The Woman in the Window: Netflix Film Review

The Woman in the Window

As much as I love Amy Adams, I didn’t have the highest hopes for The Woman in the Window because I was massively underwhelmed by A.J. Finn‘s novel and doubted that the film adaptation could make significant improvements upon the source material. However, I didn’t expect it to be quite so bad.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Adams stars as Anna Fox, an agoraphobic child psychologist who is mentally unstable, an alcoholic and misusing her pills. She lives alone in a huge New York City townhouse and spends her days talking to her estranged husband Ed (Anthony Mackie) and daughter Olivia on the phone, drinking heavily, watching old movies, and spying on her neighbours, especially the Russells, who have just moved in across the street. One night, she witnesses Jane Russell (Julianne Moore) getting stabbed in her home and calls the police. However, when Detective Little (Brian Tyree Henry) comes to investigate, Jane Russell (now Jennifer Jason Leigh) and her husband Alistair (Gary Oldman) present themselves and insist she is mistaken. What is going on?!

The story is basically Rear Window – with the unreliable narrator angle giving off The Girl on the Train vibes – and it’s obvious director Joe Wright was trying to make an Alfred Hitchcock-style classic thriller thanks to some of the weird stylistic flourishes he rips right out of the Hitchcock playbook, but it was never going reach those heights because it remains rather loyal to the source material’s disappointing story.

With the novel, I really enjoyed the mystery of the two Jane Russells, finding out Anna’s backstory and whether what she saw was real, and it was told from Anna’s first-person point of view so you could truly get into her unreliable mindset. I find films struggle to bring that unreliable narrator essence to life because we’re watching from an outsider’s perspective (The Girl on the Train had this issue too). As a result, we judge her more and are more likely to be on the side of the people who don’t believe her, blaming it on the mix of alcohol and pills giving her hallucinations.

Also, in the book, the third act was such a letdown, it ruined what had come before it. Finn failed to stick the landing and make a believable twist and that’s the same here, even though there are some differences. I generally try to avoid spoilers in my reviews but because most of my issue with the film is to do with the twist, I’ve decided to go for spoilers here.

Not enough time was given to Anna’s friendship with the Russells’ son Ethan (Fred Hechinger) throughout the movie to make the revelation that he’s a psycho shocking. There also isn’t enough explanation from Ethan as to why he’s killed multiple people – for example, what did his father’s colleague Pamela do to warrant being murdered?! His motivations made no sense and everything happens too quickly for the information to sink in before it’s all over. Putting Anna’s lodger David (Wyatt Russell) in this final showdown was a good idea as it added more thrill and drama and there’s a new horrifying gory moment that seemed out of place with the rest of the movie but it certainly made me gasp! Also, the “nine months later” epilogue – which is completely different to the book – annoyed me because I refuse to believe that an agoraphobic with as many issues as Anna (whose backstory isn’t explored anywhere near enough here) can become completely fine in that time and be able to go outside and move house with ease.

I have seen some criticism of Adams’ performance but I didn’t have an issue with it, I thought she was fine. My biggest issue was Hechinger as I believe Ethan’s twist could have been handled so much better in a different pair of hands, even if the script was still rather poor, and Oldman, whose performance was so over-the-top and lacked any sense of nuance and subtlety. I appreciate that Alistair is a stressed man pissed off with his snooping interfering neighbour but his acting didn’t need to be so big and loud.

I liked Russell as David and I’m glad the character got a meatier storyline for the movie and Henry as the sensitive and compassionate cop. It’s hard to comment on Moore, Leigh and Mackie because they have such small roles. I know this was a highly-anticipated film adaptation of a best-selling book when they shot in back in 2018 but I’m surprised they signed up for such minor parts – their talents are wasted! Considering the film has been through extensive reshoots and edits, I can’t help but wonder how much footage of them has been left on the cutting room floor.

The Woman in the Window is not the disaster some headlines are declaring it to be. Yes, it is messy, the acting is bad in places, and the third act is an absolute fail, but I still enjoyed watching it.

Streaming on Netflix now

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Oxygen: Netflix Film Review

Oxygen

I love a high-concept sci-fi thriller and Oxygen didn’t disappoint – it ticked all the boxes for me and I came away truly satisfied.

