Housebound ★★★★

Housebound is an unpredictable, suspenseful horror comedy and, to my delight, you can add hilarious and heartfelt to the ongoing list of adjectives. It's nice to know that the creative and unique horror comedy is alive and well in New Zealand.

Throughout the entire movie I never knew what was going to happen next and it was such a welcomed feeling of the unknown, it's not often enough that a genre film can keep me on my toes as I have a firm grip on my husband's arm, just in case the next scene sent me flying.

Kylie is a troubled young woman with a drug addiction that has landed her in and out of rehabs, after her latest run in with the law, the judge denies her lawyer's request for another treatment facility, insisting that maybe what she needs is 8 months house arrest under her mother's roof. Kylie's mom, Miriam is a chatty kathy who is charmingly naive and sweet. She's married to Kylie's stepfather, the silent and sturdy soundboard of Miriam, Graeme. As the three try to adjust to their new living arrangement, Miriam's claims of living in a haunted house are soon investigated by Kylie and her house arrest security guard (with a penchant for paranormal investigation), Amos.

I have a feeling Housebound will be a great movie to revisit and pick up on things the second or third time around, and I will undoubtedly watch this movie again. There were so many little nods in the background, seemingly unimportant. For example, there's an afghan blanket on the back of the couch that looks just like the blanket that was draped over the couch on the American sitcom, Roseanne and towards the end of the film, it looks as though one of the characters is wearing a tattered Freddy sweater. These subtle inclusions were refreshing and adorable.

Made for less than $300,000, Housebound insists on telling us an unpredictable, original story with believable, brilliant performances; not dazzling us with state of the art effects and hot, young stars in a constant state of undress, hoping to distract the audience from the banality of the script.

Housebound reaches out from under your couch, grabs on to your ankles, keeping you firmly planted in your seat and what happens next will amaze you, as the characters in front of you manage to reach out through the screen and grab on to your heart.

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