The Horror Honeys: Who Says You Can't Go Home Again?

Who Says You Can't Go Home Again?

A Supernatural Honey Review by Suzanne

Housebound (2014)

What if you were on house arrest? What if that house arrest meant you were forced to move back in with your parents? Lastly, what if your mother had convinced herself and you that the house you grew up in was haunted? 

After an ATM robbery gone wrong, Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O'Reilly) is sentenced to an 8 month house arrest in her childhood home with her mom and step-dad. Her mother, Miriam, is a regular busy body and does her level best to reinsert herself as a maternal figure to Kylie, but Kylie is having none of it and works tirelessly to get on her mom's nerves. Miriam is convinced their house is haunted. Initially, Kylie dismisses her mother's paranoia, but gradually noises, voices, and other mysterious happenings make her determined to get to the bottom of things

Kylie makes an unlikely ally and ghost hunting partner in her parole officer/neighbor, Amos (Glen-Paul Waru). Together they dig into the house's history and uncover a long and sordid past. However, what dwells in the house is the biggest surprise of all.

Entertaining and believable performances by everyone in the film. O'Reilly easily maneuvered between angry teen and vulnerable young woman with a set of brass balls. Kylie's mom is played by Rima Te Wiata, who was incredibly funny, even when she wasn't trying to be. She was the perfect straight woman. 

The evolution of Kylie's character is wonderful. She starts out alienating everyone around her and hating life in general. As the story progresses, she reluctantly starts to trust, first her parole officer and then her mother. 

Anyone who has had a complicated relationship with their family will be able to relate to Kylie's situation on some level. A few years ago, right before I moved to NYC, I moved in with my folks to save some money. Unlike a lot of people, I don't get the warm, fuzzes when I return to the old homestead. This was purely a financial move. Because I had given up my car as well, I was at my parents' mercy a lot of the time. My stay lasted 4 months before I nearly had a nervous breakdown and had to go elsewhere. There were many moments during Kylie and Miriam's interactions that I felt a kindred spirit in Kylie. She was much more brazen than I, however.

Housebound has moments of real horror and gore, but other moments that will have you pissing your pants laughing. My only real problem with it is that the two do not blend seamlessly. Rather than playing as a true horror/comedy, it's patchy. That shouldn't deter you from giving this a chance though. It was a refreshing change of pace from the norm.

From New Zealand, this film did the festival circuit in the spring and was given a limited release in September. While it probably wouldn't appeal to the fair-weather horror fans, those of us who appreciate the unpredictable will dig it. It's available on demand right now.

Supernatural Honey Rating: 3 juvenile delinquents out of 5