“Love your past, but travel on.”Jen
Stop-motion animation is a wonderful art form, largely abandoned in the digital age, and I certainly applaud its use in films with an adult audience in mind rather than just family fare. The House is really a collection of three films from different directors, loosely connected by the same building. They vary in tone though there is a dark, horror-like element to each tale. The first is overt gothic horror about the family for whom the house was built, the second is a Kafka-inspired nightmare of a renovation project, and the third is a more contemplative tale of how other people can support us, hold us back, and sometimes gives us the nudge we need to move forward. As written, however, each of these would have worked better as 15-minute short films; even at around 30 minutes, all three feature repetitive scenes that serve little purpose than to pad out the running time. The art direction still offers much to appreciate, like first tale’s unusually stylised small faces on large heads. Meanwhile the animal character design in the later films share more in common with Wes Anderson’s stop-motion fare. Overall it The House’s ambition to feature-length which renders it a frustratingly uneven experience.