His House – Film Review

A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface.

Remi Weekes’ new film His House is genuinely one of the most bizarre and fascinatingly weird horror movies these eyes have ever seen. It’s always bold and ambitious, and although those big ambitions are not always met, the film does do an otherwise great job at portraying an interesting and powerful story, and one that will stick with you for a while.

To be honest with you though, this is definitely not something I would classify as a horror movie. Sure, there are some horror elements along the journey, but the journey is about so many other things. In all honesty, almost the entire film plays out like a psychological drama rather than a horror movie, but that’s not a bad thing.

In some strange way, it sort of reminded me of A Ghost Story in the sense that, technically it is classified as a horror movie, but it touches upon topics that are so rich and full of intrigue, that simply labeling it one thing would be a mistake. His House is about dozens of different things, touching upon topics such as politics, poverty, and social class.

Like I said though, the film doesn’t always meet its big ambitions, and it’s largely in part due to the lack of dialogue. Many scenes go by and we have to process the story simply by looking at character’s faces or their actions at times, which can be a bit frustrating, but whenever there is dialogue being spoken, it’s almost always important.

Courtesy of Netflix

But what makes the film truly shine apart from its otherwise fairly strong themes, is its direction from Weekes. Here, he feels in complete control of every single scene and it is clear that he had a vision from beginning to end. It’s certainly not going to be a film for everyone. I can almost guarantee that many people will watch His House and call it massively boring and will say that nothing happened, but I urge you to take a closer look because sometimes actions speak louder than words.

Apart from Weekes’ direction though, His House also features some truly stellar performances, namely from the film’s two leads Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku. Even though I have never heard of these two actors until today, they feel like veterans in every scene they’re in. They bring a strong sense of urgency and emotion in every passing moment and it’s hard to look away whenever they’re in the film.

Not to be overlooked here either is the cinematography by Jo Willems, which is beautifully bleak and purposefully dreary in all the best ways. There are plenty of gorgeous and powerful wide shots that may leave you feeling a little sad inside, but that’s really the whole point. His House is supposed to hit you over the head and speak to your heart, and I have to admit that I felt that by the time the credits rolled.

His House may not reach its full potential, but its excellent direction, powerful themes, and strong performances make it a thrilling delight.

Overall Grade: B+

MPAA Rating: TV-14

Cast: Sope Dirisu, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt Smith, Javier Botet, Cornell John, Emily Taaffe, Malaika Abigaba

Directed by: Remi Weekes

Distributed by: Netflix

Release Date: October 30, 2020

Running Time: 93 minutes

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