Saturday, 25 July 2015


"Housebound" (2014, Gerard Johnstone, Semi-Professional Pictures) is a horror comedy from New Zealand.

Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O'Reilly) is a troubled young woman with a sharp tongue who turns herself to petty crime with a hapless accomplice. Their actions result in her getting caught and being sentenced to house arrest in her mother's home with an electronic ankle tag. Kylie would apparently have preferred actual prison because her nutty mum, Miriam (Rima Te Viata), and her mother's equally strange boyfriend, Graeme (Ross Harper) are boring her to death.

Her mother is also convinced that the house is haunted, and embarrasses Kylie non-stop by talking about it on radio call-in talk shows. Kylie becomes suspicious that what her mother is experiencing is actually a hidden intruder after she feels a hand grab her from under the stairs in the basement. But she soon begins to share her mother's paranormal suspicions after finding the same creepy, electronic teddy bear cropping up all over the place going through the unnerving death throes of a dying talking toy... The scenes with the bear are just the best!

She makes reluctant friends with the security guy called Amos (Glen-Paul Waru) who is supposed to be monitoring her ankle tag, but he instead becomes roped into the investigation - with his own ghost hunting equipment. Together they begin to uncover what is really going on in her mother's house.

A fun comedy horror with some unnerving bits and one or two nice reveals, "Housebound" was great for four reasons:

  • Our lead actress is funny, strong and fairly unflappable as well as unafraid to utter some colourful language
  • When it gets gory... it gets GORY
  • There are some genuine scares and a good level of suspense built up, despite the tension-breaking humour
  • It's relatively unpredictable and the plot is engaging
So if you're sick of tired out zombie comedies or looking for something refreshing to watch that packs a punch but with a smile, then I highly recommend giving this one a try.

[Image: Semi-Professional Pictures]

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