Housebound is a quirky horror comedy film from New Zealand about a bad-tempered young woman who, after trying to rob an ATM, is sent to live with her mother to serve a house arrest sentence. Mom lives in a big ol' spooky that she swears up and down is haunted. And the longer our heroine Kylie stays there, she starts to believe the same thing.
It's been a long time since I've seen a horror film this charming, and there were a number of genuinely funny moments that made me laugh out loud. Morgana O'Reilly absolutely nails her performance, and Rima Te Wiata's wide-eyed, flighty performance as Kylie's mother is the perfect counterpoint to acid-tongued O'Reilly. The film also delivers a few scares, without very much gore (heads up on one scene in particular though - it gets mighty red!). So it's a great choice for fans who want a few frights, and a lot of laughs.
Housebound is an impressive debut from Johnstone, and the silly tone reminded me quite a bit of fellow Kiwi Peter Jackson's horror-schlock comedy Dead Alive (aka Braindead), though Housebound is much MUCH less heavy on the gore than the aforementioned film.
All of that being said, if you're looking for something that's truly terrifying, this may not be the film for you. It borders on goofiness - in a good way! And it's highly entertaining. But if you're looking for a film that gives you that "I must peek at the screen from between my shivering fingers or IT will see me" feeling, I'd suggest saving this one for another night.