Housebound ★★★★½

Thank goodness for Kiwi horror filmmakers in 2014!

This movie and *The Babadook* are two of my favorite horror movies of the year, but for different reasons. While *The Babadook* is eerie and unsettling, slowly building dread but without any truly terrifying scenes, *Housebound* has some of the best jump-scares I've seen in any horror movie in years. But the writer also deftly mixes humor into the script, easing the tension at key points.

Speaking of the humor, this is not a Sam Raimi kind of horror-comedy; it's not especially goofy or self-referential. Instead, comedy is seamlessly integrated into the scenes and delivered by the characters in a very deadpan way, making it that much funnier. The humor here feels like it's a comedic style perhaps more native to New Zealand. I loved it.

The only reason I didn't give the movie 5 stars is because the numerous plot twists got a little exhausting towards the end. While I liked that I never really knew where the plot was going, first-time writer/director Gerard Johnstone sacrifices some needed editing to accomplish those twists. Two hours is a lot to ask from your audience for this kind of movie.

But in spite of the length, I probably had more fun watching this movie than any other horror movie since *Zombieland*. Highly recommended.