Housebound (2014)

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Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly) is sent to stay with her mum for six months under house arrest by the courts when she is caught attempting to steal from an ATM. Her mum Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) is well meaning and wants to try and make Kylie’s stay a good one. Kylie’s attitude is far from sociable however, which only makes the atmosphere in the house worse. Things begin to take a sinister turn when Kylie begins to hear strange noises in the house. Not only that, but things are going missing and Kylie’s mum thinks the house may be haunted.

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With the help her probation officer and amateur paranormal investigator, Amos (Glen-Paul Waru), they discover that the house used to be a hostel for mentally disturbed people, and that someone was murdered there years ago. Believing the source of the noises to be a malevolent spirit Kylie and Amos seek to remove it, however the truth it would seem is far stranger.

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Really to say any more would spoil the gem of a double twist this movie has going on. I had heard a lot about this and I must say I was blown away by how good it was. It was without a doubt my film of 2014. The cast are all excellent in their respective roles, and the script is top notch. The characters themselves are all very well rounded and impeccably written. There is humour and warmth amongst the action and scares and it all makes for a stellar movie.

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I want to be careful I don’t oversell this, but I just can’t help myself. It’s very rare now in the days of shitty reboots and remakes that we get something that on the face of it seems like well trodden ground, but instead delivers one of the freshest pieces of cinema in a long time. I think it’s safe to say you’ll like this.

5/5

JM

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Braindead aka Dead Alive (1992)

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Mothers boy Lionel Cosgrove (Timothy Balme) lives at home under the ever watchful eye of his overbearing mother Vera (Elizabeth Moody). Vera hounds Lionel every minute of the day, getting him to do chores and constantly putting him down. Lionel longs for a better life. He gets an idea of what that might be like when he meets Paquita (Diana Penalver) who works at the local store. Lionel and Paquita fall in love and begin to spend as much time as possible together.

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Lionel and Paquita go to the zoo on a date. However not far behind is Vera, snooping and following the couple around a zoo. When Vera gets too close to one of the cages, a rat monkey reaches out and bites her arm. Later Vera begins to get very sick, with bits of her body falling off and her hunger seeking more than mere food. As Vera begins to bite and infect others, Lionely tries to keep a lid on the outbreak from his nosey neighbours and relatives. However when people come round for a party, things take a turn for the worse.

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The house becomes a bloodbath, with zombies breaking out left and right. Lionel is faced with the unenviable task of disposing of the infestation and saving the life of his beloved Paquita. This movie is a gorehound heaven. One of Peter Jackson’s (yes that one) earlier films, this needs to be seen. It’s a horror comedy that surpasses even Evil Dead II for gore and splatter. I laugh when I think of the people that sought out Peter Jackson’s back catalogue after watching Lord of the Rings, only to find this.

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This movie is not for the squeamish it must be said. It is packed to the gills with gore and some truly inventive kills. The cast seem to be having a whale of a time. The script is also brilliant, with some absolute zingers. You really need to check this out, I cannot stress that enough. It is one of the best horror comedies out there, and for a film that’s 21yrs old that ain’t half bad.

4/5

JM

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