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This Isn't Real Recap

A woman, Lacey, stands outside a suburban house and gasps for breath. She finally goes to the street and looks around nervously, and sees an old house at the end of the street. Lacey walks toward it, and sees a woman walking her dog. A man steps out onto the street and walks toward Lacey. When she runs, he runs and catches up to her and throws her down to the grass in front of the house. The man asks Lacey why she does it to herself and pulls back her sleeve. The words "This isn't real" are written on her arm, and the man takes out a lighter and says that he'll remove them for her.

A young woman, Margot Sleator, is at home watching video of herself as a child. She looks out the window and sees her friend Jules walking up the drive. Jules jokingly points out that she's Margot's only friend. They go out back and sun themselves, Jules suggests that Margot come back with her to college and they could get an apartment off-campus. Margot isn't interested, and Jules figures that she's just going to stay at home with her mom living in the past. Jules gets a text and says that she's meeting up with JD later, and invites Margot to come. Jules mother Corrine returns home and says hello, and tells the women that her flight is at five.

Once Corrine goes inside, Jules asks Margot if she's coming with her that night, and says that Margot is having a dry spell. Margot tosses some whatever on her, cutting her off. Margot checks her phone and sees a strange video, which ends with a shot of a dark house. She tells Jules and then they jump in the pool.

That night, Jules and Margot go to a bar and meet up with JD, their childhood friend. He's gotten new tattoos, and they tease him about it. JD says that Margot's date had to bail, and Jules told him to bring someone. Margot walks off, and Jules goes after her and says that she didn't want her staying at home being great. Jules apologizes, and Margot asks if they can hang tomorrow. A guy, Seth, comes over and asks if Margot is leaving. He figures that she's a misanthrope like him, and Margot says that she's tired. Seth wishes her good luck and leaves.

Margot decides to stick around and watches as JD and Jules play pool. JD asks if Jules is seeing anyone. He starts to kiss her, and Jules laughs and tells him not to do it. She asks why he's back in town, and JD asks her if she's ever heard about the No-End House. Meanwhile, Margot talks about how she always has a nightmare of being at her grandmother's house and imagining someone hiding behind a standing mirror. JD comes over and asks to see Margot's phone. They sit down and JD explains that the No-End House moves from city to city, and the only warning is that people get video teasers about it in the area. It's been happening in their town, and JD explains that the address later. The House is made up of six rooms, each one scarier than the last. Everyone who goes in describes it differently, and most of them don't make it through the six rooms. Those who do are never seen again.

The group goes back to Margot's house and Seth talks about how children's nightmares are about fear of change. When Seth invites her to talk about her nightmares, Margot points out that she doesn't really know him. Meanwhile, Jules tells JD about a story she read about a succubi that wakened up her adult feeling for the first time.

Seth tells Margot that he grew up in foster homes and he always felt different. Margot finally says that her father John died of an allergic reaction to prescription meds. She was the one who found him in the house in front of the TV, a year ago. Margot came in late, and she blamed herself for not coming home on time. She says that she's getting chilly and goes inside, and sees an old movie playing on the TV. An image of the Dead-End House appears on the screen, and an address appears before the TV goes dead.

Margot goes back out and she tells them what she saw. They drive to the address. The House is at the end of the street, and dozens of other people are there. The foursome walk up to the house and past two people, and one of them vomits. JD says that whoever runs the house use subliminal images and sub-aural sound waves to make visitors more vulnerable. A drifter is standing nearby and tries to light his cigarette. JD asks him how he's heard about the place, and the Drifter says that he's been looking for it.

The group joins the line and the door locks behind the next group. It opens a few seconds later but no one comes out. The foursome goes in with the Drifter and three more people, and they find themselves in the first room. The wall has a message painted on it: "Beware the cannibals" and the number 1. The group goes inside and finds eight busts. They realize that they're busts of each of them, even though they just entered the house. The Drifter is the only one who stands to the side, uninterested. Jules wonders how they did it so fast, and JD figures that the owners used a 3-D printer. The lights flicker and the music goes out. After a moment the music starts up, distorted. The busts are now torn apart by hands that have appeared on them. JD's bust is fine.

The next door opens and first Margot and then the others go over. One woman hesitates and then says that she's out, and the door closes behind the others.

Room Number 2 is empty and unpainted, There are no windows, and the door closes and locks behind them. The lights go out for a moment, and when they come back up a man is standing in the corner. He is wearing a wooden mask, and walks forward and stares at JD without saying anything. JD asks if he's a cannibal, and the man shoves JD back. He looks at Seth and chuckles, and then walks up to Jules. Finally he walks over to Margot and peers at her intently. He whispers something none of them can make out, and then walks away. The lights go out and when they come back up a few seconds later, the man has disappeared. There's a trail of blood on the floor leading to one of the other women, Tamara. She gasps for breath and then goes out.

JD insists that they're all just actors and says that the whole is confrontational. The door to Room Number 3 opens, and the Drifter says that they should leave before it's too late. JD goes after him, and Margot tells Jules that the man said, "Welcome back, Martian." Jules says that they should go home, but Margot insists that she wants to know and goes into the next room.

Margot finds herself in the third room alone. The sign on the door says "One at a time", The door won't open behind her, and a flower sits on a vase in a table. Margot walks past it and sees a hallway leading straight out of sight. She walks down the hallway and hers laughter coming from a standing mirror in the middle of the hallway. A man is hiding behind it, and Margot hesitantly walks up to the mirror. She looks around the mirror and sees a man laughing hysterically and staring at her. Margot edges around him and runs down the hallway, but hears Jules calling to her from a door. She goes through as the hiding man advances on her.

In Room Number 4, Margot finds herself in an attic with Jules yelling in the distance. Jules' image is on the wall, and then an image of her father appears, watching TV and working in the kitchen. Margot hears herself thinking that she should have been home on time and if she had, she might have saved her father. The images disappear and Margot sees two doors: one marked Exit and one marked Next Room. She goes through the Next Room door and finds herself in her living room at home. John is on the couch, a figure made out of stone, and nothing plays on the TV. The video Margot was watching earlier appears on the TV, and Margot tries to turn it off without success. She reaches for the stone figure to take the remote in its hand, and it grabs her. Margot pulls free and the figure gets to its feet and grabs her in a hug, stroking her hair. Margot, crying, says that she wants to go home. She breaks free and goes to the door, and the figure says that she has to go through to go home.

Margot finds herself out on the lawn. Jules is there, and looks as terrified as Margot does. They go to the car and wait for Seth and JD. Neither one of them knows how much time went by, but they figure that it's almost dawn. The car doesn't start, and they walk home. Jules asks how Margot is doing with everything, and Margot says that she's okay. Margot suggests that Jules crash at her place, and Jules goes to her car to get her spare clothing. When Margot goes inside her house, she looks briefly at the couch but there's no one there.

Jules approaches Margot's house and sees the Number 6 on the outside.

Margot hears someone whistling in the kitchen. She investigates and finds John, alive and well. He calls her by her nickname, Martian, and asks how her night was.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 21, 2017

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