His House Movie Review
One of the most frightening movies of 2020, His House is the amalgamation of strong performances, an unsettling story, and dark secrets. Both intelligent and freaky in all the right ways, this Netflix release has somehow been overlooked by many… but deserves to be freed from the dark recesses from which it resides.
His House follows a refugee couple from war-ravaged South Sudan who are given a rundown home in an English town. Too bad the home is haunted by something sinister… but is it their home that is haunted, or are the demons a relic of the real-life horrors they seemingly escaped?
The feature-length debut for Remi Weekes, His House is the kind of horror movie that works on many levels. On its surface, the movie is a scary haunted house tale. Something evil lurks in the walls, stalking star Sope Dirisu and, to a lesser extent, his wife, played by Wunmi Mosaku--and that evil is truly terrifying. There have been a lot of great horror films released in recent years, but His House is the first to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end repeatedly for quite some time.
But His House isn’t just a horror movie. There’s a level of introspection rarely seen, or at least rarely executed effectively, in horror movies such as this. While I’m not the right critic to give this layer the proper analysis, the way Weekes attacks the real-world horrors his protagonists faced, and the way he draws their past and present together into something new, imaginative, creative, and horrifying, is incredible.
Weekes may not have been able to pull it off with lesser actors, but both Dirisu and Mosaku are up to the task. Dirisu, who gets the majority of the screen time, dives deep into his tortured character, his own inner fears magnified and brought to life for the world to see. He is sensational here, delivering one of the best performances of the year. And not just in the horror genre.
His House is scary on many levels, a testament to the film’s confident filmmaking and Weekes’ clear, unparalleled vision. It is, easily, one of the best horror movies of 2020.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.