XLrator Media | Release Date: October 17, 2014
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 51 Ratings
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Positive:
43
Mixed:
4
Negative:
4
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8
quincytheodoreFeb 1, 2015
Seemingly ordinary but deceptively quirky, Housebound is the farthest thing from haunted house cliché. The movie shifts between horror and comedy so easily, it's as if Psycho and Home Alone happening at the same time at the same house.Seemingly ordinary but deceptively quirky, Housebound is the farthest thing from haunted house cliché. The movie shifts between horror and comedy so easily, it's as if Psycho and Home Alone happening at the same time at the same house. Characters are occasionally annoying, although they react with such ludicrous manner, it's almost a representation of real reaction. These are not clean cut personalities of usual on-screen haunting victims, at first they might not be likeable, but in the end one can't help but to laugh at them or cheer for their potential survival.

Story revolves around Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O'Reilly) after she botches a robbery attempt, thus sentenced for house arrest. Her family is not a normal one, it's quite dysfunctional actually. As her stress level rises, she begins to find odd things happening in her old house. The development strays from the norm so much, it's refreshing to see a sort of movie as parody of itself yet still able to be taken seriously. Kylie is the type of troubled girl who's rebellious with golden heart buried very deep inside, and she makes all the wrong laughable decision.

Most of the funny part comes from her mistakes and how Amos (Glen-Paul Waru), a sympathetic tech support and occult enthusiast who is willing to help her and her family. The movie moves with certainty, it may seem awkward and out of place, but everything has purpose, either it to set the tension or simply entertain. Character are jovially natural with occasionally profanity or excessive gossip lash, it's not hard to imagine that this family could be just that strange family in the corner of one neighborhood.

When it sets to chill, it delivers so fascinatingly well. Some of the scares are predictable, but they are effective regardless thanks to the smart direction. Screenplay is superb, from disturbing nightmarish tales, down to silly self-mocking jokes and slapstick gore. It will give audience ample of surprises and delights. Its polar opposite terror and hilarity help each other, some aspect of the horror makes the comedy much more appreciable. Furthermore, with a few brilliant twists and their ingenuous nature, the characters will be more relatable as audience gets to know them.

Housebound is the perfect example of 'Don't judge a book from its cover' old saying. It is a blast, it's exciting in every laughs and gasps. This is one of the most fun I've had watching a movie.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
SpangleApr 22, 2016
Housebound is a super quirky directorial debut from Gerald Johnstone. This New Zealand horror-comedy provides both its fair share of thrills as it does comedic moments. The acting is solid, but Johnstone takes full control here. A smart,Housebound is a super quirky directorial debut from Gerald Johnstone. This New Zealand horror-comedy provides both its fair share of thrills as it does comedic moments. The acting is solid, but Johnstone takes full control here. A smart, witty, and sophisticated script help to compliment this truly impressive debut. Showing full knowledge of the genres he is playing with, Johnstone has a knack for crafting a truly chilling atmosphere and reinvigorating genre cliches. While Housebound is clearly heavily influenced by horror-comedy entries of yester year, the film introduces enough original ideas to get by on its own. Additionally, it is a truly entertaining film that provides apt thrills and jokes. Overall, horror-comedies often feel unsure of what they want to be, but fortunately, Housebound adequately balances both and the end result is a truly coherent and enjoyable experience. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
killercorgiMay 14, 2015
If this movie doesn't deserve a place in the pantheon of cult classic horror movies I don't know what does.

It's an homage to early Peter Jackson (Bad Taste, Brain Dead), and even John Carpenter's "People Under the Stairs", and it does it
If this movie doesn't deserve a place in the pantheon of cult classic horror movies I don't know what does.

