Reviews | Written by John Higgins 09/11/2017

HOUSEWIFE

Director Can Evrenol’s Housewife was secured in the early evening slot during this year’s Halloween FrightFest. Often this slot will be regarded as a key point of interest to attendees, much like Leatherface was in its prime-time slot on the Friday night during the August event, and Housewife certainly had the chops to provide some intriguing moments.

A snowy evening long ago and a tragedy befalls young Holly when her sister and father are killed by a frantic mother. Years later, things seem to have settled down for her, as she embraces family life and a loving husband who has tried to help her overcome her childhood demons.

However, things are about to get interesting when she and her husband are invited by friends to an evening with the ‘Umbrella of Love and Mind’, led by a mysterious personal development guru (David Sakurai), who encompasses the best that these flamboyant and charismatic individuals have to offer, but whose psychological hold on his followers reveal more about their state of minds. It’s a fact not lost on Holly, who is forced to face up to the tragic events of long ago once again…

Housewife starts off intriguingly well, with a promising idea at the heart of its story. Indeed, if any of you have encountered these personal development gurus like Tony Robbins at one of their free events like the National Achievers Congress, then you will know the sort of person actor Sakurai’s character is like and this will build up the unease of a familiar situation.

However, before long the film resorts to conventional horror ideas and structure and you will refer back to other favourites of the genre like David Cronenberg’s The Brood and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, which were competent and fine examples of directors taking on an idea and an adaptation and revelling in its possibilities throughout. Admittedly, in light of the flashbacks and overreliance on the tragedy in terms of imagery, the film struggles to reach the pay-off it is striving for.

On a positive note, it is great to see a film from Turkey making the grade in the international circuit that can rival other European offerings from the likes of France, Italy and Spain for what it is trying to do. The film has an attractive cast and style to it and there is much to applaud on the technical side in Housewife. Evrenol certainly knows and understands the intentions of the genre, even if here he hasn’t quite pulled off the right essence of ideas and shocks that an audience looks for in a film like this.

HOUSEWIFE / CERT: TBD / DIRECTOR:  CAN EVRENOL / SCREENPLAY:  CAN EVRENOL, CEM OZUDURU/ STARRING: ALI AKSOZ, RESIT BERKER ENHOS, DEFNE HALMAN/ RELEASE DATE:  28TH OCTOBER (FRIGHTFEST)

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