Watching: Housebound


Are you a fan of horror movies? Well, I am not. That is to say, I am not now. However, that was not always the case. I believe all teenagers go through a phase where they cannot get enough of fear inflicted adrenaline. I think it has to do with the fact that their brains are not fully developed and there is a part of the brain tissue that makes one aware of danger and mortality that does not become fully active until the age of nineteen (I played a doctor on t.v. once. Just kidding. I once drank coffee and watched a doctor describe this phenomenon on t.v. once. Which, if you ask me, is exactly the same thing. I wonder which part of my brain has not fully developed yet. don’t answer that).

Does “The Walking Dead” count as horror? Well, of course, you answer. But does it really count as horror when the viewer reads the entire plotline before each episode so that they may cover their eyes or leave the room well in advance of each gory scene? I am not sure. But I do watch “The Walking Dead.” Or at least most of it anyway.

What is my point?

Sorry. I tend to prattle on. My point being that I am a wimp. Being scared is, well, scary. But I watched a horror movie recently that I really enjoyed. In fact, I liked it so much that I made my husband watch it with me again the next day. I liked it so much that I decided to write a post about it.

I liked it. A lot…

My daughter and I were on a date. Don’t let her know that I just called it that. We went out to dinner where I ordered the chicken strips and she ordered the halibut. The person bringing out the food set the plates down wrong. I can’t imagine why.

My husband was at work. My son was at a sleepover (the technical term for a boy slumber party. Don’t ever call a preteen boy’s sleepover a slumber party. It is funny the things you do wrong learn as a mom). My daughter and I decided to lay in my bed and watch a scary movie together when we got home from our dinner.

I was dreading it.

But as I was flipping through the movie choices, I stumbled upon “Housebound.” I looked it up on Rotten Tomatoes where it had a rating of 96%. It is rare for a horror movie to get a rating above a 65% so I was intrigued. We read the reviews and decided to go for it.

I cannot really describe it. If I were to use two words to do so, I would say it was wonderfully absurd. I had read the reviews online calling it a horror/comedy and I could not understand what that meant. But then I watched it and it all became clear.

The synopsis is a young girl (Kylie) in New Zealand with a cruddy attitude who commits a crime and her sentence is having to be under house arrest in her mother Miriam’s home. Kylie quickly learns her mother thinks the house is haunted. And the story goes from there.

Here is why it is different from other horror movies and why it works:

1. Why do they stay in the house? You know how irksome it is screaming at the t.v. when you are watching a horror movie wondering why the heck the people just don’t leave? I mean seriously, who would stay in those houses? Nobody. Not a single sane person. I liked that “Housebound” explains from the get-go why the main character has to stay in the house. It is essentially her prison. It was a different scenario and I appreciated that the writer, Gerard Johnston, (who was also the director) treated the audience with intellectual respect.

2. The main character isn’t an idiot. How many times do we see the heroine in a horror flick be a screaming and whimpering fool? I am not saying that I would not be the same way. But it is annoying. This character is a bada** from the beginning. Kylie has an attitude but it works in a horror movie. You don’t like her but you feel like she is capable. All of the side characters are well executed (pun not intended) as well. They had a genuine depth to them that I was not expecting in a horror movie.

3. Moments. It is just a smart movie. There is a moment about a quarter of the way in to the film that is so unexpected and funny that it is now one of my favorite scenes in a movie. There is cursing and bloody scenes so please be aware that while this is a different twist on a traditional scary movie, it still has those elements. Usually horror flicks are cut and dry with horrible scripts but this has many surprising turns. The dialogue is excellent. Some of the moments are ridiculous. Some are gory. Some are scary. But I admit that I enjoyed the whole thing.

My daughter and I both gave this movie a ten out of ten. It reminded me of the eighties movies that I adored. I also love a dark comedy. I enjoyed both “Zombieland” and “Hot Fuzz” in years prior. Although neither one made me smile enough to write a post about them, like this film did.

Have you seen this movie yet? Had you heard of this movie before? Because I do not typically indulge in the horror genre, I had not even known of this movie’s existence prior to last week. Take the advice of a girl who once played saw a doctor on t.v.: Watch it!

6 thoughts on “Watching: Housebound

  1. I love horror movies (& the walking dead!) I have not heard of this film! I love smart horror/thriller films. Not necessarily bad slasher films (I watch them, but don’t love them 🙂 I am on the lookout for Housebound!

  2. I love-hate horror films. I like the old, classic ones like Rosemary’s Baby, Psycho, etc., but I CANNOT do ones about possession or exorcism. Those keep me up for nights.

    I also like the American Horror Story series.

    I’ll have to check out Housebound!

  3. This movie sounds awesome! I want to check it out now. New Zealand humour can be pretty unique and deadpan, I mean have you watched any Flight of the Concords? You would love that. It’s about the actual two-man band Flight of the Concords and their horrible jobsworth manager… There’s also this movie called Eagle vs Shark that has one of the Concords in it, which is more of a quirky love story – I love that one even more. (But it has mature bits of the main couple hopping into bed, plus the guy claims his mother died from getting kicked in the head by a cow. So you know, viewer’s discretion and all that. 😉 ) Also, there’s this Japanese horror comedy musical (no, really) called The Happiness of the Katakuris that’s like, in my top five favourite films ever. People either love it or hate it, but I have a feeling it’d be right up your alley… 🙂

  4. I have always loved horror movies. But they have to be a certain sort of horror movie. I do not like the ones full of blood and guts. Nor the ones lacking a plot but rife in both unfettered bosoms and mask-wearing villains.
    Oh no!
    My horror movies of choice are the ones are rich in psychological fear. The ones that make you think. And then realize that it’s the thinking that’s causing the problem.
    But I must tell you that now that I am a mother my tastes have changed. I cannot watch a movie or television show, or even read a book where a child is hurt or at risk. It sends me into panic mode.
    While I was pregnant I made the mistake of going to see ‘the ring’ in the theater. Two weeks later at my OB/GYN appointment I had to shamefully admit that I had not slept since. There was an actual part of my brain it actually believed that the creepy girl from the ring could now get at my baby because I had seen the movie. Logic ain’t got no place in the pregnant brain!

  5. Interesting! I can’t stand horror movies. I couldn’t even watch them when I was a teenager. This sounds different so I might just check it out. Hmmmm… thanks for the info!

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