A review on British Horror feature length film, His House (2020). The film is the directorial debut by Remi Weekes who is most commonly known for working as a Film Editor in the Industry. The film is co-produced by BBC Films and after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival 2020, His House was acquired by Netflix for distribution.
+ Crew I
- Directed by Remi Weekes
- Cinematography by Jo Willems
- Screenplay by Remi Weekes
- Edited by Julia Bloch
- Music by Roque Banos
- Produced by Aidan Elliott, Martin Gentles, Arnon Milchan, Ed King and Roy Lee
+ Crew II (Production Houses)
- Regency Enterprises
- BBC Films
- Vertigo Entertainment
- Starchild Pictures
His House is an independent British film by Remi Weekes and it is a tale of countless horror experiences that refugees have to face in order to enter their “promised land”. Although His House is essentially a horror film, Weekes indulges further into what it’s like adjusting in a foreign country, facing racism on a semi-regular basis while maintaining the phrase “But we’re one of the good ones…”. The allocated house is a complete dump, there are countless holes in the walls but that is only where the nightmares are about to begin. The film emphasizes themes like traumatic pasts which the director cleverly converts into visual memories, curses and undying spirits coming back to haunt you.
+ Main Cast
- Wunmi Mosaku as Rial
- Sope Dirisu as Bol
- Matt Smith as Mark
- Javier Botet and Cornell John as The Witches
- Emily Taaffe as Dr. Hayes
- Malaika Abigaba as Nyagak
A refugee couple from South Sudan escape their terrorized village in order to seek asylum in Great Britain. Upon receiving their newly allocated home, they realize that the nightmares that the couple left behind have only been lurking deep within their own psyche.
+ High Points
i – What’s always great about Independent films and debut directors is that they are fearless with their art. They have a clear vision and they are not afraid to pull any punches toward making you as a viewer squirm in the comfort of your home. His House is masterful storytelling. The delicate blend of horror and drama brings the poignant premise out on the forefront. And Weekes directorial debut shows a lot of promise and conviction in his art.
ii – Since the film is a chamber play for the most part, the two leads (Mosaku and Dirisu) are superb throughout the film. Their chemistry is what makes this film so utterly convincing and heartbreaking. Although I was never a refugee nor did I have to endure the pain that the two characters went through, I do know what it’s like to adjust in a foregin land, trying to please people, make them believe that you are “the good one”. Weekes’ screenwriting hits its mark with such persuasion and tenacity.
iii – The horror of the film is timed and executed with perfection. His House relies heavily on the “drama” aspect of the premise which was undoubtedly the right decision for this subject matter. Visuals are meaningless if they do not provoke any emotion into you. The film knows that very well which is why it stands tall above any other low budget horror film out there.
iv – The visual effects are (for the most part) surprisingly convincing and do not ever overstay their welcome. Most of the CGI masked characters are in the shadows which is always a clever way to disguise the film’s lack of budget.
v – The dinner table scene is exceptional with its pacing and visuals. This one scene alone can encapsulate the sense of dread and solitude the film entails within its masterful storytelling.
vi – The Soundtrack of the film (by Roque Banos) is beautiful and haunting. With its synthesized and minimal instrumentals, the music will linger within your mind long after you are done watching the movie.
+ Low Points
i – As mentioned, His House has great visual effects for an Independent film but there are some sore spots here and there, mainly the zombie-like figures. They look great in short bursts but if revealed for too long, one can begin to see the cracks.
ii – The third act is slightly lacking in what the first two accomplished. The visual composite of “Fear” at the end was a slightly underwhelming conclusion to a gem of a film.
A haunting, excellent tale on Humanity, His House is the perfect example of why we always need to encourage and promote Independent filmmakers and their abundant creativity that comes with it. This film deserves to be seen by the mainstream audience.
Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars