Remi Weekes’ powerful debut horror feature, His housewas released on Netflix on October 30th
. Produced by New Regency, Vertigo Entertainment and Starchild Picture in association with BBC Films, this is exactly the kind of quality film Netflix needs. His house is a terribly disturbing film that will move you to tears.
A young refugee couple who have escaped terribly from war-torn South Sudan are struggling to find their way into their new life in a small English town. An ominous presence lurks in the house they just moved into.
Directed and written by Remi Weekes based on a story by Felicity Evans and Toby Venables, His house features two incredible actors Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù (Gangs of London) and Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Land).
The film begins with pictures of Bol (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) holding a young girl in his arms. They jump onto the back of a truck and join Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), who tells the girl that she will protect her. Next, they are on a boat at night. Bol wakes up from his dream and tells his wife that he is dreaming about their wedding day. “Explain the screams,” she replies.
Bol and Rial are in a refugee center and are being released from custody. They have been given a house to live in, a house they cannot move out of. However, the officer insists that they be released on bail, not as citizens. The harshness and coldness of officials towards asylum seekers is emphasized here in the staging of this scene. The couple doesn’t even have time to enjoy the prospect of leaving the center.
The house is shabby, on the verge of decay, with trash covering the front yard, but the space inside is large and most of all, it is theirs now. At night, Bol can hear a girl humming and strange noises seem to be coming from the walls. Something seems to be scurrying in the walls of the living room. A crow flies out.
Another night, the wallpaper in the living room comes off and reveals a large gaping hole. When Bol pulls on what appears to be an electric wire, he suddenly turns into a boat rope covered with seaweed. It is his past and their agonizing escape from South Sudan that haunted Bol, triggered by the unfamiliar sounds of this new neighborhood that feels less inviting.
The film shows Bol and Rial how they approach the noises in the house in a completely different way. Bol is desperately looking for its origins and pounds more holes in the wall with a hammer. In contrast, Rial remains calm and composed and understands that in their opinion they have been cursed. She believes one apeth, a night witch, has followed them to their new home and they now have to pay off their debts.
Remi Weekes delivers a beautifully crafted horror film. The fear of jumping is never taken lightly in this film. Every step and lurking shadow that disappears after the light is switched on has been carefully choreographed by Weekes to effectively scare the viewer. Each jump is as terrifying as the next and slowly fills the gaps in Bol and Rial’s mysterious past.
His house The extent of this couple’s trauma is only slowly being revealed, but when it does it is an eerily devastating moment. As Rial says to Bol at the beginning of the film, after what she experienced in South Sudan and on her trip to England, why should she be afraid of ghosts? That really says it all. What they experience in the house is just an echo of the real horrors they endured.
His house is now on Netflix.
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