This New Zealand comedy horror is hands down one of the best horror films I’ve seen this year. Written and directed by Gerard Johnstone whose work I’m not familiar with at all has done a brilliant job of taking the haunted house story and turning it into something both familiar yet fresh.
Morgana O’Reilly plays Kylie, a young woman with a colourful past, who’s caught trying to rob a cash point (ATM) and is sentenced to 8 months house arrest. This means moving back in with her mother Miriam played by Rima Te Wiata who is perfectly cast as the well meaning but somewhat feckless mother and her almost mute step father Graeme. Kylie has a real attitude problem and her moving back in seems to be no ones first choice.
It’s not long before Kylie overhears her mum discussing her belief that the house is haunted and Kylie is highly skeptical but after an encounter in the basement she starts to believe something spooky is going on.
Amos (Glen-Paul Waru), the security guard assigned to Kylie, turns out to be something of an amatuer ghost hunter. He sets up security cameras to record anything unusual and really gets into it until Kylie discovers that her house used to be a home for disturbed children and one of them was brutally murdered. The plot thickens…
Something I really loved about Kylie is that her reaction to the various scares go against the usual ‘damsel in distress’, she doesn’t scream and run, she hits the shit out whatever is attacking her then runs away. It’s satisfying to see, you want to fist pump the air (I did).
Kylie and Amos buddy up to get to the bottom of things and as they work together Kylie’s attitude slowly changes but she’s still a feisty woman who doesnt take any crap. The two characters work so well together. It’s really refreshing to see a relationship like this build but having no romance angle, something that usually ruins a perfectly good film.
I’ve used the expression ‘typical New Zealand humour’ in other reviews, which is actually pretty close to the Brittish sense of humour. I’d go so far as to say this is New Zealands Shaun of the Dead, minus the zombies. It has the perfect blend of comedy and chills. Housebound is a really fun film that I’d recommend to any horror fan.
Housebound Region 1 DVD is available via Amazon.