The French film stars Melanie Laurent as Dr Elizabeth Hansen, who wakes up in a cryogenic pod and has no idea who she is, where she is or why she is there. The pod is slowly running out of oxygen so she must put her panic to one side to rebuild her memory and find a way out before it’s too late.

When a film has such a high-concept hook as this, it runs the risk of being unable to sustain itself for the length of a feature, but thankfully, Oxygen doesn’t fall into that trap. The gripping yet far-fetched initial idea continues to evolve and director Alexandre Aja manages to keep the momentum going throughout by slowly revealing details about Elizabeth and her situation, introducing voice characters that provide new information, and coming up with new technical threats inside the pod. The audience are as in the dark as Elizabeth is, so we’re constantly guessing what’s happening and who is telling the truth, as Elizabeth uses the AI in her pod – M.I.L.O. (voiced by Mathieu Amalric) – to contact the police and other members of the outside world for help.

It is also very difficult to keep a film with one character in one setting captivating, but Aja employs an interesting mix of dynamic camera movements and shots – such as super close-ups tightly framing a sliver of Laurent’s face – to keep it looking exciting, and adds new layers of intrigue with the voice interactions which make the mystery more complex.

But the biggest reason why Oxygen works is Laurent’s performance. With the exception of dream-like flashbacks, she is the only actor on screen and carries the entire movie easily. Her performance is commanding, captivating, and sympathetic – the audience is on her side trying to figure out the mystery – and she delivers a convincing portrayal of panic. Elizabeth is verging on hysteria at the prospect of dying in the pod but has to keep her mind sharp and think of solutions for her escape.

Aja has crafted a tense claustrophobic sci-fi thriller that grabbed onto my attention and never let it go. It flies by at a speedy pace and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

It’s worth mentioning that Netflix will automatically default to the English dubbed version but the original French is available with subtitles.

Streaming on Netflix now

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Moxie: Netflix Film Review

Moxie

While I was watching Moxie, I knew it wasn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but as a woman and as a feminist, I was a big fan, even though I didn’t agree with all the choices Amy Poehler made. 

The film, directed by Poehler, stars newcomer Hadley Robinson as Vivian, a shy obedient girl who begins to question her school’s tolerance for sexist and misogynistic behaviour when new girl Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Pena) arrives, calls the outdated behaviour out, and refuses to stay quiet about it just to avoid trouble. Inspired by her mum’s rebellious past, Lucy’s attitude, and the boys of the school – led by hot football captain Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger) – publishing their annual list ranking the girls, Vivian takes action by creating the zine Moxie anonymously, and this kickstarts a revolution within the school. 

Moxie, based on the book by Jennifer Mathieu, really captures the zeitgeist and the changes society has been going through in recent years, with outdated attitudes and behaviours towards women being called out. It tackles sexism, diversity, bullying, rape, and complicit behaviour – as a lot of the teachers, even Principal Shelly (Marcia Gay Harden), prefer to pretend everything is fine the way it has always been.

I think girls can learn a good lesson here about taking feminism to extremes – Moxie (which becomes an official school club) originally starts off small with little acts that challenge the status quo but when their rebellious actions don’t achieve anything, Vivian gets frustrated and becomes reckless and cruel to almost everybody, with her ruining her friendship with longtime bestie Claudia (Lauren Tsai), and relationships with her feminist, supportive boyfriend Seth (Nico Hiraga) and her mum Lisa (also Poehler). It also shows that feminism can come in many forms and some people can’t or don’t want to be a disrupter, to put their future on the line, for the cause. 

However, I did sometimes think the coming-of-age film tried to take on too much and cover all the topics affecting high school girls today, and it’s impossible to do all that well. The feminism angle was dealt with well, but I didn’t like how the movie handled the rape storyline. It came too close to the end and the revelation didn’t fit in tonally with the spirit of the scene – it wasn’t serious enough – and it had its moment for like 30 seconds and it moved on. I would have rather it wasn’t addressed at all. 

I loved the camaraderie between the Moxie girls, the diverse line-up, and that they were comprised of relative newcomers, with Sydney Park as women’s football captain Kiera being the only familiar face to me. Robinson does well as Vivian, although the character gets annoying towards the end – but that’s the point, she’s about to learn a valuable lesson. The star of the show for me was Pascual-Pena, she had a feisty no-BS attitude and a radiant, captivating presence. Schwarzenegger plays the resident douchebag who just gets more repellant as the film goes on, while there are some lovely men in the mix, from Hiraga as the sweetheart boyfriend and Clark Gregg as Lisa’s new man. I liked Poehler as the tough tattooed feminist single mum and I would have liked more of her. 

