Housebound

Housebound ★★★★★

The good news is that Housebound holds up really well on a rewatch. You do notice a few sly little inconsistencies on a rewatch once you know what's actually going on, but I'm willing to give those a pass. (Granted, I'm mostly giving them a pass because I've discovered an appreciation for films that don't mind lying to the audience, even though this is a relatively minor example.)

So my prior review of Housebound hits on most of the important points: new phobia inducing, one of the few examples of being both horror and comedy that actually works as both horror and comedy, blah blah blah. Read that review, I guess or whatever.

There is one thing that review doesn't get into: actor Morgana O'Reilly. O'Reilly plays a 20-something forced to live at home under house arrest. The impressive thing about O'Reilly is the subtle way she reacts to things that speak volumes. She communicates with one look what would take other actors several lines to convey. Annoyance, surprise, fear--they all flit across her face at one point or another, replacing their less effective verbal counterparts. Kudos to O'Reilly for being able to do it, and kudos to director Gerald Johnstone for identifying her ability and putting it to its fullest use.

For that matter, all of the actors here do a pretty good job. This is a New Zealand production, but there is a strong tea-and-crumpets feeling, like you'd get out of a British film. I'm not well informed enough about New Zealand or Europe to know how similar or dissimilar the two societies are and how this film fits in, but there's a familiar, comforting tone to the whole thing that will feel familiar to anyone whose spent time watching the BBC, or Monty Python, or various Terry Gilliam films.

Anyway, this is one of the best of horror films, and I say that without any sort of modifiers. It's not "One of the best horror films featuring a haunted house" or "One of the best horror films to feature comedy" or "One of the best horror films of the year" or "decade" or whatever. It's just one of the best.

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