Netflix is very hit and miss as far as horror movies go. For every The Perfection (2018) or Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) you get way too many The Open House (2018)-adjacent movies.
Though His House (2020) is not only as good as anything they’ve produced thus far, it’s probably the best horror movie they’ve done yet.
The story revolves around an immigrant couple, Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) who have fled from an unnamed African nation which is in the midst of a civil war between warring tribes.
Though if they thought that they had it bad in their former home – which they did – things get worse (in an uncanny way) when they arrive in Britain.
This is where the movie really shines because the terror the couple encounter are not only of a supernatural nature, but from an uncaring and apathetic (except for Mark Essworth, played by Matt Smith) bureaucracy supposedly in place to make their transition as seamless and painless as possible.
A sense of frustration, of powerlessness permeates the film, as Bol tries to fit into his new home, while Rial – essentially homebound – has to deal with the ghosts (both real and in her mind) that have chosen to plague them.
Though the couple are the beating heart of the movie, and since they’re in virtually every scene the movie lives or dies by their actions.
And they’re both so good that it not only lives, but thrives.
It’s a movie of layers, and like a polished gem catches the light to reveal entirely unforeseen angles.
Another interesting thing is that, at least during the first act, the movie is very reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) though less in shot-for-shot sense (though there’re some that are comparable) than the feeling of dread and weirdness that encompasses things.
Though while Kubrick’s movie is cold and chllly, Weekes’ is warm and at times, gentle.
It’s pretty impressive – especially for a feature film debut – and deserves to be seen by many people as possible.