Moxie isn’t completely perfect but I enjoyed it and could appreciate what Poehler was trying to achieve. If you’re going in expecting endless laughs, you’ll be disappointed as it’s not that type of film, but I had a good time with it and you just might too. 

Streaming on Netflix from Wednesday 3rd March 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

News of the World: Netflix Film Review

News of the World

I love Tom Hanks – who doesn’t?! – so I happily tuned into News of the World, even though Westerns aren’t my favourite genre, and was rewarded by a heartwarming central relationship and an emotionally affecting ending.

Reuniting with his Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass, Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, who has been travelling from town to town reading the news to locals following the end of the Civil War five years before. The year is 1870 and Captain Kidd is setting off from Wichita Falls in Texas following a reading and comes across a hanged man, an overturned wagon and a young blonde-haired girl dressed in Native American clothing who is unable to speak English. He discovers official papers that reveal Johanna (Helena Zengel) is a German orphan who has been living with the Kiowa tribe for the past six years after they killed her family and kidnapped her. She was in the process of being taken back to her aunt and uncle in Castroville, some 400 miles away. After the authorities aren’t much help, Kidd eventually decides to return her himself.

News of the World is basically a story of two people getting from point A to point B and moves along at a slow and leisurely pace. But it’s never boring because I liked watching the Captain and Johanna slowly form a connection and something like a father-daughter bond, despite the language and cultural barriers. Their relationship is the key here and the movie’s greatest strength, but the journey would still be quite dull if there weren’t any hurdles along the way, so thankfully, there are some tense encounters with antagonists to up the thrill factor. The stakes during these moments didn’t feel too high though because, you know, it’s Hanks! He’s got to succeed and save the day! He’s the hero and he really goes above and beyond to protect a child he barely knows, even when his life is in danger and he’d have less stress if he just cut her loose.

Hanks is reliably excellent as the good-natured captain and warm-hearted paternal figure, but the revelation here is Zengel. The 12-year-old German star – who gained notice with her lead performance in 2019 German movie System Crasher – recently earned Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG nominations for her supporting role and it’s easy to see why. She’s a marvel as the fiery Johanna and doesn’t let the side down when paired with a seasoned Hollywood veteran like Hanks. Johanna tends to speak Kiowa first, so Zengel had to grapple with a new language in addition to everything else. She’s a quiet, insular person who keeps speech to a minimum but you know exactly what she’s thinking as her face says it all and her acting in the latter stretch is terrific.

News of the World, written by Greengrass and Luke Davies, has stunning cinematography depicting the dusty Texas plains and a strong central relationship that I cared about. Yes, it’s possibly a bit too slow but your patience will be rewarded with an extremely satisfying emotional payoff at the end. I’ve seen it twice and it’s even better the second time around.

Streaming on Netflix from Wednesday 10th February

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Malcolm & Marie: Netflix Film Review

Malcolm & Marie

I love Zendaya and her work with Sam Levinson on Euphoria so I had high hopes for their lockdown project Malcolm & Marie and went in really wanting to love it. But I had a lot of problems with it.

The film opens with Malcolm (John David Washington) and Marie (Zendaya) coming home from the premiere of his new movie. It has been a great success and looks to be the defining film of his career, so naturally, Malcolm is on cloud nine, but Marie is clearly unhappy about something. Their argument begins because he failed to thank her in his speech, even though she was the inspiration for his film, and escalates from there throughout the night.

Because this film is so simplistic (it’s literally just two people arguing in a house), there is nowhere to hide – you have to bring your A-game or the whole thing falls apart, and thankfully, both leads do. Washington plays this passionate hot-headed man who says hurtful things just for the sake of being mean, but Zendaya is far more effective as her rage is simmering below the surface and she generally keeps her voice quiet and controlled. She is sensational; she shows off her impressive range and is the emotional centre of the story. Washington doesn’t let the side down and serves as a great sparring partner, but his character could have done with more nuance and texture as he was like a bulldozer in comparison to Zendaya’s Marie.

