Housebound is one of those rare cinematic experiences where the whole thing could be likened to a rollercoaster ride.
Strapped into your theatre seat (figuratively, we don't have 4D in New Zealand yet) along with hundreds of others, it's an expertly crafted journey of laughs and scares.
Yes, this is a "horror/comedy", a troubling label in that it somehow seems to dilute both those genres. The great thing with Housebound is that the scares and the comedy are both as strong as the other, hence that whole fun rollercoaster thing.
For starters, you've got a solid concept. Girl (Morgana O'Reilly) does some crime and is sentenced to home detention at her mum's (Rima Te Wiata's) house. The house is scary because it both looks terrifying... and is probably haunted.
The home detention thing deftly answers the whole "why don't you just bloody leave the haunted house" question that plagues so many horrors.
And it's a concept backed-up by some really great casting. The best example of this comes in the form of Te Wiata, a legend in New Zealand comedy that's probably been destined for this role her entire life.
She chews up each scene with comic timing only a pro is capable of. The rest of the cast is also at ease, from paranormal investigator/probation officer Amos (Glen-Paul Waru) to snarky daughter Kylie (O'Reilly). You'll also get a kick out of Dennis (Cameron Rhodes).
This is an incredibly Kiwi film (whoever dressed the set needs a medal), but not to the point where it will be lost in translation. It's a story that's universal with performances to match.
Director Gerard Johnstone has achieved something pretty special here.
After some solid comedy with The Jaquie Brown Diaries, he's spent four years crafting a film that will no doubt secure his future as a must-watch movie director.
:: Director: Gerard Johnstone
:: Starring: Rima Te Wiata, Morgana O'Reilly, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes
:: Running Time: 107 mins
:: Release Date: September 4, 2014, following its sessions at the 2014 New Zealand International Film Festival
source: newshub archive