April 14, 2024

HIS HOUSE (2020) – I see dead people .. lots of them!

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

His House gained recognition with its multiple nomination in the recent British Film Awards, BAFTA, even more than the more high profile Saint Maud. His House is very much a labour of love by Remi Weekes, who took on the monumental tasks as director, writer and producer. To label this as just a horror movie would not be doing it much justice. Although we do get a big dose of ghosts and all sorts of para normal activities happening in the house, the real horror is probably what happens in the real world.

His House centres on the plight of a South Sudan refugee couple to England. What they had to go through in making their harrowing illegal entry to the country is far more terrifying than any ghosts in a haunted house. When they reach England, they are given a chance to migrate legally by being given a house to live in, in a small English town. However, the horrors that they experienced in their journey returns relentlessly to haunt them threatening to get them deported. His House works at many levels as a horror movie. It is original in the way the story is being told with an authenticity that is rare in films of such genre. The performances from little known Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku were outstanding. They play the African couple with such strong conviction that they come across convincingly as very real people. Matt Smith whom may would recognised as the Prince of Edenborough in Seasons 1 and 2 of The Crown, has a supporting role as a government officer, but sadly, is largely forgettable. Remi Weekes also demonstrates a maturity and classiness in his style. There are no cheap scares, and he does not believe in hiding the ghosts in dark shadows leaving much to the audience imagination. Nope .. expect the apparitions to show themselves and feel the full brunt of their presence and onslaught to the Africa couple. His approach somehow makes these chilling moments feel more involving. He also gives us a glimpse of the cruelty and sufferings of people living in South Sudan, offering a case for why the people there are willing to risk their lives in the hope of something better elsewhere.

At the end of the film, I felt quite exhausted by the experience despite its brief running time of just slightly over an hour and a half. Ultimately I would say that we can interpret the horror as something that actually manifest itself to the couple or as something largely in their minds. Like a reflection of the horrors that they had to experience and live with in our to survive their journey to England. A horror story that makes you ponder long after the credits have rolled.

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