Home is where the “arghhh!” is

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Dvd & blu- ray - Sarah Dobbs

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2014 | 18 | Blu- ray/ DVD Di­rec­tor: Ger­ard John­stone Cast: Mor­gana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wi­ata, Glen- Paul Waru, Ross Harper, Cameron Rhodes, Ryan Lampp

How long would it take you to go nuts if you had to move back home with your par­ents? What if you couldn’t even go out­side the house for eight months? That’s the sen­tence petty crim­i­nal Kylie ( Mor­gana O’Reilly) faces, af­ter be­ing picked up for her umpteenth rob­bery.

Fit­ted with an an­kle mon­i­tor that won’t let her go be­yond her mum’s front door, Kylie takes her rage out on her fam­ily by eat­ing all their food, mak­ing a mess, and re­fus­ing to let them watch Coro­na­tion Street. Be­fore long, though, she re­alises there’s some­thing scarier than she is lurk­ing in the old house, and it’s down to her ( plus her pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer, who’s sur­pris­ingly keen on para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion) to fig­ure out what. There are el­e­ments of this New Zealand hor­ror- com­edy that you’ll have seen be­fore – the crim­i­nal on house ar­rest, the creepy neigh­bour, the house with a dark past – but writer/ di­rec­tor Ger­ard John­stone makes them feel fresh. His script is end­lessly in­ven­tive, with a mys­tery that’ll keep you guess­ing; it’s also hi­lar­i­ous, with some proper scares thrown in for good mea­sure.

If House­bound has a flaw, it’s that it’s a bit too long; the be­gin­ning of the third act drags. The fi­nal show­down is spec­tac­u­lar, though, and the fi­nale oddly heart­warm­ing. Kind of makes you want to call your mum, ac­tu­ally.

Ex­tras: Com­men­tary by the di­rec­tor and a pair of pro­duc­ers, and deleted scenes.

The Gavin & Stacey re­make was badly mis­cast.

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