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‘Channel Zero: No-End House’ is the the Latest Chapter in Syfy’s Anthology Series
September 20, 2017  | By David Hinckley
 

If you’re looking for old-school horror, where suddenly your worst nightmares seem to have become your reality, Syfy’s Channel Zero: No-End House delivers.

The second installment in the Channel Zero anthology series, No-End House, premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET. It is based on the Brian Russell book of the same name and will run six episodes, which should be quite enough to exhaust our heroine Margot Sleator (Amy Forsyth, top).

When we meet the bright young Margot, who’s probably in her late teens, she’s trying to work through a serious problem. Her father John (John Carroll Lynch, right), with whom she had a much closer relationship than she did with her distant mother, died about a year earlier.

That’s not the problem, though it’s a source of great sorrow. The problem is that he died because of reactions to his prescription medications.

Margot had been out that evening and for some frivolous reason didn’t get back by 10, as she had promised. Now she’s haunted by the possibility that had she just come home on time, she might have been able to save his life.

In the figurative sense, this specter of guilt has turned Margot into a recluse, bunked in at home with her mother, leaving school and shedding all her friends except her long-time BFF Jules (Aisha Dee), who tries to convince Margot she should rejoin the living.

As a first step in Jules’s plan, Margot agrees to go with Jules and two guys to the local haunted house, also known as No-End House.

It’s supposed to be super-cool, the guys tell her, with great effects. Rumors abound about what really goes on in there, including the spraying of hallucinogens so everyone goes through the place either stoned or in a different reality.

The different reality part turns out to be true. Each room of the house contains inexplicable and disturbing content, ranging from a menacing lunatic with a ghastly cackle to reminders of Margot with her Dad when she was little.

Margot finds it all appropriately unsettling. It turns out, however, that they’re just the opening act. When she gets back to her house, the whole world has changed, and not in a way Margot expected or can easily absorb.

Let the horror begin.  

Certain aspects of No-End House have the feel of the horror franchises from the ‘80s and ‘90s, where you want to yell at the screen that the cheerleader should not open the door to that dark closet.

But while there are graphic scenes, you’ll see much worse in a random episode of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.

No-End House wisely keeps much of the horror psychological. The new weird alternative world threatens to send Margot’s conscious brain spinning down the road and off a cliff.

She’s still got the guilt, of course, only now it’s superseded by her need to figure out just what is going on.

Perhaps because it’s classic horror, parts of Channel Zero: No-End House have a stylized look and feel. The music is appropriately ominous and some of the dialogue reassuringly naïve.

You could say it’s your basic low-frills horror tale, and there’s plenty of scare left in that.

 
 
 
 
 
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