A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface.
His House Review
We’re doing things a little different for His House – three of our team contributed mini-reviews. We like this because it gives you a more well-rounded idea of what we all think. Let us know if you prefer group or single reviews!
His House was one I passed over a few times before it got nominated for a Saturday night group watch. I know the other members of the Krew appreciated it more than I did, but I didn’t think it sucked. I was just mostly bored by it. Also, I had trouble feeling sympathy for the couple after learning what they did, to the point I was actively rooting for their death at the end.
The positives, though, are the acting from Wunmi Mosaku (Ruby, Lovecraft Country) and Sope Dirisu, as well as the cultural twists that the writers brought to the movie. I knew Wunmi could act, but had no experience with Dirisu. Both brought it. The night scenes involving Sope and Nyagak caught my attention every time as well. I definitely appreciated the fact that they didn’t rely on loud, dramatic music to tell you every single time a scary thing was supposed to happen.
Can’t say I’d rewatch it and can’t honestly recommend it, but it was an interesting pick.
His House is a quiet horror movie that sneaks up on the audience. A couple fighting to survive flee Sudan and struggle to adapt to life as refugees in England. This is a movie that shows how centering a horror story on different cultures can bring something fresh to the genre. Also, because the main characters were refugees, they had unique restrictions and circumstances that affected their situation. It was understandable they’d be traumatized by their experiences and they had to comply with rigid rules in England to avoid being deported.
These variables collide to keep them trapped as their situation spirals out of control. The truths in the movie are woven in subtly and come together to create a compelling tale. If you like splashy horror films with lots of jump scares and action this one might not be for you, but I really enjoyed the fact that this movie sneaks up on you and in the end, the truth is the most shocking and horrific revelation of all.
War is hell. It torments and creates demons and clings to you no matter how much you try to out run it or change who you are. His House is a post-Get Out, slow burn horror movie about the Sudan, refugees, assimilation, trauma, and yes, war. It’s anchored by a pair of great performances from Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu. There’s easily more beneath the hood that may not reveal itself upon the first viewing. For example I found myself thinking of the Windrush scandal. This would make sense since some of what’s highlighted in the movie is clearly systemic. I’m not a movie jumper but there was one scene that made my heart jump.
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.