Rti03’s review published on Letterboxd:
Amos: "The close minded are the worst offence against the paranormal Kylie. What are you going to do against the hostile spirit, are you just going to say jokes?"
Kylie: "No, I'm gonna smash it in the face"
I wasn't particularly excited about seeing this picture, i knew little about it, i had only heard of some good buzz. It is October though and this has been a pretty weak year for horror films, so i thought i would give this one a chance and maybe, who knows i would even leave off surprised.
Housebound is Directed by and it stars Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Millen Baird and Ross Harper.
"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."
Even though i went into this picture without much of an expectation, i still have to say that i found it to be rather disappointing. This is why. I actually found a lot of good in the film, i thought it was surprisingly bright and aware of itself, often funny but still when the credits start to roll, i didn't feel as though i had had a good time.
This is not a terrible film. October usually brings horror movies that are far worse than this one and usually they are from main studios and have much bigger budgets (i'm looking at you "No Good Deed"). Housebound is a small, yet inventive horror independent feature from New Zealand.
Soon we realize that this ain't gonna be the usual horror flick. This one is going to be a horror comedy, something that i have rarely seen go right to say the truth. Still at first i thought things were working out fine, because the film was being consistently funny and it was being a rather pleasant time. But things don't stay that way do they. As the time runs, the film starts to be less and less engaging, the premise runs short, the supportive characters become vexatious and the film loses direction and focus.
That is quite sad because we continue to see glimpses of great humor, lots of refreshing dialogue and Morgana O'Reilly fits the role quite beautifully.
Everything unfortunately collapses with a third act that didn't work at all. It was too ridiculous for its own good and it felt as though i was watching Lord of the Rings. The third act extends itself for way too long, the film should have been on the 85 minute mark and it continues for more twenty minutes that were a bit painful. Everything becomes a joke, the plot loses sense and it gets too muddled up. The film loses focus and we lose interest, as we now struggle to be invested in a film that has had one too many turns.
That is disappointing because the laughs are still there, and through the course of those last moments i still laughed a few times but i had stopped enjoying myself a long while ago. It becomes too long, the characters start to get on your nerves, i was wishing that the film would finally end.
It's kind of weird to say this but yeah, even though there are quite a lot of laughs in here and though the film always balances its tone well, i wasn't able to enjoy myself. I lacked affection towards these characters, especially the supportive ones and i do think that the screenplay goes f*ck all in that last act. Morgana O'Reilly was wonderfully cast for this role, she shines in this dark yet hilarious character. It's a good try, it's something different but i wouldn't necessarily call it refreshing.