Movie Review: His House (2020)

His House (2020) - IMDb

Title: His House

Director: Remi Weekes

Actor(s): Sope Dirisu, Wunmi Mosaku

Genre: Horror/Drama

Runtime: 1 hour 33 minutes

Rating: A-

Recommended?: Yes

Bol (Dirisu) and Rial (Mosaku) are immigrants who escape from a war-torn African country and relocate to England. They end up in a shithole of an apartment with cockroaches and peeling wallpaper (their condescending social worker, played by Matt Smith, keeps constantly reminding them of how ‘lucky’ they are) and Rial in particular has trouble acclimating with native Brits.

She’s torn apart by grief over the daughter they lost and feels like Bol doesn’t care as much as she does. As soon as they move into their dilapidated new home, strange things start happening as Bol and Rial are haunted by the demons they left behind. His House is a topical piece that combines elements of both supernatural and psychological horror, leaving the viewer to wonder what’s real and what’s a figment of the characters’ imaginations.

It plays on the fear of being the ‘other’ in a strange place, with a discordant musical score and claustrophobic camera angles driving home how out of their element the protagonists feel. Like The Babadook, it uses ghosts and hauntings as a metaphor for grief and guilt. There’s a strong use of foreshadowing throughout and both the main characters do a magnificent job.

It’s easy to like these two characters and to want the best for them, despite preparing for the worst. My one criticism is that when the supernatural entities did come out full throttle the scenes were a little bit chaotic: it lost the more powerful use of subtext and stopped leaving anything to the imagination. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and its use of horror and social commentary to tell a sad story about human struggle.

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