zuhair vazir’s review published on Letterboxd:
'Housebound' had me trying very hard not to laugh at the introductory segment. I had had a bad day and I was adamant to bloody well shred the movie to little bits of film reel. It did not work, I smiled; not yet ready to let the film amuse me. Sometimes I wanna brood forever and put on a film to help me with the state of mind. Knowing it was a black comedy - that would not help the 'despondent' cause of wallowing in self-pity by relating to a character - I clicked play anyway, having watched 'Deliver us from Evil' and 'The Brood' just days earlier this was the closest option. Plus 'Jason' in cloth mask on extreme right of the poster had me thinking of all the ways I could vent, exhale through a movie.
I had lost the brood about fifteen minutes into the film. Plus the Kiwi accent (the film is made and produced in New Zealand by a New Zealander) is quite peculiar and extremely lovable. That coupled with a British like sense of daft wit make this film one of the best horror/comedies I've watched in a long time.
Why was I upset? The involuntary vow of celibacy by virtue of being Housebound for a year now. Perhaps, some of it makes sense to you? Not having anything heavy or 'shit the pants' to watch, I chose to watch this although, now that I think I also had the option of watching 'La Herida'. I guess I'm conveniently smart. Knowing that 'La Herida' would turn my brooding into suicidal ideation, I may have subconsciously overlooked.
'Housebound' or Heisssboeuned' is a fantastic film, it is a very funny film with some fine acting and a solid script. Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O'Reilly) is trouble and has the perfect looks of a girl on a crusade of rebellion, in a pretty way. After a certain incident, the court sentences her to live with her mother (a heartwarming performance by Rima Te Wiata) for eight months. A mother and a step-father she loathes.
'Oh, get fucked'
'Housebound' is a rather bizarre film in its delivery of puns, which get nasty and offensive and crude at times. However the screenplay demands it be so. The film does not let us off easy even with its over-the-top situational and operatic satire and the absurdities that each character displays with the help of pernicious camera angels.
The lead, although annoying at first, warms up to the house that was a B&B back in the day; shutdown after something went terribly wrong.
'Give me yer haeyme address, maybe aill sniff araend yaw' shit, see how ya' like it?'
The film has 'hold your breath' moments, the script is extremely clever, the cinematography keeps changing its tone from heavy goth to 'sunshine', perhaps to give us a feel of confinement and dread for the imagined or a real threat. Simon Riera, does a lovely joeb in lighting up the film in so many ways that the colour starts to take character of its own.
Another unintentionally hilarious delivery comes from the good Doctor Dennis (Cameron Rhodes), who is blushing throughout the film and that is enough to get a laugh out of anyone; for instance while mangled with a coat hanger, the doctor blushes more than he hurts. The parole officer is also a riot.
Gerard Johnstone directs his film with a heady nerve, resulting in a pleasing and an exhilarating experience that never stops to delight and scare us at any moment during its 106 minutes.
A pleasantly surprising and an intelligent film with a sharp and witty nod to Kubrick, in there.
What else would anybody wont?