Housebound ★★★★½

"You cannot punch ectoplasm."

Now THIS is how you do low-budget horror. It's hard to believe that this was made for under $250,000 given how impossibly efficient everything is - Gerard Johnstone's direction makes good use of some fantastic production design, the cinematography is effectively gloomy and atmospheric, and the score is retro in all the best ways. More to the point, the horror itself is beautifully crafted, often relying on dread, atmosphere, and flawless sound design to carry the burden of tension while popping off perfectly placed moments of comedy here and there to loosen the viewer up and catch them off-guard.

It's the story that gets me here, though. I've written before at length about how much I value empathy in genre narratives given how cynical so many modern interpretations seem to be, so the way this handles its characters with respect and understanding is beyond admirable. Without going into spoilers, the final twist of this movie manages to brilliantly flip the script in terms of how both classical and modern horror handle disability and "monstrosity", baiting and challenging audience expectations in order to provoke an unexpected amount of thought and identification. The world deserves more horror movies like this.

The world deserves more Amos, too, because Amos is simply wonderful.

(Watched with Ariel and Zach)