I also loved the concept, how the entirety of the house is used throughout the movie, the music by Labrinth, plus their entrance and initial conversation about the reception to his movie. I enjoyed how their argument evolved and how the power dynamics shifted over the course of the film and I thought Marie was written very well.

However, Levinson’s screenplay loses its way when it goes off on a tangent from the central focus of their relationship. He’s clearly got a lot to say about film critics and there is a section in Malcolm & Marie in which Washington lets rip and goes off on this long stream of consciousness rant about a review and I couldn’t help but feel Levinson was using Malcolm as a stand-in to unleash his personal agenda on a critic in real life. This rant went on far too long and felt unnecessary. This is where I started to lose my patience with the film.

Malcolm & Marie is a trying and exhausting film because you are simply watching a couple arguing, yelling, and verbally abusing each other for almost two hours. There are moments of peace here and there but otherwise, it’s pretty relentless, so the whole thing should have been much shorter. It’s A LOT. I wouldn’t call it an enjoyable watch but I can appreciate many elements about it, most notably Zendaya’s performance. This was clearly designed as a showcase for her talents and what an impressive showcase it is!

Streaming on Netflix from Friday 5th February

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The White Tiger: Netflix Film Review

The White Tiger

The White Tiger might not be as star-studded as some of Netflix’s 2021 original film slate – a new film every week this year, guys! – but I urge you to check it out as you will not be disappointed.

The Indian drama tells the story of Balram (Adarsh Gourav) and charts his rise from poor villager to successful entrepreneur. He begins his working life as a driver and servant for businessman Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and his wife Pinky (Priyanka Chopra) and comes to think of them as family, but after one night of betrayal reveals they don’t reciprocate that feeling, Balram comes up with a plan to break free from his low caste and become his own master.

I knew I was going to like The White Tiger immediately when it opened with Panjabi MC’s classic ’90s track Mundian To Bach Ke (a real shot of nostalgia) playing in the background of the pivotal moment. We don’t see it fully play out though, as Balram’s narration comes in and he gives us a look at his new businessman life before flashing back to his childhood – thankfully, it moves almost chronologically from there. The narration is fun and endearing in the beginning and becomes gradually more dark and less comic as it goes on. It can be quite meta at times; Balram knows he’s telling his life story for a film and even breaks the fourth wall to almost give a knowing wink to the camera.

Like Parasite and Ready or Not (those are the first ones that spring to mind), The White Tiger falls neatly into the “eat the rich” subgenre of movies, in which poor people take on the rich. This film depicts Balram’s struggle to rise above his servant station, break free from his class/caste and escape “the coop”. When he first lands his job, he is thrilled to work for such a wealthy and well-respected family but the shine soon wears off when he is treated like a piece of dirt by the family, and the love he feels for them becomes mixed with hate, jealousy, and resentment, particularly after the pivotal betrayal shows how little they think of him. Although you shouldn’t really condone his actions (no spoilers here), you can understand why he did it and can’t help but feel like saying “good for you”.

Gourav does a fantastic job in his first lead role; playing Balram in two very different periods of his life. In the flashbacks, we see him go from being a naive upbeat and grateful young man to one simmering with internal rage, while in the businessman scenes, he is more mature, quiet, and contemplative. There is one scene in which his performance floored me – his acting is super subtle but you can tell how much he is emotionally hurt by looking at his eyes and unconvincing smile.

Chopra plays the only decent human being within the rich family. An Indian woman raised in America, she challenges how things are done, defends Balram, and offers him guidance. Chopra gave Pinky a warm air, a big heart, and a no-nonsense attitude.

The White Tiger walks the fine line between dark humour and serious drama and succeeds in being a compelling character study, with top performances and an awesome soundtrack to boot.

Streaming on Netflix from Friday 22nd January

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pieces of a Woman: Netflix Film Review

Pieces of a Woman

I’ve always thought Vanessa Kirby is a terrific actress and it looks like she may get the awards to prove it this season thanks to her devastating performance in Pieces of a Woman.

The film follows Martha (Kirby) as she navigates the months following a home birth that goes drastically and tragically wrong, culminating in her facing off against her midwife Eva (Molly Parker) in court, with her being accused of criminal negligence. The fallout of the tragedy affects her marriage to husband Sean (Shia LaBeouf) and her relationship with her family, led by matriarch Elizabeth Weiss (Ellen Burstyn).

