HOUSEBOUND (2014) Reviews and overview

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Housebound 2014 poster

‘Terror gets domesticated’

Housebound is a 2013 New Zealand comedy horror film written and directed by Gerard Johnstone (M3GAN) – his feature film directorial debut. The movie stars Rima Te Wiata, Morgana O’Reilly, Glen-Paul Waru and Cameron Rhodes.

Johnstone was first inspired to create a horror film after watching Ghosthunters on television and received additional inspiration from classic films such as The Changeling and The Legend of Hell House. Whilst writing the script Johnstone wanted the character of Kylie to be “someone that wouldn’t scare easily. That way, when she does finally fall victim to fear, it’s much more palpable.”


Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother Miriam – a well-intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted.

Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables and small-town gossip.

However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers and strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s less than happy about the new living arrangement…

housebound 2014 spooky


” … sometimes at the festival you walk into a room knowing nothing, sit down, and get your skull punched in by a movie that is calibrated perfectly, that knows exactly what it wants to do, and that seems almost unnaturally confident considering it was made by a first-time feature director”. Hitfix

“Johnstone maintains a good sense of mystery and, in addition to being able to deliver the laughs, he’s got a firm grasp on what makes a scare gag effective. They evolve as the film progresses, culminating in a fiercely fun and unrelenting finale. And underneath it all, layered beneath the humor and bloodshed, Housebound is a nice meditation on rediscovering family regardless of how quirky or unexpected it can be.” Shock Till You Drop

Housebound 2014 Shhhh

“… neatly carries some universal ideas about throwing away childish indignation and rebellion, and getting to know your parents as people with pasts and personal lives, not just nagging overseers.” Fangoria

“The leading ladies steal the show, both separately and as a duo, and there’s some great support from Glen-Paul Waru as a security guard who helps Kylie search for clues — but a special mention goes to everyone in the sound and music departments on Housebound. Not only is Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper’s score both evocative of horror classics and wonderfully energetic in its own right, but Mr Johnstone and his aural technicians have taken special care in this department.” FEARnet

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