It's an homage to early Peter Jackson (Bad Taste, Brain Dead), and even John Carpenter's "People Under the Stairs", and it does it all with the same mix of humor and horror. The director did a good job of making scenes feel both intense and funny. It's a long movie, but the payoff is worth it, so stick with it, and enjoy the ride!
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
gmezeroFeb 9, 2015
If you love suspenseful horror movies. Do yourself a favor. Don't read anything else about this movie. Just go watch it now and don't spoil the fun. The story is extremely well written, the movie is very well executed and all of the cast do aIf you love suspenseful horror movies. Do yourself a favor. Don't read anything else about this movie. Just go watch it now and don't spoil the fun. The story is extremely well written, the movie is very well executed and all of the cast do a phenomenal job of their roles. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
JacknoremaCSep 28, 2015
This movie was underrated. It was barely advertised here in New Zealand, but turned out to be one of the greatest movies in NZ film history. The ending is unexpected and the film was just brilliant. It's one of my favourite movies ever!
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
MisterKSJan 16, 2015
OMFG! I totally didn't expect to see that coming. This is one of the best horror-comedy in ages. I've never been so thrilled by scary movies nowadays but this just threw me out of the window. If you wanna see a well-acted, well-scripted,OMFG! I totally didn't expect to see that coming. This is one of the best horror-comedy in ages. I've never been so thrilled by scary movies nowadays but this just threw me out of the window. If you wanna see a well-acted, well-scripted, well-executed, thrilling and funny horror movie, don't hesitate on seeing this. It will get you on the edge of your seat and your belly shaking! Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
nima1990Oct 21, 2014
When I pressed play I was expecting an average stupid haunting movie but Housebound was just great. If you want gore and comedy watch it. The director manages to make you laugh while you are scared as hell.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
tvnewsguidoOct 19, 2014
Fantastic.

Clever little horror/comedy from NZ. Don't think too much about it, it will completely fall apart. Just roll with it for some spooky and gory fun.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
davein310Dec 23, 2014
I never write reviews, but I had to review this one. This is proof that you don't need $100 million dollars to make a great movie, just a great idea, a great script, great acting and brilliant direction. How bizarre that a movie can be soI never write reviews, but I had to review this one. This is proof that you don't need $100 million dollars to make a great movie, just a great idea, a great script, great acting and brilliant direction. How bizarre that a movie can be so scary and hilarious at the same time. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
virginiaproudJan 12, 2015
This film doesn't take itself too seriously and as a result it is tremendous fun. A horror/comedy mash up that gets the balance absolutely right - it manages to poke a bit of fun at the genre tropes while still delivering genuine mystery andThis film doesn't take itself too seriously and as a result it is tremendous fun. A horror/comedy mash up that gets the balance absolutely right - it manages to poke a bit of fun at the genre tropes while still delivering genuine mystery and chills. It's a clever script, making the most of it's setting and wonderful performances from the whole cast. I have been recommending it every chance I get, which is usually a good sign! Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
wesleyoldakerDec 2, 2014
One of the most entertaining movies I've seen in a while, and quite unique in its approach: act one is a horror, act two a murder mystery, and act three a comedy; each act just as effective as the others.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
ilovemovietvJan 27, 2015
Housebound was and unexpected treasure, and is one of my top films so far this year - I came across this film by accident, so glad I watched it. The right blend of horror, comedy, suspense, over the top gore and I found myself marveling atHousebound was and unexpected treasure, and is one of my top films so far this year - I came across this film by accident, so glad I watched it. The right blend of horror, comedy, suspense, over the top gore and I found myself marveling at how this movie just came out of nowhere.
The fun was not knowing what what coming next.
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9
TheQuietGamerOct 21, 2015
Horror-comedies often leave me disappointed. They usually try too hard to juggle both aspects and as a result don't really succeed with either, giving viewers an overall mixed affair. They are rarely capable of pulling off what they set outHorror-comedies often leave me disappointed. They usually try too hard to juggle both aspects and as a result don't really succeed with either, giving viewers an overall mixed affair. They are rarely capable of pulling off what they set out to do (making us laugh while also scaring us). That isn't the case with Housebound. What we get is a wildly funny affair with a few creepy moments to be found. While it definitely is more of a comedy it still manages to feel like it's apart of the horror genre.

