‘Housebound’ is a 2014 horror with its tongue planted firmly in it’s cheek–while clutching a knife behind its back. But is it as good as the trailer?
‘Housebound’ follows Kylie, a moody twenty-something set on messing her life up–and making everyone else’s life a misery. Proving to be a hapless criminal she is sentenced to house arrest under the care of a responsible adult. Only, that means going to her mother; Miriam, a well-intentioned fuss pot; and her quiet step-father; in their new home. Kylie selfishly mopes around the house, ruining the new life her mother is making for herself, rolling her eyes at her mother’s belief that the house might be haunted–that is until Kylie goes down into the basement, and discovers that the house was the site of a murder…
‘Housebound’ was one of those Netflix stumbles–never heard or read anything about it, but thought we would give it a go. And I’m so glad we did. Sulky Kylie is quickly established as the target of the audiences love-hate relationship, but allowing her to soften as the film plays out, throws us some sympathetic characters in her dotty mother and brooding step-father, and has some nice character moments between the three of them. However, it never forgets it’s horror setting, building the suspicion of their being some-thing in the house with them, and creating tension through the possibility of there being a killer still in the neighbourhood. It also manages to deliver a couple of shock moments and keep its cards close to its chest until the last Scooby-Do quarter, when everything starts to fall into place–even if the plot doesn’t unfold quite as you might have expected.
For a comedy horror it manages to walk the tightrope of frivolity and flippancy, and creepiness and menace. Only occasionally did it’s humour push at ridiculous–trying to fish a retainer out of a sleeping man’s mouth, and using a laundry basket as a weapon–which just seemed a couple of steps too far, in a film that was otherwise well-balanced with humour, tension, action, scares and a little gore.
I would give ‘Housebound’ a conservative three stabs out of five. If you like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Evil Dead’ I think you’ll find something to enjoy in this. Check it out.