Housebound Film Review

Housebound is the latest in Kiwi films getting international acclaim. The film screened at NZIFF and created quiet the buzz!

The story follows Kylie, Morgana O’Reilly, who, after a failed bank robbery,  is put under house arrested at her childhood home with her mother Miriam, Rima Te Wiata. Shortly after finding out that her well-meaning mother is convinced the house is haunted, strange things start to occur which prompts Kylie into believing that in fact there is something spooky going on. How will Kylie escape this house of horror when she is Housebound!!!

Morgana O’Reilly as Kylie is a fantastic antihero, with all the flaws and courage you want in your horror lead. O’Reilly and Te Wiata play off each other beautifully as mother and daughter, and Te Wiata firmly reminds us that this is a comedy, with her perfect timing and ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ naivety.

The rest of the supporting cast are equally great and all contribute to the films success. Ross Harper as the creepy neighbour will make you shudder, and well meaning parole officer/ paranormal investigator Amos, Glen-Paul Waru, also delivers a hilarious performance. Ryan Lampp is a pleasing and quirky addition to the cast in the second half of the film.

That’s not to say there’s not numerous scares in this beautifully executed thriller. The tension is built in traditional horror style, but with an added nod and wink to the classic cliches. With multiple twists and turns, this film shift genres quite a few times; It even becomes a who-done-it midway through. Director Gerard Johnstone has stated Ghosthunters as inspiration, and this does feel like a fans film made by a true fan of scaremongering.

The script is smart, fresh, funny and kiwi to boot, giving enough home comforts to let us know we’re all in on the joke.

Housebound is a refreshing horror comedy taking a leaf out Edgar Wrights book , of updating and celebrating one of films most underrated genres.

Housebonud is a clever modern genre spinning black comedy with enough jump moments to keep you at the edge of your seat. Check it out in NZ cinemas now!!

Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar and Ian Wright

5 stars small