TV Series Review: Channel Zero: No-End House (2017)

Channel Zero is a horror anthology TV Series created by Nick Antosca, who serves as writer, showrunner, and executive producer. Originally airing on the SyFy channel, each season contains six episodes and are based on popular Creepypastas.

Season one was based on Candle Cove and while it was initially promising it failed to really make an impact. When reflected on afterwards it just wasn’t that satisfying and felt extremely dragged out.

You can read our review here.

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Season two also suffers from that problem, in particular the penultimate episode. However, it’s far less prominent and doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the season. Based on Brian Russell’s The No-End House and directed by Steven Piet, No-End House is a massive step up in almost every department. A thrilling, occasionally frightening and emotionally moving tale.

Margot (Amy Forsyth) can’t get over the loss of her father (John Carroll Lynch) who died the year before after having a bad reaction to his medication. She discovered his body in their family living room and it haunts her. They were incredibly close and her grief has driven a wedge between her and her mother and her friends.

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One such friend, her best friend Jules (Aisha Dee) talks her into visiting an infamous attraction that has appeared in town. The No-End House, a house of horrors that tasks those who enter to make it through all six rooms. Alongside their other friend J.T (Seamus Patterson), the friendly stranger Seth (Jeff Ward) and the mysterious Dylan (Sebastian Pigott) the group enter the house.

What they find inside are horrors that beggar belief. Horrors that have them questioning just what the No-End House is. Is it simply a clever tourist attraction or is it something far more sinister?

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One of the best things about No-End House is just how it unravels over the six episodes. After the first two you’ll be scratching your head but you’ll be drawn in. Wanting to know more, wanting explanations and hoping for a payoff that truly satisfies. The good news is that it does, it really does but maybe not in the way a horror fan might expect.

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What really makes No-End House such a compelling watch is the mystery of it all and by the end just what it is, is still left pretty vague. Oh, we get enough explanation to frame a picture but how and why it exists does not matter. Normally this might be a bone of contention but it’s not here because this is a character driven show. One that puts the relationships of Margot front and centre and makes you care about them.

Amy Forsyth is excellent but John Carroll Lynch is simply outstanding. The father/daughter dynamic is so believable and their scenes together drips emotion. It will take a stone-cold hearted person to not get choked up during the finale.

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It’s not just their relationship either. Aisha Dee’s Jules is one of the more complex characters of the show. Someone that loves her best friend but struggled to deal with the changes in her. Her guilt over that pushes her go to levels no one could have expected and she is walking badass by time we reach the final episode.

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Then there is the lovable J.T played wonderfully by Seamus Patterson and the wounded Dylan played well by Sebastian Pigott. His character stands out immediately as he has more knowledge of the No-End House then anyone else. The only one that lacks is Jeff Ward’s Seth, initially every nice guy stranger in any horror ever. He’s the love-interest and that makes him a bit bland up to a point when he is suddenly given a new angle to really get his teeth into. It’s here he comes into his own and becomes way more interesting because of it.

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Stunning. No-End House is stunning to look at with a really sharp artistic style and some of the finest cinematography seen in a TV series. So many shots are to be marvelled at and mixed with a cleverly ominous soundtrack, it helps ramp up the horror when it comes.

No-End House plays its smart here by keeping the horror at a distance. Until it’s time to bring it up close and personal. When it does, it’s violent and shocking stuff that sears itself into your mind. It’s not uber-gory but certainly doesn’t play it safe. You only need to see a garden hose sticking out of the mouth of an elderly man spraying blood to get that!

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So much to love, so much to enjoy, so much to feel but it’s not perfect. There are a few slow scenes that feel like they could have been cut and the penultimate episode stretches things to the limit. By this stage the show needed to get to the endgame but obviously had an extra episode to fill and it feels like it.

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It’s the only real black mark on an excellent second season. One that is storytelling, character development and acting at its finest. We urge you to watch this season.

Channel Zero: No-End House (2017)
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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