This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film special The House and will contain spoilers.
Ready Steady Cut film critic, Adam Lock, called The House “A unique and unnerving animation showcasing three diverse styles within one feature-length presentation.”
Netflix film special The House ending explained
Now that you have had time to recover from the nightmarish fever dream that was The House, it’s time to unpack the many secrets that are buried within those four walls. As an added bonus, with this ending explained you get three for the price of one, so let’s get started on discussing the intricacies of The House.
Part One of this anthology series, which is set in the 1800s, concerns a poor family who essentially make a deal with the devil. Father Raymond (A Discovery Of Witches star Matthew Goode) angry at his snobbish relatives decides to get drunk one night and take a foolish stroll through the woods. On his travels, he comes across a vision of a horseless carriage and a mysterious figure ushers him inside. The next day, a Mr. Thomas (voiced by Mark Heap) speaking on behalf of the architect Mr. Van Schoonbeek, makes an offer Raymond cannot refuse.
Mr. Thomas, who is seen bickering with himself or giggling like a schoolgirl, turns out to be just an actor hired by Van Schoonbeek. He too has turned to the bottle and wails at poor, lost Mabel as she begs him for help. Mr. Thomas states that the grand designer continually changes everything about the house, to the point that there are no more stairs and the corridors have become a labyrinth of sorts, with no chance of escape.
Meanwhile, Mabel’s parents have become completely consumed by the house. Raymond is hypnotised by the fireplace and starts to burn all his belongings, whilst the mother Penny works at the sewing machine night and day, even while she sleeps. They’re given new clothes, that clearly look like furniture, and the parents are suddenly transformed. Raymond becomes a chair and Penny a set of curtains. This twist is more unsettling than of any real shock value but still stings when a distressed Mabel arrives on the scene. She is faced with her transformed parents and a raging, out-of-control fire. Mabel and her sister escape out the window, but it doesn’t feel like a happy ending.
In Part Two there is no denying it, this one ends on a definite downer. The mouse renovator (voiced by Sheffield’s finest Jarvis Cocker) throws his open day in the cursed building. The guests are rude and unimpressed with all his hard work. They leave paw prints in all the carpets and smear ice cream on every conceivable surface. Although, to his surprise two strange, oddly shaped visitors express their interest in the house and investigate the rooms further. The only problem is they won’t leave. They try out the bed, the settee, and the bath, treating the place like a hotel. There’s lots of humor to be mined from this turn of events and the filmmakers make the most of it.
The owner fights back, yet more and more family members arrive. He threatens them with the bug repellent but manages to knock himself out with the fumes. On his return from A&E, the beings reveal their true form. They’re a kind of rodent/insect hybrid, mice with six legs. This transformation hits harder than in Part One. It’s extremely unnerving and what follows is even worse. Quick cuts reveal the devastation these mutant creatures are inflicting upon the house, destroying everything in their path, devouring all they can. It’s a horrifying scene and in that final shot, we find our mouse protagonist has stripped away his clothing and has become feral, joining the monsters in their destruction.
I mentioned in my main article that the third and final story was the weak link. The filmmakers gallantly tried a different approach, but it backfired. Part Three took us to the future and focused on the feline Rosa as she tried to restore the house to its former glory amid apocalyptic flooding. Her tenants (including The Crown‘s Helena Bonham Carter) plead with her to leave the premises and sail away with them into the unknown, but Rosa refuses. The others depart and she is left alone. A potent fog descends upon the building and Rosa has her own visions to battle with.
In a change to proceedings, Rosa manages to escape her impending doom by fashioning the house into a boat via a handy lever. The final segment ends optimistically as they all set sail into a brighter future. No death, not much destruction, just a hopeful finale. The final fable doesn’t quite fit with the feel of the others but rings true on a deeper level. Throughout, the aim is always to escape from the house at whatever cost. In each story, the characters are consumed by the building and struggle to leave. Yet a few brave souls manage to make it out alive.
What did you think of the endings of Netflix’s The House? Comment below.
3 thoughts on “The House ending explained – will anyone ever escape from those cursed four walls?”
I think you need to watch it again…..you got the ending wrong (she didn’t change the house to a boat! The hippy guy did I think…) and I don’t recall the rodents having 6 legs!
To the above commenter, if you look at the family members at the end of II the male/round ones have six legs. I think it’s meant to symbolise that the owner of the house is deranged; it’s revealed that the person he was calling the entire time and referring to as “darling” or “sweetheart”, presumed to be a significant other or perhaps an ex partner, is actually his dentist who he is clearly obsessed with. The weird stuff he sees is likely all hallucinatory twisted versions of realy events; the couple and eventually their family refusing to leave is him failing to fight the infestation. In fact, it’s even possible that he’s not even a mouse at all, nor are all the other people around him, he just sees the world that way. The final shot of the house being destroyed and him crawling around like an actual mouse is probably him having completely lost it and living in the filth and squalor caused by the infestation. At least, that was my interpretation.
I felt as if the film makers were trying to shine a light on mental illnesses and how they can consume ones life and effect their loved ones for example in the first story the dad obviously felt as if he had to prove something to his relatives which stressed him and drove him to drinking (which eventually drove his wife crazy trying to make him happy) the simple fact he felt the need to prove something and there snobbish attitude towards him goes to show there’s definitely some family trauma there. But to an better example part 2 the man (rat) is obviously depressed about his current life situation he obsessively cleans and fixes the house in order to sell it once it doesn’t go as planned and his unwelcome guest won’t leave it is then revealed that he as been obsessively talking to his therapist (male) as if he were his girlfriend to were the therapist has put an restraining order on him I say this to say first the fact this man needs a therapist off bat raises an eyebrow but this man has went about everyday life as if he was normal when he has been stalking his therapist throughout everything else that’s been going on. And last but not least the cat she didn’t want to leave her home she wanted to rebuild it we later find out that that is impossible bc the world around them has flooded as the people that care about her stick around and try to convince her to leave they can’t stay any longer because everyone’s life is at danger she continues to talk about how her tenants will be back once she finishes rebuilding once again we later find out why that’s impossible and that the tenants she once had have all flooded or fled. All 3 the Man, Rat, and Cat where all mentally ill and let there delusional obsession put themselves & there loved ones at risk .