Movie #326 2020: His House (2020)

Surprise! I lulled you into a false sense of security, making you think you’d escaped Halloween and you were firmly in Christmas territory. But you’d be wrong. When I saw Netflix had released this movie on their streaming service, I just had to watch it.

An original concept indeed, His House is the story of two refugees who have recently escaped tyrannical rule in South Sudan and made it to the UK. They are given the most basic council estate housing you could imagine, and are instructed that they must remain in the house to be eligible for the asylum they are seeking. As the main characters try their best to assimilate whilst keeping a grasp on their culture, they begin to realise that there’s something extremely sinister going on with their home.

How can you summarise this movie? Well, it’s a horror movie with substance. Not only is it pretty creepy in the traditional sense of the word, it highlights so many horrors of the real world such as the bleak situation asylum seekers can find themselves in when escaping their home countries. They don’t just stick to the standard yet brutal crossing of the channel in a tiny boat sequence either, making this much more unique than most other stories of the same theme. Powerful stuff.

I’m sure there are so many interesting metaphors in this but I’m too stupid to be able to figure them out. It’s likely that this was been made with a minuscule budget, but it’s so impressive how effective they manage to make this. And there’s some excellent cinematography too, actually.

One metaphor that definitely won’t go over your head is the sequence at the dinner table in the ocean. Not only is it gut-wrenching, but it’s also bloody beautiful to look at. That’s right, the image above isn’t just some concept art. It’s actually a real frame from the movie. How do they work that in exactly? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

Brilliant performances by both of the leads will make you laugh as they join in with Peter Crouch football chants, and cry as you find out the details of their horrific story. There’s so much emotion within their eyes, making it feel all the more real, and though you may have seen Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku in other things already (Black Mirror, Fantastic Beasts and Batman vs. Superman are among their combined acting credits), don’t be surprised if you see them popping up more regularly after this knockout performance.

A little bit of a slow burn at times, that’s true, but there’s the reward of a pretty brilliant and an unforeseen plot twist with a great classical soundtrack. His House is a really solid addition to the horror genre, with its artistic flair and roots in realism.

His House is available to stream on Netflilx in the UK.

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