Confession: I do read books other than horror. I recently read and finished The Final Empire, the first book in the Mistborn series, by Brandon Sanderson. I am sure, dear reader, you’ve noticed that I only review horror novels, movies, and games on my blog and I always hesitate to change that. So I’ll just say, it was quite the fun read. But for my proper review, I’ll be going over the new Netflix film, His House, which was just released this year in time for Hallowe’en.
Don’t worry, this review is spoiler-free.
His House is a horror thriller film written and directed by Remi Weekes, starring Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, and Matt Smith. The plot follows a refugee couple that flees from South Sudan and who are now struggling to adjust to their new life in an English town.
They are assigned a house to stay in while their application is processed. Bol, the husband, decides to fully assimilate by rejecting his own culture, while Rial, the wife, wants to preserve their culture and previous life. It becomes obvious that they are both struggling with the trauma they experienced escaping from South Sudan and the loss of their daughter. As they try and adapt, they begin to see apparitions in the walls and creeping through the darkened rooms of their new homes. Eventually they realize it is not just guilt that haunts them, but something else entirely.
This movie is getting rave reviews online, but I’ll be honest with you, dear reader, I didn’t find it all that amazing. Some movies, like Get Out, show that commentary and horror can be intertwined effectively to create a powerful film with a message. His House didn’t achieve that.
First of all, the horror part of the movie was weak. I didn’t feel any kind of suspense or tension at all. There were multiple times when the couple could have been hurt and killed and weren’t. There was no real threat at all. The pacing was painfully slow as well.
Secondly, the message was just way too heavy-handed. It overshadowed the horror, the tension, everything. To put it simply, I think this movie failed as a horror movie. As a straight drama, this movie would have been more effective — change the supernatural to the psychological, and it would have been better, in my opinion.
Finally the ending was just weak. It just happened in a flash and then the movie wrapped up. It was really disappointing, for me at least. Again, it looks like it is receiving a lot of favourable views online. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone but with so many positive reviews, you should watch it and decide for yourself.
x P.L. McMillan