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Édith Le Merdy
Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother Miriam - a well-intentioned blabbermouth who's convinced that the house is haunted. Kylie dismisses Miriam's superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables & small-town gossip. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers & strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she's inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who's less than happy about the new living arrangement. Written by
Kylie (Morgana O'Reilly) is a wild child methamphetamine & drink fueled girl who's not averse to engaging in petty crime to fund her lifestyle. One night, after her spot of smash 'n' grab badly backfires, Kylie is put under house arrest, complete with delinquent offender ankle bracelet, to live with her long suffering mother and her mother's almost permanently silent husband and has to endure being checked in on by her social worker Dennis (Cameron Rhodes) and likable security guard Amos (Glen-Paul Waru)
Kylie and her mother don't get on at all, with neither particularly happy with this state of affairs. Worse still, her mother who tends to believe in the paranormal gets even more annoying by insisting the house is haunted, due to the strange noises and weird sighting in the basement she had. Kylie scoffs at this and finds her mother's incessant chatter and claims even more irritating...
...Until she hears the noises herself one night. Things get even worse when Kylie starts having her own sightings & observations of weird stuff happening. Desperate for help, she and her mother confides in Amos the security guard. Amos, a keen amateur paranormal investigator decides to look into things, which leads to them uncovering some rather creepy info about the house in the process. As the mystery deepens, Kyleigh, her mother and Amos all realise that they're gonna have to solve it before whatever it is that dwells in the house engulfs and destroys them all...
Housebound is a very pleasant surprise comedy horror gem from New Zealand, but with nicely done scares and a creepy atmosphere to go with the chuckles, which come mainly via hilarious interactions with the dysfunctional trio. It also turns into a surprisingly layered film plot wise with some twists & turns in the third act to keep things nicely interesting. With some gold one liners and effective scares, it's emerged as one of the better horror viewings of this year and while frequently hilarious, it's primarily a horror thriller that simply tempers things with some very deft comedic relief.
Overall a highly recommended gem from New Zealand and it went down well with the audience at the Dead by Dawn festival where I caught it, so any horror fan should keep an eye out for this one. 8/10, really decent little horror flick.
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