With Halloween just passed and a long 332 days til next October, you might be thinking that the season for horror has ended. Of course, we know better than that here at TYoH, and we have some marvelous things in store for you over the next few months, including our third annual Holiday of Horrors starting in December! But for now, let’s kick this post-Halloween season off with two ghost stories recently released for digital rental getting strong reviews from critics and horror fans alike. With different approaches to the genre, these two films are guaranteed to put a shiver in your November.
First up is Housebound, a 2014 New Zealand film written and directed by newcomer Gerard Johnstone. Treading the line between comedy and horror, Housebound opened last month’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival to stellar reviews and is currently available for digital rental.
“Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother Miriam – a well-intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables & small-town gossip. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers & strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s not particularly thrilled about her return.”
The second film on our ghostly roster today is one that I’m particularly excited about, The Babadook. Partially funded via Kickstarter, this 2014 Australian horror film written and directed by Jennifer Kent tells of a monster who lives in the pages of a child’s book. The Babadook earned a surprising amount of critical enthusiasm at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and looks just outstandingly creepy. You can find The Babadook on demand now or wait for November 28th, when it opens in US theaters.
A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.