Thursday, October 5, 2017

Movie Review: "Housebound" (2014)

Director: Gerard Johnstone
Year: 2014
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

A woman named Kylie is placed on house arrest in her childhood home as punishment for robbing an ATM. Her mom believes their house is haunted, and after some strange occurrences, Kylie is beginning to believe her.

"Housebound" is a comedic horror film written and directed by Gerard Johnstone. This is his first feature film. It stars Morgana O'Reilly as Kylie Bucknell, a criminal who is placed under house arrest after attempting to rob an ATM. She must remain in her childhood home with her mother Miriam, played by Rima Te Wiata, and her stepdad Graeme, played by Ross Harper. As seen in many ghost stories, Miriam believes their home is haunted. Kylie is skeptical at first, but after an extremely strange and frightening experience, she starts to believe the same thing. Since this is a haunted house movie, the place has to have a sinister and hidden past, and their home certainly does, though not everything is as it seems on the surface.

We have been steadily becoming bigger and bigger fans of New Zealand cinema. Films from this country have always been a great source for horror-themed comedies. In fact, they are a great source for comedies in general. Movies like "What We Do in the Shadows" and "Black Sheep" are a couple of fantastic examples of entertaining horror comedies from New Zealand. "Housebound" is another solid addition to that list. We had a lot of fun watching this movie and we managed to laugh a lot at the situations here. Morgana O'Reilly is very good as Kylie as she exudes enough snarky attitude to add an edge to her character, but not so much that the audience will completely hate her for her attitude. Rima Te Wiata is also hilarious with her overly sweet, somewhat naive personality. We became familiar with Te Wiata in the brilliant "Hunt for the Wilderpeople," and made it our mission to see her earlier works. She shows she has been a high-level talent for some time now, it's just a shame we're discovering her so late in the game. There is a bit a mystery to this flick as Kylie tries to solve the irregularities and secrets of her childhood home. This is a common thread and a bit of a refreshing.

We really enjoyed "Housebound." The writers have added great wit in the dialogue, and the actors have wonderful comedic timing and excellent chemistry with one another. We think this is a horror comedy definitely worth checking out. Also, if you have suggestions for other New Zealand films we should watch, comment down below and tell us which ones!

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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