Entertainment

Netflix's Stop-Motion Anthology 'The House' Will Keep You Up at Night

If your home is invaded by a troupe of dancing beetle larvae, you should maybe just move out.

Netflix
Netflix
Netflix

Stop-motion animation, by nature, is always a little unsettling. It lacks the comforting fluidity of 2-D or computer-generated animation but gives the illusion of motion to completely stationary objects that nonetheless exist in the real world. That’s not to say that stop-motion can’t be cozy and delightful-it often is, especially in the cases of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox or Aardman Animation’s Wallace and Gromit series. But the style really shines when it embraces its built-in sense of oddness: think Coraline, ParaNorman, and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Netflix’s The House, an anthology of three shorts produced by London’s Nexus Studios, capitalizes on stop-motion’s sinister, uncanny aura, using one setting to tell three distinct stories of fear, friendship, and tap-dancing insects.

In The House‘s first story, a peasant family moves into a mansion built by the wealthy man who manages their land. At first a dream come true, the house soon proves more than they bargained for. It appears to be affecting the minds of the two parents, one of whom falls asleep at her sewing machine, while the other is beset by laughing fits when he looks out the windows. By the end, the residents of the house must either escape or be assimilated into the walls and furniture forever.In the second story, the house now resides on a city street, and a rat contractor is in the process of flipping it for potential buyers. But he has a persistent bug infestation that mirrors the invasion by two squatters who practically move in on the first day the house is shown, threatening to eat the contractor out of house and home. Finally, in the third story, the house is populated by a group of cat renters and overseen by a cat landlord whose dream is to restore the house to its former glory, never mind the apocalyptic floodwaters that have turned the surrounding area into an endless ocean and lap increasingly close to the front steps.

For fans of stop-motion and creepy stories alike, The House, with a voice cast that includes Helena Bonham Carter, Matthew Goode, and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker (who also played a minor character in Fantastic Mr. Fox), is a rare treat, spinning its odd tales with the help of an unusually versatile animation style. Each story is a joy to look at: The humans in the first part gaze at their world through beady little eyes in the middle of round potato faces; the rat contractor scurries around the corridors dressed in a tiny tool belt and swinging his tail; and the mobile strands of fur and twitchy ears give the cats amazing micro-expressions that you don’t often see in any type of animation at all. The House is worth checking out, with enough creepy whimsy to take the edge off any cravings for series like Love, Death + Robots, and Over the Garden Wall.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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