Kirby won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year for her performance and it’s easy to see why. This is a career-defining performance and she has never been better. I’ll be amazed if she doesn’t receive nominations for this during awards season. In the much talked about birth scene, which was shot in one 22-minute take, I was floored by her. It’s such a raw, gut-wrenching watch, and I (someone who hasn’t given birth FYI) was convinced by it; it felt so real and authentic and like I was there besides her, but that’s down to the camera work too. Kirby spends the rest of the movie as this hollowed-out shell of a person who is a shadow of her former self, which she does very well, and then she delivers an emotional punch right at the end.

LaBeouf – who is currently in the headlines for a very different reason and has been subsequently removed from marketing materials and FYC campaigns – provides strong support as the fed-up husband who doesn’t know what to do to help their marriage return to what it was. His character makes some questionable choices so you have little sympathy for him though. Burstyn was the other standout performer as the caring mother who constantly rubs her daughter up the wrong way, despite her good intentions. I also cared a lot for Parker as the midwife; her performance in the birth scene tied it all together and my heart was with her more than Martha.

The birth scene takes place near the start of the movie and it grips you and doesn’t let you go for 22 minutes, but because that’s so well done, what comes after feels rather anti-climactic. It’s very grey, slow, and sombre, which obviously reflects the dark time in Martha’s life, but I just expected more from it. It ramps up once the trial begins and comes to a strong conclusion but it loses its momentum in the middle.

This isn’t an easy feel-good watch, as you might have guessed, but it tells a very poignant story and features terrific performances across the board so it’s still worth checking out.

In selected cinemas from Wednesday 30th December and on Netflix from 7th January

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Midnight Sky: Netflix Film Review

The Midnight Sky

I love a sci-fi film and always want to see the latest Hollywood offering so naturally, I was excited for George Clooney‘s latest directorial effort, The Midnight Sky, which debuts on Netflix on Wednesday.

Clooney plays Augustine Lofthouse, a scientist whose life ambition was to find hospitable planets where humanity could expand. The main action takes place in 2049, three weeks after “The Event”. Augustine is sick and alone in an observatory in the Arctic Circle as he refused to evacuate with the rest of the team. One day he discovers a young girl named Iris (Caoilinn Springall), presumably left behind following the evacuation, and together they must venture across the treacherous terrain to get to a weather station farther north as it has a better antenna for him to reach the last active space mission – Aether. The Aether crew – featuring Commander Gordon Adewole (David Oyelowo), Sully (Felicity Jones), Maya (Tiffany Boone), Mitchell (Kyle Chandler), and Sanchez (Demian Bichir) – are heading back to Earth from Jupiter following a successful mission to the habitable moon K-23 and have no idea of the global catastrophe that’s taken place.

I was fully excited by the premise for The Midnight Sky, a movie adaptation of Good Morning, Midnight by Lily-Brooks Dalton, and I came away so disappointed. Considering this film is supposed to depict a race against time, there is a surprising lack of urgency to it and the pacing is dreadfully slow. I held out hope for the moment when it would eventually pick up the pace to reach a thrilling climax, but it doesn’t. There are a couple of big moments that should have had a dramatic impact yet they aren’t told with much emotional clout, just the cinematic equivalent of a shrug. Everything is so bizarrely underplayed.

It is also frustratingly vague. Mark L. Smith‘s screenplay holds back so much information that it was hard to care about anyone or their situation. We aren’t given any details about The Event so we have to draw our own conclusions and I had so many questions about Augustine – Why he is at the observatory? What is his role? Why didn’t he evacuate? What illness is he suffering from? We get a couple of flashbacks about his past but they’re still not enough. I also had so much I wanted to know about the Aether mission and his trek to the weather station as well, but again, we are offered so little.

I can’t fault Clooney’s performance, he convinces as the hollow-eyed miserable scientist who is truly fed up with his lot, and I also liked the visuals, the scale and ambition of the story, and Alexandre Desplat‘s score, but what a waste of a fantastic idea. So unsatisfying.

Streaming on Netflix from Wednesday 23rd December

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Mank: Netflix Film Review

Mank

Having David Fincher‘s name attached to a project is usually a promising sign. I love several of his movies and had high expectations about his latest one, Mank, but I came away from it pretty disappointed. 

