Housebound Review

Posted 9 years ago by myetvmedia

The trailer for the much-hyped New Zealand horror film, ‘Housebound’ from first time director Gerard Johnstone, has source material straight from my nightmares. ‘Housebound’ works as a thriller, a drama and a comedy so good, it made me cry from laughing. Even while it’s funny, Housebound is still crazy scary. That’s no easy feat. It has all the classic tropes of your favourite haunted house flicks. Troubled teen Kylie (Morgan O’Reilly) is sentenced to nine months’ house arrest in her mom’s (Rima Te Wiata) creepy Victorian home. She soon discovers the house may have another occupant.

Gerard Johnstone strings us along beautifully, setting us up for a good ol’ punch of fright, only to sock us with a well-timed joke. And while comedy and horror have long been genre BFFs (even this year’s TADFF flick ‘Zombeavers’ is a send-up on how absurd horror can be), never before have I seen a film achieve one without sacrificing the other so effectively as Johnstone does with Housebound.

The ensemble cast is great at maintaining that atmosphere, particularly with Morgan O’Reilly as thuggish, likeable Kylie. In the face of both horror and humour, O’Reilly consistently stays grounded in her role, giving us a key character to laugh with. Glen-Paul Waru is also delightful as Amos, Kylie’s parole guard and amateur ghost hunter. The charm he brings to his few scenes is infectious.

It’s so rare for a movie to surprise you the way ‘Housebound’ does, but half the fun is discovering for yourself how far this film can go and that alone makes it a must-watch. Housebound made its Toronto debut at Toronto After Dark on Thursday the 16th of October.

Nimy Leshinski

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