Noob Reviews: His House
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is His House?
Released only a few weeks ago as a Netflix original film, His House follows the story of Bol and Rial who are refugees fleeing the war-torn country of South Sudan and looking for a fresh start in Britain. Their harrowing tale follows their dangerous crossing across both land and storm struck seas only to be placed in an asylum seeker processing centre, something akin to a prison.
Luckily, whilst being considered for citizenship, after three months of being held for processing. They are granted a probational asylum seeker status and housed on a London housing estate in a run-down home that although the worse for wear is a dream come true to Bol and Rial as it is their own home. A place they can decorate and keep as long as they meet the strict restrictions the government has placed on them, failure to do so will see them deported.
Unfortunately what starts as a dream for the two soon descends into a nightmare as Bol struggles to assimilate and becomes increasingly mentally unstable as night after night he is visited by a night witch (known as an apeth in South Sudanese folklore). An evil that haunts him from their crossing. An evil that will return to them a young girl named Nyagak who died on the crossing because of Bol's choices, if Bol gives his life for hers. But Bol will not submit so quickly to the pleas of his wife Rial to return to South Sudan and leave this nightmare behind. Nor to the wishes of the night witch. As this is His House.
What type of genre is the film?
His House is classed as both a horror movie and a thriller.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can find the film’s listing on Netflix here.
When was His House released?
His House was released in October 2020.
How long is the film?
His house had a run time of ninety-three minutes.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of His House?
His House is an inspired method in which the writers and director wished to bring the real horrors of an asylum seekers journey to the masses using the form of a horror film. A canvas on which they wanted to tell the story of thousands. And tell a story they did. Portraying the ups, downs and dangers to the degree that really gives you pause for thought as you watch the film. Making you question how hard people will fight for so many things we take for granted like a roof over your head and food on the table.
When it comes to the script, the story was well written with a lot of depth and complexity that is brilliantly explained and delivered by a fantastic cast. I thought Wunmi Mosaku who played Rial and Sope Dirisu who played Bol did an excellent job in telling the story of the refugees. There was a real sense of believability and realism to their performances. Both dealing with the tale of the refugees. And the horror aspect. And although I love Matt Smith for his work in Doctor Who. I genuinely thought that as Mark the caseworker, he was passionate about helping people get the life they deserved. He goes out of his way to help where he can and when Bol raises concerns about the house, Mark takes his time to talk to Bol and again do what he can to ease his worries. A very black and white contrast to how Bol and Rial were treated at the processing centre - where they were treated more as prisoners or a case number. As opposed to humans.
When it comes to the horror aspects of the film, these were handled very tastefully with no blood, guts and gore but a psychological approach in which the night witch tries to break Bol's will to fight it. And tries to have Bol give his life to return a girl named Nyagak who unfortunately died due to Bol’s ill-thought actions as he and Rial tried to flee South Sudan. Although there are not many special effects in play. Those that do appear are worked very seamlessly into the scenes.
Overall, a fantastic approach to tell a harrowing story thousands of people go through daily. With top tier acting, a fascinating story and brilliant psychological horror elements I think the film would appeal to many a movie buff. Admittedly the film has seen many negative reviews on some sites. Still, when looking at the human element and real-life story that forms the core of the film, I would say it balances the various aspects well and although not a ‘true horror’ is still able to make a name for itself and appear unique.
What rating would you give His House?
I would rate His House as a 4.4 out of 5 bananas.
Whether it be the streets of South Sudan or the streets of London. Dealing with the immigration panel at the processing centre or dealing with Mark, the caseworker. The film is full of severe contrasts, contrasts that are truly black and white when comparing. With an enthusiastic and engaged cast, complex story and light horror elements - His House is definitely something I would recommend as worth a watch. And at only ninety-odd minutes long, it manages to keep your attention for the full length. Neither too long nor too short. The film is handled just right.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in His House and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can check it out on Netflix here.