Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Housebound (2014)

Housebound seems to have surprised quite a few casual viewers by actually being pretty good! Part black comedy, part mystery and part horror; this clever, silly, often blood-splattered film never leans too heavily in any one direction, making for an interesting and unpredictable watch.

Kylie (Morgana O'Reilly, above) is a petty criminal sent back to her childhood home for 8 months under house arrest. At first she's resentful and selfish, hogging the TV and scoffing at her mother's assertion that there's something spooky going on in the house (and has been for years). After witnessing some strange stuff herself however, Kylie begins to unearth some dark secrets.

The fact that Kylie has such a take-no-shit attitude really adds to a lot of fun here. Whether she's being a moody daughter or fighting off a suspected psycho, she's always full of such delightful irritation over what's happening and always seems on the verge of an eye roll. Yet it comes across as scrappy, rather than arrogant, and you find yourself genuinely cheering her on.

Having recently felt like I've been spotting plot reveals a minute before they're announced, it was refreshing to watch something that kept switching things up so much. On more than one occasion even something as simple as a shot set-up presents you with what you assume is going to go one way... only to then promptly go in an entirely different direction.

Perhaps I'm being lazy but I don't want to give too much away here! It's really best going in knowing as little as possible. However, I will say this much: creepy talking teddy bear, a cheese grater to the face, enough gore to keep you happy... and the most soppy mum character since Barbara in Shaun of the Dead.

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