Review — Channel Zero: No End House — Nice Neighborhood

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Channel Zero is back with another chilling episode of No End House this week. As we learn more about the house and it’s freakishly abnormal abilities, our characters are put into perilous situations. Who is behind the No End House? How does it move from location to location? Why does the house need certain people? There are so many questions still to be solved about the house itself, but for now all we can focus on is the dangerous reality that our characters are stuck in. When you think you’re out of the house, only to realize that you must still be inside the house, is quite the unique story line to play with. Tonight is where the house continues it’s mind-games with those inside and really begins our journey. As show creator, Nick Antosca describes it, Nice Neighborhood is the “seduction episode.” Not only will we begin to see the house seduce those characters it wants to see stay, but undoubtedly it will also seduce you into it’s powerful grasp.

No End House hits all the right notes when it comes to psychological thrills. The cast is spot on with their delivery of both dialogue and body language. John Carroll Lynch as Margo’s dad offers a familiar kind of terrifying. He’s nice and caring, but there is something creepy and just off about him. You can’t quite put your finger on why he bothers you but with one look or one line he can go from adorable dad to this festering itch underneath your skin that you just can’t seem to scratch. And Amy Forsyth as Margo sets the tone for the entire rest of the cast. She’s really tapped into the pain and struggle of Margo’s past and is able to transfer that uncomfortable feeling onto the viewers. I also want to take a moment to praise the sound and the sets. Sound is a huge part of any visual experience, particularly for thrilling or tense scenes. No End House has done a fabulous job with really setting up the house to have a haunting and alluring feel in both the music, and audio effects as well as with the physical props and design of the sets. Channel Zero: No End House deserves it’s place at the top of psychologically thrilling shows.

Image Credit: Allen Fraser/Syfy

Though I was fairly certain we were still inside the No End House at the end of last week, I’m certain that only the mysterious drifter, Dylan, realizes that he is still in the house. Jules shows up at Margo’s house and is just as surprised to see Margo’s dad, alive in the kitchen and cooking breakfast as Margo was. Though Margo is clearly shaken about her current situation, she doesn’t seemed as concerned as Jules. The house knows how to play on your fears and psychologically mess with each person who comes into it’s presence. After living through her worst moment in room 5, Margo is now being toyed with, the house is playing with what it knows she wants and is feeding on that idea. That’s the best way to draw someone in right? After a creepy breakfast with UnDead-Dad, Margot and Jules get into an argument about what to do. Jules is convinced that they are still inside the house, and though Margo doesn’t disagree, she isn’t ready to try and leave yet. She wants to spend a little bit of time with whatever this thing acting like her dad is. After revealing to Jules that her dad’s death wasn’t really an accident, rather was intentional, who can really blame Margo for wanting just a little more time? Jules leaves her friend there, maybe not on the best terms, but she won’t abandoned her friend to the house.

Image Credit: Allen Fraser/Syfy

JT, thinking he’s out of the No End House, is ready to leave the girls inside and call an Uber home. Technology doesn’t quite work right inside the house though and his phone has no service, so he is resigned to walking home on his own. Seth refuses to leave the girls potentially still inside, so decides to stay put and wait for them. Those decisions start terrifying adventures for each of them. Eventually Jules meets back up with Seth, the two come agree on the fact that they’re still inside the house and this must be what room 6 is. Jules thinks that the house wants (at least some of them) to stay. After explaining that Margo isn’t ready to leave yet and the creepy situation with UnDead-Dad, the two decide to wait it out and begin to come up with a plan to leave. We see a little more into what Jules is experiencing in the house. On two separate dream occasions we see her walk up to a large orb, one she can hear sound from. As soon as she touches it, the orb glows. What might Jules be hiding from the others that the house feeds upon?

Image Credit: Allen Fraser/Syfy

Image Credit: Allen Fraser/Syfy

JT isn’t so lucky. After making it “home”, JT is confused to find not his parents but another version of himself with quite the attractive girlfriend. Though it’s confusing, it’s interesting that everyone else is seeing something that could be an alternate reality, and JT is just face to face with a different version of himself instead of at home with his parents. On top of that, this is where the house gets all philosophical on us, I don’t think it’s coincidence that back in “This Isn’t Real” of all the eerily creepy statues in room 1, JT’s is the only one not broken after the lights go out. While having a conversation with his other self, the other self berates him about being the lesser, crappier version of what he could be. JT tries to use that to his advantage, to maybe learn some moves from this different version of him. The copy knows that JT’s favorite ice cream is pistachio, yet doesn’t know what it tastes like. The copy of JT has all of JT’s memories yet he doesn’t have any of the sensory knowledge of actually being alive, similar to how UnDead-Dad couldn’t taste his omelette but Margo could. But in JT’s case the other him comes up with a different plan, after making a comment about wanting to know what ice cream tastes like, proceeds to bash in JT’s head with the empty whiskey bottle from the table. If you kill the actual you maybe you then become the real you? Either way, no house should be able to do that, or create these realities within it’s own walls.

Dylan at least has a plan, kind of. He has a huge advantage knowing that he is still in the house. In “This Isn’t Real” he makes the comment that he’s been searching for the house, waiting for it to appear again. Implying that he’s been inside the house before and was lucky enough to actually make it out. Who in their right mind would go back in for a second round after making it through all 6 rooms? Someone in a lot of pain. The house is still trying to play tricks on him, he exits the house same as everyone else and is approached by a girl who he very much knows. Without hesitation he shoots her in the head, knowing that she is not the real version of whomever he is looking for. He finds the house he is looking for, shouting for Lacey. She appears at the top of the stairs, but has no idea who he is. Dylan tries to tell her that he is her husband and that he is here to take her home. She’s been stuck in the house for who knows how long and apparently forgotten who she really is in that process. At least now we know Dylan isn’t some sort of adrenaline junkie and actually has a good cause for finding the no end house a second time. As he’s the only one in this newfound group who has made it out before, he is now the most valuable asset the others have.

Image Credit: Allen Fraser/Syfy

Margo spends the rest of the day with her father, UnDead-Dad. I believe that even though Margo knows it’s not really her dad, she can’t help but feel drawn to him and the need to say a proper goodbye. What harm can a few days do if it means a special kind of closure to a painful wound once free? But I don’t think that even her dad knows quite how dangerous he will get. After discovering that he can experience her memories if he touches her, UnDead-Dad sneaks into Margo’s bedroom to feast upon her memories. This particular memory shows a young Margo with her dad, playing in the pool while her mother watches from the side. As he sees more into this memory an alternate version of Margo’s mother is being created from a puddle of black goo in the basement. Her dad somehow knows this and goes downstairs to take a look, after ripping off her arm we see that she isn’t human in the sense that we understand it, but she’s definitely in a living state. He takes a bite of the freshly torn off arm and then begins to devour the body completely. Beware the cannibals indeed…

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Michelle Harvey