Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Housebound


(2014)****

Following multiple run-ins with the law, insubordinate Kylie is ordered to home confinement for 8 months at her childhood home in the rural New Zealand countryside. We learn quickly that this is her worst nightmare given that she left home the moment she turned 18 to escape her oppressive mother. Worse, she has to wear an ankle monitor that prevents her from leaving the perimeter of the overgrown yard. Adding to the claustrophobia of home confinement is the home itself, a depressing, cluttered nightmare that abuts a forest replete with crooked trees and sprawling vegetation.

Nonplussed that her daughter is back home, Kylie’s always-cheerful, chatty mother fills the time with banal conversation including her belief that there is a ghost in the house. Kylie makes fun of her for this and takes every opportunity to denigrate her. Angry about her situation Kylie passes the time sitting on the couch, watching television, eating food and leaving a mess for her mother to clean up. Bored out of her mind, she eventually befriends Amos, the security officer in charge of monitoring her ankle bracelet, who happens to be interested in the paranormal. With little else to do Kylie agrees to investigate her mother’s claims of ghosts with Amos. Their investigation begins in the house but eventually focusses on a creepy recluse living next door.


‘Housebound’ could easily have been another generic “ghost story” however director Gerard Johnstone creates the perfect claustrophobic setting with the messy, gloomy home, the remote location, and the fact that the lead character has an ankle bracelet on so even if she tries to flee from ghosts the police will haul her back to meet her fate. The film has a good balance of tension and humor and the leads are likable/relatable.

5 comments:

Octopunk said...

Nice gif! I don’t think I could do house arrest in a messy house without cleaning it up. I’d probably be fine for a couple of weeks, but then I’d start straightening everything.

This could be a subgenera! House arrest! This one plus 100 Feet, which Cat reviewed six years ago.

Octopunk said...

I caught up on comments last night! Almost 40 reviews commented upon! All the way back to Starry Eyes. (I thought I was done with The Gift but I wasn’t.)

Catfreeek said...

This sounds awfully familiar, I think it's one I watched off season but I'm not entirely sure. Might have to give it a go next year.

AC said...

We watched it last year and I remember liking it a lot! Great review!

7ofNine said...

I have recurring shudders from that gif with the hand. Yep! Shudders again! I'll probably pass.
Shudders AGAIN! Sad attempt to replace image with thoughts of...anything Disney!
(Okay. Maybe I'll watch. Now I'm curious...)