TAD 2014 Review: Housebound

After winning accolades and awards at festivals around the world the horror comedy from New Zealand, Housebound, finally makes its Toronto debut as part of this year’s Toronto After Dark lineup. The film stars Morgana O’Reilly as Kylie, a low level hoodlum supplying her drug habit with petty heists. After her latest endeavor fails miserably she is sentenced to 8 months house arrests back at her mother’s home, a place he was extremely desperate to escape from before. After arriving back home, Kylie realizes quickly that something is terribly wrong inside the house.

Mixing a gothic setting with biting satire and an ingenious twist, Housebound is a fun romp that will delight all manor of audiences. O’Reilly is great as Kylie but is outshone in almost every scene by the brilliance of Rima Te Wiata as her long suffering mother Miriam. It’s as close to a perfect performance as audiences are likely to see this year, and she becomes the heart of the film. Solid supporting roles from Glen-Paul Waru and Cameron Rhodes flesh out the story that takes a unpredictable turn in the third act that is very satisfying.

Featuring some great special effects work, Housebound works on almost every level. And while it may take its time getting to the final act, the journey is never dull and pays off audiences in the end with a terrific finish.


Kirk Haviland has spent over 20 years working in Entertainment Retail which has enabled him to have a unique opinion and perspective on film and music. A fixture around Toronto film festivals and movie repertory houses, he also works as a programmer for a Toronto based film festival, Kirk's opinions can be seen on multiple outlets. He is very happy to now add Scene Creek to his repertoire.

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