I found this film on Netflix. It is quirky, cute, and funny. And it’s a horror movie! It is written and directed by Gerard Johnstone, one of the creators of the New Zealand sitcom The Jaquie Brown Diaries. Being from America, I have never seen this show. But here’s what I suggest: Click on the preceding link. They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so look at the picture of the show’s star Jaquie Brown. This picture sums up what I believe is the tone of the show. Look at her silly yet serious expression. See the way she struggles with the video boxes. Now take one of the show’s creators and assign him the task of writing and directing a horror movie. The result is Housebound. And interesting result it is!
Morgana O’Reilly plays the delinquent Kylie Bucknell who is arrested for robbing an ATM machine. She is sentenced to home-confinement in her mother’s house; (Oh no, not that! The United States prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment”, why can’t New Zealand do the same?) a house her mother claims is haunted. Here in her mothers’ house, Kylie is checked on often by security officers, counselors, psychologists, as well as creepy, ghostly things!
This film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. However, some reviewers on Netflix say this film is neither funny nor scary. The humor is there, but because it isn’t blatant, these folks missed it. It is so cleverly stitched into the film’s fabric that it hides within the natural flow of the story. Not scary? Sure it is! But it’s a creepy and bizarre kind of ‘scary’, not the kind of scary for those expecting ghosts to suddenly pop out at you. (Although this sort of happens from time to time)I join the majority in praising this film. It’s not you average haunted house film. But who wants average when you can have original? And an original film it is!