His House
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

His House blends social issues and ghost stories

In association with the BBC and Regency Enterprises, Netflix gives viewers a new fright flick just in time for Halloween with His House. Directed by Remi Weekes, His House tells the story of Bol (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), who fled war-torn South Sudan. First by truck and then on a small boat crowded with fellow refugees. Among those lost to the ocean on the perilous crossing is Bo and Rial’s young daughter.

The grieving couple washes up in a detention center in an unspecified area of England. They are granted release into public housing with the stern warning that they are not yet citizens, only asylum seekers. They will be reviewed weekly, and the promise of deportation will haunt their every move. Initially, things seem to be going all right for the young couple as they adjust to their new life in a small English town. However, they will discover that an unspeakable evil lurks beneath the surface of their new home.

As I often do with horror films that receive massive critical praise, I go in blind, so the experience isn’t ruined for me. Case in point, I never caught on to the hype that made The Blair Witch Project & Paranormal Activity massive hits. Thankfully His House is worthy of the critical praise it’s receiving. Felicity Evans and Toby Venables original story with a touch-up by director Remi Weekes starts a bit slow. However, it’s the film’s use of real-world issues and the build-up to the spookiness. Immigration and colorism are both touched on and handled with class.

I wasn’t familiar with Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù and (Wunmi Mosaku) who portray the roles of Bol and Rial. However, the chemistry between the two actors is electric, and I generally believed in their relationship. One of the things I liked about both portrayals is the couple has already lived a real life horror story. Hence, it takes a lot for them to scare, and they refuse to give any sense of their new normal. H.G. Wells once said, “We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity.” And I feel that ties perfectly into the arc that is created for Bol and Rial.

Those expecting jump scares galore, I must advise that you may be disappointed in His House as the film is a slow burn, but there are a few creepy moments. However, if you are a fan of intelligent horror films that mix social issues with the macabre, I recommended checking out, His House.

Final Grade B-

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