Housebound(2014) was written and directed by Gerard Johnstone. Starring Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, and Glen-Paul Waru.
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
Housebound is phenomenal way of combining humor and horror. From the opening we are immediately sucked in to Kylie’s(Morgana O’Reilly) life, in which she is attempting to knock off an ATM. Her partner is knocked out and she takes it on her self to finish the job. Kylie’s character is built up to seem like she is a troubled youth and completely not in control of her life, but all at the same time she is shown to be head-strong and a leader. The basis of the story is Kylie is caught and given probation, in which she is under house arrest at her mother’s house, since she did not have a stable housing situation of her own. Miriam(Rima Te Wiata) is Kylie’s mom and a bit of an air-heady, rumor-mongery, typically distraught type of mother. She enjoys conversation all too much and tends to take on the conversation in a whole new like, be able to talk and talk and talk without breathing or thinking. I assure you this plays in the plot much later.
As any troubled youth, Kylie can’t stand her mother’s house. At one point she decides that she needs to use the phone in which Miriam is already on. At this point Kylie over hears her mother telling phantasmal stories of ghosts that live in their home. That appeared to be the trigger for the story, as Kylie hears something that is unexplained and goes into the basement. The third major character to the story appears Amos who is played by Glen-Paul Waru. His character really assists with the comedy of the story. He immediately turns from security guard to paranormal investigator and takes on a whole knew persona. His relationship with Kylie grows after an instance with a mechanical bear that appeared to move on it’s own. Kylie is suddenly the one that believes after being a skeptic for so long and Amos takes on her role of skepticism.
While rummaging in the basement for something, Kylie ends up finding boxes and boxes of books that we donated to what she assumes is the house before her parents bought it. She decides to look up the company name that is scrawled in the books. This leads her to learning that the house was an asylum for youths. More of the story unfolds when she finally sits her mother down and accuses her of knowing what their home was before. Miriam finally breaks down and states that it was all her first husband’s idea in remodeling the place for a bed and breakfast.
Kylie starts to experience more and more paranormal things, like walking noises and items being moved. She leans of a death that happened in the asylum which closed the place down and she decides that the girl’s ghost is the one haunting them.
As I was watching this story unfold it became more and more complex and Kylie was trying to solve a latent murder, while assuming supernatural things. Finally the story boils down to learning of someone living in their walls that witness the murder of the girl and was afraid to tell anyone. The murderer was the same psychiatrist that was “helping” Kylie. Dennis played by Cameron Rhodes was prodigious. He looked as though he was trying to help and then snapped. The end of the film was a rampage and flight that nearly took every room of the house. I have to say his death was what made me laugh the absolute most. From deep down inside a roar erupted from me that I haven’t heard in a long, long time.
I give this beaut from Down-under 8 ankle bracelets out of 10. Easily hilarious and fun to watch, but slow at first.