31 Days of Horror – ‘Housebound’ (2014)

New Zealand's sly horror-comedy delivers plenty of both

Horror and comedy make strange bedfellows.

The combination makes little sense on paper – death, blood, gore … and chuckles?

Yes, dark humor exists and some of the best horror movies dip into both genres with alacrity. Think:

  • “An American Werewolf in London”
  • “Shaun of the Dead”
  • “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”

You can add “Housebound” to that short but impressive list.

A troubled young woman (Morgana O’Reilly) is sentenced to living with her insufferable parents, a fate worse than death for the rebellious gal. Life is bad enough for her, but she soon realizes something is going bump in the night. It could be more menacing than another stern lecture from Ma and Pa.

Writer/director Gerard Johnstone ticks off a curious list of influences for “Housebound,” including Peter Jackson’s “The Frighteners,” “Clue,” “The People Under the Stairs” and “Scooby Doo!”


That’s interesting, but “Housebound” is a brisk original teeming with smiles and sinister moments.

Johnstone’s career hardly took off after “Housebound,” but that changed dramatically last year. He helmed one of the year’s best surprises, the Jason Blum-produced “M3GAN.” That film also featured a sharp blend of laughs and scares, and the director is attached to a sequel, appropriately dubbed “M3GAN 2.0.”

Johnstone allegedly has a hand in the (unnecessary) U.S. remake, which was announced eight years ago but seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.


31 Days of Horror

One Comment

  1. Not much to say about this one, other than I think it’s more of an action comedy than a horror. Almost feels like it could be adapted into a stage performance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button