings.
Despite The House’s bully elements, it does person a fewer missteps.
For one, The House’s last moments are, if you pardon the pun – aft all, the last communicative focuses connected a quality called Rosa – bewilderingly rosy. Given the 2 stories that preceded it, section three’s ending is simply a spot too optimistic and cheery; a finale that’s antithetical to the weirdly unpleasant endings that chapters 1 and 2 delivered.
The House besides ends beauteous abruptly. Sure, its three-story arc, presumably based connected however its communicative is structured to incorporated the past, contiguous and future, does enactment effectively. But, portion Netflix and Nexus seemingly privation viewers to construe each communicative and its themes successful the mode they spot fit, a small much crippled exposition oregon due interconnectivity betwixt the trio of stories wouldn’t person gone amiss. An introduction that bridges the spread betwixt chapters 1 and 2 whitethorn person been capable to supply amended continuity.
People with epilepsy, oregon different conditions that tin beryllium exacerbated by strobe lighting, should beryllium alert that The House doesn’t travel with a seizure trigger warning. Given that section 2 contains flashing lights during 1 peculiar scene, the deficiency of a trigger informing connection is surely an oversight connected Netflix and Nexus’ part.
The House is simply a freakish, darkly comedic arthouse-style miniseries that’ll enactment with you for immoderate clip aft the credits roll. Its loosely linked narratives volition gully you successful with their emotionally resonant communicative beats and modern halt question aesthetic, earlier its wicked about-turns volition permission you disturbed, unnerved and adjacent bizarrely hopeful.
There’s capable leeway successful The House’s trio of tales to let for assemblage mentation concerning their section titles, themes and allegorical endings – truthful overmuch truthful that you whitethorn find yourself re-watching them, oregon scouring the internet, to recognize the deeper meaning down them. But that’s what the champion TV shows, films and miniseries do: they marque their assemblage think, and The House surely does that.
It’s not perfect, with The House losing its mode erstwhile it substitutes the surreal for much cheery crippled elements. And, arsenic a three-parter, it feels similar it ends earlier it genuinely gets going. But its quirks, gallows wit and daze value, coupled with its superb animation and anxiety-inducing disposition, mostly marque up for its flaws. And, amid different Netflix originals acceptable to onshore successful January 2022, including Ozark play 4, The House is simply a uniquely devised miniseries that surely stands retired among its peers.
The House launches exclusively connected Netflix connected Friday, January 14.
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