What to say about these three horror films without giving too much away? It will be tricky, so I’ll be brief.
THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME (2013)
Supernatural dramas aren’t usually my thing, but Venezuelan film The House at the End of Time is an emotional stunner that really draws you in. The opening scene brings to mind old haunted house movies from the 1960s and it is absolutely chilling.
A struggling family living in an old house (loaded with creepy halls and staircases) experiences terrifying supernatural occurrences that end in tragedy, with the mother being sent to prison for 30 years. Upon release, she returns to the house and begins to relive the horror that cost her her family…from a completely different perspective.
A fascinating tale of a haunting that turns in on itself, The House at the End of Time is one of those films you have to really focus on; it’s a testament to the film’s strength that it got my ADHD to allow it. Not only is the premise fantastic, but the emotional aspects of the family situation are heartbreaking as well.
COME BACK TO ME (2014)
I’m so glad the title of this movie differs from the book from which it is adapted, because that title kind of gives everything away (so I won’t mention it).
A married couple is having difficulties both financially and romantically when a weird young man moves in across the street. Soon after, the wife begins to have blackouts, which transition into terrifying dreams. As scary shit happens, ending with her waking up gasping for air each time, we as the viewers start to question what is real and what isn’t. It gets annoyingly repetitious and we feel cheated.
But then Come Back to Me has its HOLY SHIT moment. The twist is fricking mind-blowing! Crazy stuff I can’t even talk about happens, and then just when you think it’s all over, there’s another zinger! This is some fresh and original horror. And to top it all off, Matt Passmore, who plays the husband, is adorable. Here are some gratuitous shots of him from the show The Glades, appearing in a steam room with Greg Evigan. Scorcher!
THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE (2015)
The Atticus Institute is a sort of documentary/found footage format psychic power/possession/government conspiracy film.
Various people are interviewed about the happenings during a study on psychic abilities back in 1976. We’re introduced to Judith, who is different than the other subjects. She is weird and withdrawn. Old security footage shows her sleepwalking at night and making stuff move in her room. And eventually she starts mind fucking people, knowing personal things about them and using it to hurt them. Then she begins speaking all demonic, spitting shit up, and contorting. Very often, the good old found footage flashlight beam technique is used to provide atmosphere and cheap jump scares.
Bitch, you’re hogging the spotlight!
None of the possession chaos is exploited here, which makes for one boring fucking movie. Things just get more and more lame as priests and government officials come in to talk about the case and monitor Judith. And I laughed out loud when one of the doctors tells a story of how his son electrocuted himself in an electric socket at home and the events leading up to it were just way too coincidental, so it had to be Judith’s fault.
Once again, I won’t give away the ending, but if you despise the government and believe it unleashes evil on us, you’ll be thrilled to find that this movie makes that theory literal. Oops…. Hey, I held out as long as I could.