Housebound (2014)   7 comments

aaahouseposter

Sentenced to house arrest after getting in trouble…again, Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly) returns to her childhood home in rural New Zealand to spend the next eight months at home with her mom and step-dad.  Kylie’s a bit miffed about this and takes it out on her mother, Miriam (Rima Te Wiata).  She sits around drinking all day and makes a mess for her mother to clean up.  She resists counseling and is generally obnoxious.  She won’t even let her mom watch Coronation Street.

aamean

Kylie says darn a lot.

Soon after her arrival, Kylie starts hearing things and gets the feeling she’s being watched.  After talking to her mom she learns that she too has been hearing things for years.  Their neighbor, Amos (Glen-Paul Waru), who is also the technician who fitted Kylie with her surveillance anklet, believes in the paranormal and begins to monitor the house.  Kylie discovers her home once served as a halfway house for kids with psychological issues and that one of them was stabbed sixty-seven times with a carving fork.  Now, she has something to think about.  She and Amos think the spirit haunting the house belongs to the murdered girl.  Kylie finds a cache of souvenirs under a floorboard.  She also finds dentures.  After reading old newspaper accounts of the crime, they learn the girl was bitten.  Could the murderer have lost dentures while biting the child?  Armed with this theory, Kylie and Amos come up with a possible killer.  The two amateur sleuths launch an investigation with a lot of twists.

aaabinoc aaawaru

Director, Gerard Johnstone does a nifty job pulling you in different directions.  As soon as you think you know the answer, he changes the question.  Johnstone wrote the story as well and filled it with fun dialogue and tense situations.  When Kylie says her method of dealing with a ghost is a punch to the face, Amos counters with, “You don’t punch ectoplasm.”  Fun stuff.

aaabear

“I ate Ted for lunch.”

The soundtrack by Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper has a quirky feel during quieter moments, but builds rhythmically, pounding faster as the tension mounts.

HOUSEBOUND keeps you guessing and entertained.  I like it a lot.  Because of the surprises and twists, I’ll stop now before I give the game away.  The film is a happy surprise full of flawed and interesting characters.  Kylie is a strong woman who comes off as a real jerk at the start, but she doesn’t take any crap and that’s fun to watch.  I hope Gerard Johnstone writes another film soon.

aaaboo

Hey, Boo.

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7 responses to “Housebound (2014)

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  1. I like your review style, Kerry. Very authentic :). Would love to feature your reviews in our weekly curated email digest that goes out to thousands of people.

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