Housebound (2014)

I should come up with an official policy on how to tag movies with a twist that nullifies another tag. Like, spoilers for The Turning, but should I really have tagged the movie “ghosts” if the ending pretty conclusively says that she was crazy the whole time and there’s nothing supernatural happening? But the ghosts–or at least the concept of ghosts–is pretty crucial to the movie. And since the tags are listed at the top of the page, you might be seeing where I’m going with this.

Housebound is a movie from New Zealand (g’day kiwis, or whatever) that pretends to take itself very seriously. It’s one of those “comedies” where the humor comes from the ridiculousness of the situations, which is helped by a musical sting that suggests protagonist Kylie continuing to pee despite noises from the ceiling is very serious business (which, considering how long the urination actually is, is probably right). The story is that after being arrested yet again, it’s decided that Kylie’s punishment is being put under house arrest at her mother’s house. Her mother’s haunted house! Because there’s a ghost. And the ghost is real, you guys. All ghost movies I have reviewed so far actually contain ghosts.

Except it’s not a ghost, and especially not the ghost of a girl who was brutally murdered in the house. Instead it’s a neighbor who lives in the walls and saw the murder happen. The perpetrator? Kylie’s court appointed therapist, because coincidences are easy when you need them to happen so the plot keeps going. Eventually things come to a head and the day is saved by the weirdo who drew pictures of Kylie in the bath. Hurray!

This movie was a surprise treat, but really, most movies I’ve seen from down under are pretty damn good. Props to writer/director Gerard Johnstone, who is also attached to direct… Justice League Dark? Wait, that’s still happening? If not, sad day; but if so, sign me the fuck up.


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