"You cannot punch ectoplasm!"
I love discovering a new favorite film on Netflix. In fact, I think that’s what the service is made for. 31 Days of Horror brings me to Housebound, a New Zealand horror comedy I’ve never heard of before, starring no one I recognize… And I had an absolute blast.
Kylie is a young woman who’s constantly screwing up and landing on the wrong side of the law. After various rehabilitation facilities fail her, the judge sentences Kylie to 8 months house arrest at her family home with her weird mom. Kylie would rather be elsewhere… and the angry spirit that resides in the house also wants her gone. It seems the family home has a dark past, and as much as she’d like to ignore the strange happenings since she’s returned, Kylie must face the thing that hides in the dark and save her family.
Housebound is totally unpredictable. I shall not spoil any of it beyond the basic setup I’ve just given. You think it’s one thing, and then it’s something else, then it’s something else again, and somehow it’s all very tightly plotted and connected. It’s actually rather fascinating how the film plays with genre expectations and formulas. As Kylie, Morgana O'Reilly tests the very limits of how unlikable a main character can be before we start rooting against her. It’s a great performance, all dark glares and snark, and I’d like to see more of the actress’ work in the future. Writer/director Gerard Johnstone also makes a strong impression in this, his feature directorial debut.
Both creepy and hilarious, Housebound plays like a cult classic that’s just waiting for the right audience to spread the word. Check it out.
Tomorrow: The Invitation
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of books and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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