The House ending explained – will anyone ever escape from those cursed four walls?

January 14, 2022
Adam Lock 0
Ending Explained, Film, Netflix, Streaming Service

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 HouseA 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 1

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.

Part 2

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.

Part 3

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. 

You can watch this Netflix special with a subscription.

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