It a classic haunted house affair with a few knowing winks. It starts off with the same dark basements and having things go bump in the night. It manages to avoid the "been there, done that" monotony with some goofy moments and some genuinely unnerving ones. A particular scene involving a robotic bear is both horrifying and hilarious.

The movie quickly changes up the pace into a murder mystery story before becoming a goofy slasher film. The best part is that it only manages to get funnier the longer it progresses. It does so without coming across as a spoof which is appreciated. However the funnier it gets the less scary it gets. This is both a good and a bad thing. The good thing is that it allows for the movie to focus on what it wants to be at the time without being burdened down by stubbornly clinging to it's horror elements that would have felt out of place. The bad thing is that it does lose the horror element. Those looking for scares should check elsewhere.

I particularly enjoy the dysfunctional family drama aspect at the heart of it all. Lead actress Morgana O'Reilly is fantastic. Her interactions with the rest of the cast are a treat, delivering a sense of hilarity and antisocial interactions that bring the dialog to life. Watching her character's personality clash with the rest is a real treat.

Housebound is a rare gift for the horror-comedy genre. One that uses the horror setting to bolster the laughs as opposed to drag the experience down, as all too prevalent with these types of movies. While the actual horror is lacking, there are enough creepy moments to make it worth a watch for horror fans even if they are mostly used to set up a punchline. It's nice enough to give us some creeps along with the laughs. The plot might lose some focus as it begins to evolve, but the enjoyment factor never does.
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8
Genghis_SeanJul 30, 2016
Don't know if I'd ever heard of this movie but stumbled on it on Netflix and was thoroughly surprised at its quality. It's a horror movie with no problems and that's rare. The plot, the acting, the writing, the comedy, the thrills, and theDon't know if I'd ever heard of this movie but stumbled on it on Netflix and was thoroughly surprised at its quality. It's a horror movie with no problems and that's rare. The plot, the acting, the writing, the comedy, the thrills, and the mystery were all exceptional. Avoid the trailer if you can. They give away too many great moments in it. Expand
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7
LeZeeSep 29, 2016
Under house arrest in a haunted house!

Absolutely a kick-ass horror-comedy from the Kiwi. In a horror, usually we expect too much, particularly we calculate them according to how much it scares us. That's a tough job for the filmmaker, but
Under house arrest in a haunted house!

Absolutely a kick-ass horror-comedy from the Kiwi. In a horror, usually we expect too much, particularly we calculate them according to how much it scares us. That's a tough job for the filmmaker, but when the comedy tag was attached to it which makes even tougher. In this kind of theme, very rarely people say they're satisfied enough and this is one of those. Yep, a surprise film written and directed by a newcomer. Since it is a New Zealand film, I don't anybody from it, but they all were excellent. Particularly the lead woman was unbelievably good, totally loved her, kind of reminds Nia Vardalos of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' fame and her expressions too matches for in this film.

The story was familiar, even some part of it can be compared to the recent film 'The Boy'. Likewise, other pieces from different films, but I did not care, because it still looked fresh of its own. The way it was developed contributed to the film's success and those suspense lived up to the hype that were made in the early stage of narration. The woman who won't get scared easily, finally meets her ultimate fear after returning to her mother's house where she grew up. But only to discover the house is haunted, followed by mysterious events and the final confrontation between her and whoever on the opposite.

Great setting with the awesome performances, and always keeps us on the edge. But the laughs were delivered in the form of black comedy. The twists and turns make the film to flip to the opposite side after reaching at one point of the narration leaving the viewers to judge how strongly it linked to its genre. But I don't think most of them care about that since they're already entertained and only going to witness the final thrilling conclusion. I hope there won't be any follow up, because this one-off film was one of the best from the down under, so I don't want it to be ruined, like they do in the Hollywood. Recommended, you will enjoy it even your rating does not meet what I've given.

7/10
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