• James Harvey

Film Review - Housebound - 2014

Title: Housebound

Format: DVD Language: English Released: 2014

Director: Gerard Johnstone

Starring: Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru

Recently a steady stream of horror films have made their way to this small Island from down under. Housebound, hailing from New Zealand, is the latest. Gerard Johnson’s debut film is a mix of both comedy & horror in the style I expect from that part of the world.

It’s not in any way straightforward, by that I mean, what you get is not what you expect with this film; this is a good thing. The comedic content is there throughout but acts only to enforce the horror aspect of the film in a way that has become something of a signature for work from this area of the world.

Our heroine is Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly), a troubled youngster with a criminal list that would make a London 'mobster' proud. Sentenced and placed under house arrest, she is tagged and sent back to her Mother’s house to serve, said sentence.

It’s not long after this that ‘things’ start to happen which give her cause for concern. The scene is nicely set with a radio phone-in, near the start. Kylie’s Mother, Miriam Bucknell (Rima Te Wiata) has called to share her experience of a paranormal incident from her past. Giving us, the viewers, all the background we need to start to create a backstory in our minds.

The film then follows what seems like a normal haunted house story until it’s twisted on its head and we are shown other possibilities (can’t really say more without ruining it for you). This is played on throughout by Gerard, when you think you have worked out what is going on, he throws in another smokescreen, using all the rules of horror to twist it around and then as you start to get on top, he throws in another misdirection with the use of some top comedy to knock you off the scent.

It’s not a complex story nor does it try to be, it just a fun roller-coaster of a ride through one outrageous situation to another. All in all, this adds up to a satisfying conclusion and leaves a good feeling once it is all over.

Housebound is a simple but clear story. Well-made and with some great acting in it. Watch it on your own and it can be creepy as hell; watching it with friends gives it a whole different, fun feeling. Housebound is a film I personal can watch over and over again but still enjoy it as much as the first time I saw it.

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