Directed by Gerard Johnstone
Written by Gerard Johnstone
Starring Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru
109 mins - Horror/Comedy - Release date: 10 March 2014 (SXSW)
This little Kiwi flick that we screened at Fantasia 2014 last month was a total surprise, striking the perfect balance between , suspense, mystery, and comedy. Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound hit every horror convention with deliberate precision, and then turned them around to kick them in the arse with comedy beats on par with Mel Brooks. And unlike many horror comedies, Housebound doesn’t suffer from the fate of temporarily losing its way; every scene serves a purpose and they serve their purposes well.
Housebound does wander into The People Under the Stairs territory, and I suppose that’s the film’s drawback, but that’s not to say that this isn’t an original movie with a great story. And about the story:
Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother, Miriam – a well-intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables and small-town gossip. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers and strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her mother’s overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s not particularly thrilled about her return.
Morgana O’Reilly was an absolute pleasure to watch in her Kylie bad-girl role and Rima Te Wiata as her mother, Miriam, was a riot. Those two actors alone could have carried the film, however, the rest of the cast was just as impressive, even the silent stepfather.
I don’t want to give any bit of this fantastic horror comedy away, so I’ll just leave this review as is and say that you definitely should see Housebound if you enjoy genre film. As with most horror comedies, I’ll recommend watching this with friends, preferably on Halloween night.