“A smart, finely acted, appropriately silly and yet totally sincere horror movie... for people who have seen it all and want something a little different” - Peter Hall, MOVIES.COM
"Bloody brilliant" - Peter Jackson
“Quickly tears apart the classic haunted-house movie piece by piece, and then reconstructs it on the fly with fresh new materials, garnished with oodles of blood, dark comedy, strong characters, and genuine suspense” - Peter Martin, TWITCH
Restless delinquent Kylie (Morgana O'Reilly) finds herself in juvenile court and gets the proverbial book thrown at her. Sentenced to house arrest in the home she grew up in – and would prefer to never revisit – Kylie returns to live with her absurdly doting mother Miriam (NZ comedy legend Rima Te Wiata) and her schmucky boyfriend. She also finds herself living with a decidedly unfriendly spirit who seems to be every bit as unhappy about this new situation as she is. Thankfully – sort of – the security guard in charge of monitoring Kylie’s whereabouts also happens to be very much into amateur ghost-hunting. Whatever happens, Kylie can’t go very far. The tracking bracelet locked on her ankle makes that certain. She’s got no choice but to remain home. And deal with everything that’s coming.
Fresh, fun and frightening, this wonderfully inventive comedy/horror from New Zealand world premiered in February at SXSW and took Austin by storm, emerging on many critics’ lists as one of the top discoveries of the festival. As a haunted-house film, it deconstructs conventional formulas and surprises with left-field twists that will leave you joyously slack-jawed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s an atmospheric horror film, it’s a rabbit hole of a mystery yarn, it’s a dysfunctional family comedy, it’s zany, it’s scary, it’s surprisingly bloody and it’s alive with energetic inspiration every step of the way. HOUSEBOUND is a little bit of everything, its varied dynamics perfectly honed into an organically consistent whole. Scripted and directed with unwavering assuredness and a whole lotta love by Gerard Johnstone (THE JACQUIE BROWN DIARIES), an award-winning name in NZ television here making his astonishing feature debut, HOUSEBOUND is the last word in domestic comedy gone straight to hell.
— Mitch Davis