Monday, August 10, 2015

Housebound (2014) - No More Excuses, Here's A Review!

Yeah, it's been a while.

Real life gets busy.  I have a fun job that keeps me busy and other writing projects that claimed a higher priority.  But I always have a soft spot for this blog and I always said when I return to it, I'd write a review about the phenomenal movie, Housebound.

So here it is.

Housebound is fantastic.  See it as soon as possible.

There you go.

OK, I kid, I kid, but that first sentence really sums up my experience with the movie.  I gush about this New Zealand offering to everyone that will put up with my ramblings.  It really is that good in my book.  If you have Netflix streaming, you can watch it right this second.  If you're able to do that, why are you reading my blog?  Go enjoy yourself then come back and read the review!

Now that you're back, or if you'd rather read this first, let's move on with the write-up.  Housebound comes to us from New Zealand writer and director Gerard Johnstone in his directorial debut.  If you've read my blog before, you know a couple things:  one, I try not to put in spoilers especially if they're integral to the plot and two, I like movies that have a kind of lively energy.  Bearing those points in mind, I'll provide a short summary without spoilers and I'll begin by saying Johnstone's film crackles with lively energy.

It's the story of a less-than-social petty criminal named Kylie (Morgana O'Reilly) who is placed under house arrest in her childhood home.  Her mother, Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) and her stepfather Graeme (Ross Harper) still live there.  Miriam believes the house is haunted and strange things do indeed happen.  Amos (Glen-Paul Waru) is a police officer assigned to Kylie and is intrigued enough that he wants to help, citing his fascination with the paranormal.  Kylie's social worker, Dennis (Cameron Rhodes) remains skeptical.  Kylie becomes increasingly convinced something is haunting the house and with Amos' help, begins to uncover clues about the house's sordid past.  At this point, I can't go on without spoiling the movie even a little bit and this is one I would hate to spoil.

Needless to say, everything about this movie clicks.  O'Reilly is phenomenal as the tough girl who truly loves her family and loves a mystery almost as much.  Each character stands out, bringing a piece to the story.  The story itself bobs and weaves like a boxer, hitting you with comedy on one side and tense suspense on the other.  The comedy works so well because of how it's presented:  we may be laughing at what's happening but the characters are terrified.  The movie is meant to be funny but it's not forced.  It's really a true balance between horror and comedy with great amounts of mystery thrown in.

After the movie ended, I immediately went on Amazon and ordered the Blu-ray.

For me, Housebound is the best horror movie I've seen this year so far, sharing a top spot with - oddly enough - another horror-themed comedy (What We Do In The Shadows).  I enjoy all sorts of movies and all sorts of horror subgenres, but I always enjoy an incredibly well-made film that is just plain fun.

And now, as per usual, here's the trailer: