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Housebound (2014) is a New Zealand horror comedy film written and directed by Gerard Johnstone for Semi-Professional Pictures. Starring Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, and Ryan Lampp.

Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers & strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s less than happy about the new living arrangement.

Not rated. 106 minutes. Watch the trailer here …

My thoughts… New Zealand has been turning out some excellent dark comedies lately like Fresh Meat, DEATHGASM and, now, Housebound! God bless the Kiwis! In Housebound, troubled young Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly) is sentenced to house arrest for 8 months in her childhood home under the care of her mother Miriam (Rima Te Wiata). Miriam believes that her house is haunted. Kylie is skeptical. However, after a few unexplainable experiences, she begins to believe that there might be a ghost in the house and soon becomes determined to find the truth with the help of Amos (Glen-Paul Waru), a security contractor who also happens to be a part-time paranormal investigator. Housebound is a twisty “ghost” mystery that builds slowly to a thrilling conclusion, and it works wonderfully well due mostly to its cast of oddball characters – especially ever-so angry Kylie! Morgana O’Reilly is fantastic – and darkly adorable – in the lead role! In fact, I would love to see O’Reilly in a prequel that details Kylie’s troubles up to her arrest for the ATM robbery gone wrong at the beginning of Housebound! Director Gerard Johnstone said (here) that he was inspired by Syfy’s Ghosthunters as well as “classic ghost mysteries like The Changeling and The Legend of Hell House.” However, I think Housebound is more akin to the recent film The Pact. Even if you don’t really appreciate a good “ghost” mystery, watch Housebound anyway – you will be pleasantly surprised!

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