Film Review: Housebound
The fundamental problem of producing a really good horror/comedy movie is attempting to abide by those two particular elements and produce enough of each to satisfy audiences prone to one and/or both throughout its’ particular runtime. Take a classic example such as Scream for instance, one of the more popular black comedies that attempted and succeeded in producing a movie that poked fun at the cliches of the horror movie industry whilst having genuine horrific moments alongside it, due in part to the creative genius of one Wes Craven. Although in 2015 the horror movie genre has had some rather forgettable additions to it (It Follows, The Woman in Black 2 for example), the newest entry in the form of Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound, is most definitely the best of the year so far, with it being one of those rare cases in which the mix of the comedic and the horrific go hand in hand in a rather harmonious fashion.
When Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly) is sentenced to eight months house arrest with her mother and step-father after a robbery attempt gone wrong, she starts to notice strange occurrences throughout the house, ranging from missing food to murderous, rampaging teddy bears all the whilst being unable to escape due to an electronic tag that has been fitted on her as part of her sentence. Are these strange occurrence due in part to a ghostly spirit residing in the house or is it simply a case of Kylie losing her mind due to her newly found restricted freedom? Housebound follows in the footsteps of last years’ The Babadook by not only being another success story from the Oceanic region, but by being a genuinely intelligent, spooky, and ultimately engaging horror film which although covers similar territory in regards to the tale of a haunted house, attempts to break the mould of all its’ recent familiars (Insidious Chapter Three for example) by adding in an effective element of comedy to the floor, something of which I think worked throughout and made the film stand out in the category of horror films released so far this year.
The final act of Housebound in which we witness the true horrors behind the house’s strange occurrences was incredibly reminiscent of the recent horror marvel Your’e Next, particularly in one set piece where the latter’s “blender scene” gets put to shame with one of the most goriest, if glorious, on-screen deaths I have seen in a long time which although was most definitely not for the faint hearted, seemingly continued to heavily reside on the black-comedy element which made it all more enjoyable, resulting in an simultaneous combination of both shock and sniggers. Overall, Housebound may resort to the age-old cliches of the tale of the haunted house, but it does it with confidence, comedy and style, making it one of this years’ stand out performers in the genre of horror movies.
Overall Score: 8/10
Posted on 04/07/2015, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged Black Comedy, entertainment, Film 2015, Film Review, Gerard Johnstone, horror, Housebound, Morgana O'Reilly, New Zealand, review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.