HOUSEBOUND

PrintE-mail Written by John Townsend

Following a botched robbery attempt that resulted in her fellow assailant being dispatched by the rebounding head of a sledgehammer, Kylie (O’Reilly) is placed under house arrest. To make matters worse, her prison will be the one place she has spent years trying to avoid: at home with her mum. Despite actively refusing to make the best of it, Kylie soon discovers the old house contains one or two mysteries that might actually be worth her time; and time is something she has in abundance.

As a debut feature from writer and director Gerard Johnstone, Housebound is extremely accomplished. He superbly balances what could be a delicate subject matter alluding to child abuse with humour that is both darkly dry of wit and exuberantly slapstick. That Johnstone blends this with characters that are infectious, yet on the whole unlikeable, demonstrates composed filmmaking that belies his experience.

O’Reilly is superb as the sulky, frustratingly awkward Kylie who spends much of the early part of the film moping around with a “the-world-hates-me” chip on her shoulder. The moments she shares with her chatterbox mother Miriam (Te Wiata), who believes the house to be haunted, are a wonderful mix of witty observation and reluctant affection. Private security guard Amos (Waru), who sidelines in amateur ghosthunting and sinister social worker Dennis (Rhodes) all contribute to what is an impressively assembled ensemble.

What raises Housebound above the multitude of haunted house shockers and tiresome comedy horrors that seem to populate the genre is the convoluted plotting that Johnstone retains under control for the film’s duration. Each time you think you have a handle on where the story is taking you, another unexpected twist throws you right back to the start. The dexterity with which Johnstone handles his screenplay is nothing short of brilliant and it is no surprise Hollywood is already planning a remake. If anything, though, the low-budget nature of the film adds to the whole aesthetic, bringing a necessary claustrophobia to proceedings that reflects Kylie’s incarceration. There are no unnecessary flourishes or repetitive genre clichés so familiar in horror films; just a great story with great performances.

Housebound is therefore a cinematic rarity; a film full of respectful nods and references that will delight genre fans and one that also succeeds in bridging the gap to the mainstream. Johnstone is a director who clearly knows what he’s doing and his debut is one to watch before Hollywood get their overactive polishing paws on it.

INFO: HOUSEBOUND / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: GERARD JOHNSTONE / STARRING: MORGANA O’REILLY, RIM ATE WIATA, GLEN-PAUL WARU, ROSS HARPER / RELEASE DATE: JULY 20TH
 


Suggested Articles:
Dragon Ball Super Season 1 – Part 1 contains the first 13 episodes of the latest Dragon Ball anime
Alexey Leonov (Evgeniy Mironov) makes a spectacular emergency landing in his jet fighter aircraft an
By the fifth film in any franchise there’s usually a diminishing of quality. Police Academy 5: Ass
One of several key films from the 1980s that defined the decade in terms of craftsmanship and techni
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

DRAGON BALL SUPER SEASON 1 – PART 1 18 October 2017

THE SPACEWALKER 17 October 2017

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT 17 October 2017

BLOOD SIMPLE 17 October 2017

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS 17 October 2017

WILLARD / BEN – BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION 17 October 2017

DEATH ON THE NILE 17 October 2017

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD (SEASON 2) 17 October 2017

IT COMES AT NIGHT 17 October 2017

THE MIRROR CRACK’D 17 October 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner