It turns out Venezuela makes more than just sweeping historical epics, high-energy crime films, and unpretentious art house gems — although, in truth, most Latin American countries would give their right arm for that kind of output. But now Venezuela can be proud to add horror to that list with writer/director Alejandro Hidalgo’s creepy-looking feature debut La casa del fin de los tiempos (The House at the End of Time), which is having its Los Angeles premiere at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival.
The film has been touted as the first ever Venezuelan feature in the horror genre, and whether or not that’s 100% true it has certainly been the most successful, topping local box offices for 2013 and garnering praise from international critics and film festivals. The story follows a mother who returns to her genre-appropriate Victorian castle after a 30-year stint in prison for murdering her husband and children. In reality, their deaths were the product of horrific supernatural forces that once again begin to torment the woman upon her return.
The trailer boasts impressive cinematography and all of the trappings of a classic Victorian ghost story: candelabras, baroque picture frames, shadowy figures, and enough jarring sound cues to keep your ears ringing well into the next day. While the film likely won’t be picking up an Oscar for Best Make Up (usually when 30 years pass, you just cast two different actresses for the role), and the priest looks like he just rode in on a cloud of smoke from a philosophy lecture, The House at the End of Time actually looks kind of scary. L.A. folks — don’t pass this one up!
Also, be sure to check out the Latin American shorts screening at Screamfest, including Alexander Quezada’s Zugar Zombie from Colombia, 3 Versos directed by Antonio Yee and set in Mexico, and Reaver written by Len LoBiondo and Molo Alcocer.