Friday, July 31, 2015

Housebound (2014)

Director: Gerard Johnstone
Writer:    Gerard Johnstone
Cast:       Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru

Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention, Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the presence of her blabbermouth mum, who thinks the house is haunted. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers and strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she's inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who's less than happy about the new living arrangement. 

So, this is just the second film from New Zealand that I have ever watched with the other one being the excellent 'What We Do In The Shadows', which also came out last year. It was only after seeing this film getting compared with that one did I actually came to know about it and both films are comedy ones. While WWDITS was more in a spoof documentary style, extended out of a short film, Housebound mixes several genres expertly giving it a very unique feel to it. It starts off as a supernatural horror film and then proceeds to psychological thriller category and ends up as a mystery thriller while navigating through all this by using acid comedy. One could also make comparisons to films in 'Cornetto Trilogy' but Housebound works more on a scary level with the style of humor being very different as well.

The role of main protagonist is played expertly by Morgana O'Reilly who seems stuck into her teenage self with the attitude that rest of the world is too stupid for her liking. It works very well. The humor in it will surprise you and there are portions in the film in which it works entirely in the thriller mode. We care sufficiently for the characters to really feel worried about their safety. There are plenty of gory scenes but the ending is a bit on the cheesy side. I felt very happy at seeing a scene where a mobile rings for an extended time and the ringtone turned out to be 'Hello Moto', which is also the same one that I use. It actually made me feel more appreciative of the ringtone since I kind of hate hearing it in real life as I hate attending phone calls. 

Overall it is a great watch and the running time of 110 minutes, slightly on the higher side, is used to navigate through the different genres. That kind of thing is very risky to do since you can very easily lose the audience but they manage to pull it off effortlessly. The film also reminded me of the ones from the McDonagh brothers (In Bruges, Calvary) and is a definite watch for those who like those kind of films. I will be adding this one into my 'Best of 2014' list. There is gonna be an American remake for this film and I can't see the fucking point since it is in the same fucking language, albeit with accents.

Rating: 4/5