After hearing about the scares this film had been generating overseas and of course Sir Peter lauding the films endorsement, it was hard to stay away from this movie

2014 has yielded an unusually bumper crop of fantastic local films this year, almost spooky (no pun intended) considering the sheer financial undertaking and massive production costs, the vampire romp-com What We Do in the Shadows (no horror relation) and Housebound play tag team with the scare-com tag, with some horror zealots touting the film “picks up where Peter Jackson’s “Braindead” leaves off”

Yes, there’s blood splatter, some really good scares along the way that keep you in suspense trying to guess who the baddie is (clue: there is a murderer running rampant) from beginning to end there are some genuinely funny lines, the audience I was watching with were in stitches

But first, let’s start from the beginning. Scene one: The film begins with opening scene of rebel Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly) trying to steal an ATM (kids don’t try this at home) she is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention, hence her Housebound state. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) – an innocuous busy-body who’s convinced that the house is haunted, Kylie finds out listening to her mother relate the spooky house story to well-known ZB talkback host Andrew Dickens on national radio and is dismissed as a ‘crack pot’ – of course we know she isn’t

Kylie’s suspects something wrong when she starts to notice doors opening by themselves, noises and unexplained goings on in the basement (The toilet scene is a highlight). She begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her mother’s overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a pissed spirit who’s not particularly thrilled about her homecoming. Together with ambling court security guard Amos (Juice TV’s Glen-Paul Waru) who happens to be a part time Ghostbuster, the two try and put the pieces together to find out the cause of the strange happenings (check out the annoying but creepy Motorola phone tune (Hello Moto..)

The film clocks more laughs I’ve seen in ages, nice touches that keep the film ticking along nicely. O’Reilly suits the neurotic stroppy Kylie hell-bent on causing trouble, her sassy pissed-off character defines the movie’s lead role as she interacts wonderfully with cast in the Cluedo-esque whodunit. GP Waru is on fire in this film his one liners and aloof naivety is a must watch (“you can’t punch ectoplasm”) also great to see Rima Te Wiata back on the big screen, she’s a revelation and you forget how funny she is. With such a strong cast, Housebound draws upon the experience of seasoned actors like Cameron Rhodes (The Doctor) Mick Innes (The creepy neighbour) to carry off one of this years surprise hit films

Shot on a modest budget the film looks a million bucks and the well timed comedic laughs are many, for a while I had a fear of going to visit my parents just in case I heard ZB’s Andrew Dickens on the radio. Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound movie screams “Hitbound” If you’re scratching for a great laugh while being scared to death Housebound will tick the boxes, it will also make you think twice about using your humble cheese grater  

**** 4/5