INTERVIEWS

His House (Netflix): What is this horrific drama worth?

The story of newly arrived refugees in England, whose house seems haunted. A beautiful first film.

During a nightmarish sea crossing on a makeshift boat, Bol and Rial, two refugees from South Sudan, lose their daughter. Freshly landed in England, the couple is greeted coldly by the administration, which still allows them to live in a house while waiting for their asylum application to be examined. 

Stuck in a neighborhood from which they are not allowed to move away, they discover locals who are not very friendly. And this very dilapidated hut seems to be hiding something scary… Are Bol and Rial getting nuts? Has a ghost really taken possession of the place?

Remi Weekes’ first feature film, His House intends to mix English social drama and American “black horror movie”, somewhere between Ken Loach and Jordan Peele. An ambitious project, almost evil behind closed doors, carried by two high-profile actors, Sope Dirisu ( Gangs of London ) and Wunmi Mosaku (already amazing in Lovecraft Country). And at the heart of the film, a pretty brilliant idea: to tell the refugee crisis and the atrocities of their journeys through a haunted house. 

Very comfortable on all fronts, Weekes manages to stay in touch with his words and keeps his film until the last minute, each fantastic vision turning into a metaphor for the trauma of his characters. 

Pure horror suffers (some scenes, ostensibly designed to scare the hell out of it, fail) but His Housekeep your head high on the dramatic slope. The malignant use of the decorations plays a big part in this: the walls of the house are transformed over the respective psychological evolution of Bol and Rial, the outside world becomes a kind of labyrinth …

It is sometimes very (too) demonstrative and the scenario does not hesitate to appeal to hackneyed codes, but the process makes it possible to anchor fear in reality. And remains a certainty: Remi Weekes is a filmmaker who will have to be followed.

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