Genre: Horror / Comedy
Country: New Zealand
Director: Gerard Johnstone
Starring: Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Ross Harper, Cameron Rhodes
Terror gets domesticated
Kylie Bucknell is a young woman who has gotten herself into legal problems after doing minor criminal activity for some time. This time the court places her on home detention back at her childhood house, where she will be forced to deal the broken relationship she has with her mother Miriam.
It doesn’t take long before she notice that strange things are happening in her mother’s house. Since she is stuck in the house for several months, she has no other option than to investigate and find out if there is something supernatural living in the house with them.
New Zealand must be a very cheerful country, at least if you where to judge the country by the horror comedies that they have delivered over the years. Much of that is thanks to the earlier work of Peter Jackson of course, but with Black Sheep added to the mix and now Housebound you could say that New Zealand is the country to go to for horror comedies.
I was lucky enough to see Housebound in a cinema with a big crowd and that’s the best way to see this. The film starts out by introducing us to the Kylie character, the exact opposite of the usual horror final girl. She is a rude, inconsiderate and treats everyone around her like crap. And yet, she becomes very likeable and attractive. It is also refreshing to see a leading girl who are very tough and doesn’t take shit from anyone or anything.
What’s great about this is that it could just as easily have been a straight horror film. The filmmakers understand how to set up scares and tension and they deliver several creepy scenes between all the laughs. There’s also plenty of twist and turns to the story so you never can be sure of what’s really going on in the house before it unveils everything and goes for a final thirty minutes that provide outbursts of laughs after laughs.
The assembled cast is excellent and their chemistry is nearly perfect. Morgana O’Reilly is amazing as Kylie. She has a great character written for her and she hits all the notes to make her come to life. Rima Te Wiata plays her mother Miriam, the exact opposite of Kylie. I’d be both surprised and shocked if she doesn’t come from a comedy background before doing this film. The scenes that these two have together are hilarious, i just loved every minute of seeing them play off each other.
I can’t really go into the parts that are so hilarious since most of them come as twist surprises, but I can say that this is the funniest film I have seen in a long time. They spoof horror clichés without putting the genre down, which I find that most horror comedies have a tendency to do. Director and screenwriter Gerard Johnstone manages to do both parts brilliantly, which is an impressive thing to do. Add to the fact that this is his first feature film then it becomes even more impressive.
Housebound is the best film I’ve seen from 2014 so far and it is without a doubt the best horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead and I might even put this above Shaun. I strongly recommend it and I can’t wait to see it again once it gets released on DVD.