Kristen Tinsley review of His House (Netflix)
By: Kristen Tinsley
Ghost stories can be predictable in plot with typical character types moving into a house and finding out that it is haunted. Bring on the acceptable reason number one for not leaving once they find out that the things that go bump in the night are not just the wind! They can't leave because they sunk all their money into the house that they left their old life for a fresh start. Cue the distressed teenager looking out the car window as her hopeful parents sing songs in the front seat trying to cheer her up and keep their marriage intact from the impact of whatever they left behind.
His House(Netflix) has most of those ghost story elements, but it was brilliantly executed, and delivered a story that will haunt you for days after. The plot twist blends real life with the supernatural leading up to the ending that you can't predict. Which I love! The horror of what happened is still sinking in and that is because of the well drawn characters that do not fit the typical character arcs. Bol(Sope Dirisu) and his wife Rai(Wunmi Mosaku) escape war stricken Nigeria by boat. After battling the stormy seas, they are granted asylum in England. After luckily being approved, they are given a house and government funding to live on. They are also not allowed to leave the house or they risk getting sent back. Oh the horror! What is scary about, His House, is the unique “no way out situation” the characters are put in, which makes the ghosts appearing a lot more scarier, since you quickly realize that those ghosts came with them and not the house.
My big time love for this film was how the female character, Rai, was portrayed as being strong, calm, and almost expecting of the ghosts while her husband quickly fell into fear driven panic. Rai remains strong throughout the film, even when Bol's antics to keep her locked up start to wear her down. The decision she has to make in the end brings everything to a creepy, heartbreaking close. Wunmi is no stranger to acting in horror films or horror themed televisions series like Love Craft Country, Black Mirror, and In The Flesh. A strong presence on screen and off. Wunmi is the ambassador for Action Aid UK, helping to inspire women and girls while providing assistance to women in abusive and poverty stricken situations. I look forward to seeing her in more films. Wunmi really brings that strong heat to the female character arc that most of us have been dying to enjoy on screen. Enough with the damsels in distress in horror movies! I mean they are fun to watch, but come on. Enjoy His House for everything it has to offer from the real life struggles of refugees to surviving a haunting from a past experience. You will not be disappointed.