Housebound: The Boy Before Brahms

Housebound is a New Zealand horror comedy film directed by Gerard Johnstone. The plot follows criminal Kylie (Morgana O’ Riley), who is sentenced to house arrest in her childhood home, once she arrives back home, she realises that something is wrong, there are supernatural goings on, or at least that is how it first appears.

This film is a horror comedy, that I don’t think works hugely well as either, the horror isn’t very scary; though there are a few good moments that will make you jump. The comedy is defiantly the central focus of this film and that didn’t work for me either, I didn’t find myself laughing and as I watched it, I wished they had focused on one for the other.

What’s more the film is oddly paced, there is a twist, that I will talk about in a minute, but rather than have the twist near the end of the film, it happens midway through. The reason this is an issue is it makes the film feel like two separate features and both seem to drag on.

The twist of the film is that their house use to be a halfway house that was the site of a horrific murder, however there is no ghost, rather all of the strange goings on are a result of a man from the halfway house who still lives in the walls; yes it is The Boy, about two years before it.

For me I liked the twist, I think it fitted perfectly into the manic absurd nature of the film, I didn’t see it coming.

Furthermore, I think O’ Riley makes this film, she is fantastic throughout and you get to watch her character develop throughout the course of the film. She starts off the film as a troubled youth who doesn’t really care about anyone but herself, but by the end of the film she rises to the occasion as the hero and proves she does care about those around her.

Overall, I think that this film has moments of greatness and O’ Riley is superb, however, for me the comedy and the horror don’t work together and instead clash horribly, which heighten the already bad pacing issues.


Morgana O’ Riley is great.

The twist is good.

There are some good scares scattered throughout.


The two styles don’t mash.

The pacing issues ruin it.


Reviewed by Luke

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