03rd Nov2020

‘His House’ Review (Netflix)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Sope Dirisu, Wunmi Mosaku, Malaika Wakoli-Abigaba, Matt Smith, Javier Botet, Yvonne Campbell, Vivienne Soam, Lola May, Kevin Layne | Written by Felicity Evans, Toby Venables, Remi Weekes | Directed by Remi Weekes

Horror is effective when it pulls the audience into an experience. They have to care about the people on the screen and actually want them to be safe. Horror also works best when it works on the fear of the unknown and taps into things that make the audience uncomfortable. This is what makes His House a truly creepy experience.

A refugee couple manage to escape war-torn South Sudan and make their way to the UK. When they are given a place to live in a small English town they should feel safe, but something is lurking beneath the surface of the house they now call home.

It’s not only seasoned horror fans who will make some presumptions when it comes to His House. Sure, the house appears to be haunted, but we also expect a town where its inhabitants are against refugees moving into their area, which of course we see. What His House does well though is use these presumptions we have as a tool to create a feeling of claustrophobia and prejudice.

When watching His House, you never feel safe, eyes are always watching Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) whether they be supernatural, human, or the government who are watching to see how they adapt to being in the UK. It’s a stressful situation for anybody, but Bol and Rial have a past they are running away from.

This past is something that I won’t venture into in this review, because it would spoil the experience that is His House. I feel though that I can say that this is where the true horror is hidden without spoiling anything. We are slowly invited into their memories of the past and shown exactly what is haunting them, and what they have to battle.

Another thing that His House relies on is the performances of Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku, and thankfully they excel in their roles as the couple just trying to find a home. There are moments the audience empathises with them, gets annoyed by them and at moments even turns against them, but that is exactly what we are meant to be feeling. It is through Remi Weekes direction, and the performances of the two actors that we are pulling into the story of His House, and what a story it is.

What audiences will be left with after His House is a story that will actually shock them. The experience of the film itself is a relentless attack on our senses by a movie that understands what scares us. The use of the dark corners of the house (and our souls), and the fear of what we don’t understand is what truly creates the creepy experience that is His House, and that is what makes a good horror film.

For those who watched the trailer, as I did, you will be surprised by His House. The trailer gives a good idea of the setting of the story, but not what to expect from the horror that is hidden within.

His House is a thought provoking horror movie that doesn’t preach, it just wants to give the audience a more modern take on horror that does well to tap into what is truly scary; our own minds.

****½  4.5/5

His House is available on Netflix now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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