Based on a screenplay by Fincher’s late father Jack, Mank tells the story of Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), who was hired to write the script for Orson Welles’ 1941 classic Citizen Kane. The main action takes place in 1940 when the alcoholic tries to write the script without his booze and is laid up in bed in a cast following a car accident. There are also many flashbacks throughout the early 1930s which illustrate Mank’s friendship with publisher William Rudolph Hearst (Charles Dance) and his partner, actress Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried), who are said to be the inspiration for the main characters in Citizen Kane. 

The drama surrounding Citizen Kane, from Welles’ and Mank’s dispute over the writing credit to Hearst’s response to the movie, is real-life material ripe for a movie portrayal and I would have found that version of the story fascinating. But Mank doesn’t tell the story I was expecting it to. I was thinking it was going to portray the writing of it, the credit dispute and then perhaps the making of it and the fallout. But it focuses more on Mank himself, and, perhaps more surprisingly, studio system politics and a 1934 California gubernatorial election. I would have much preferred the focus to have been on Mank and Citizen Kane, not the rest of it. 

Mank is all over the place, and it’s very hard to keep track of the timeline of events and who’s who because it jumps around a lot. This film features so many famous faces from Old Hollywood and it assumes the viewer knows who everyone is, so I had to spend some time Googling (the beauty of watching at home) so I could grasp what was going on, and even then, I still had trouble remembering who someone was the next time they came back onscreen. 

I can appreciate Mank in certain respects though. It is a very ambitious movie, with a stunning black-and-white look, and Fincher had a clear vision that he executed well. There are some big get-together scenes which stand out as being particularly enjoyable and interesting to watch. And then there are the performances. Oldman gives an impressive performance as Mank and convinces as someone who is basically drunk all the time. But the star of the show was easily Seyfried, who is magnetic and captivating as the blonde bombshell Davies. She is the heart of the piece and had a vivacious, sparkly presence that injected life into every scene she’s in. They are a few more recognisable faces in this from Lily Collins as Mank’s secretary Rita Alexander, Tuppence Middleton as his wife Sara, and Tom Burke as Welles. The latter casting makes no sense – Burke is 39 when Welles was 25 in 1940. 

I could appreciate Fincher’s vision but Mank doesn’t work for me. I didn’t care about or connect with the story or the characters and I was never engrossed in it. I would maybe like it more on a second watch as I now understand the chronology of events and who everyone is, but I won’t be doing that any time soon – Mank is hard to follow and sometimes dull and ends as the real-life drama gets interesting. 

In selected cinemas now and on Netflix from Friday 4th December 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

His House: Netflix Film Review

His House

Prepare to be scared by Netflix’s His House, a haunted house story like you’ve never seen before.

The horror stars Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku as Bol and Rial, a young refugee couple who make a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan and seek asylum in England. After spending time in a detention centre, they are allocated a house in a non-descript town and given a demanding set of rules to live by. Bol and Rial are thrilled to be able to start a new life and have a new home – until they realise it’s not quite the idyllic dream they were hoping for as it is haunted by ghosts from their past.

I love that writer/director Remi Weekes has used a haunted house horror story as a way to tell a story about these young immigrants, how they are treated in their new town, and the super restrictive rules they must follow when given accommodation. I had no idea about these details or how the process worked so I found the film very enlightening for that reason.

It is also scary too. I’m pretty easily spooked when it comes to haunted house films – a door opening by itself will do it for me – so this was very effective. I basically grew tense every time night rolled around in the film because I knew the ghosts were going to come out again! Some of them are pretty terrifying visually.

The revelation towards the end was very powerful and changes the game regarding your understanding of the movie and the characters, so I was a big fan of that, but there were some scenes as it neared the finale that were a bit more surreal and I didn’t fully understand them so it lost me a bit.

The lead actors are terrific, particularly Dirisu, as he has the most emotionally and physically demanding role. He really gets put through the wringer! Mosaku, who I’ve recently been watching in Lovecraft Country, seems more calm and collected, but really comes into her own towards the end. Matt Smith also pops up and puts on his best common accent as their caseworker.

Despite the little niggle about the ending, His House is a chilling original haunted house horror that provides powerful insight into the world of asylum seekers.

Available on Netflix from Friday 30th October

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.