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His House

In the horror genre, houses never get a good rap. Either they’re possessed by evil entities or are living beings ready to destroy all who dare venture inside. ‘The Amityville Horror’ series among others made a virtue of horrific houses terrorising new tenants. ‘His House’ gives this a more topical and down to earth spin. Although having genuine realism, ‘His House’ still makes a case why it always pays to fully know an abode’s history before purchase.

Refugees who have fled from South Sudan, Bo (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wummi Mosaku) seek asylum in England. Set up in a rundown house near London, they face racism, the threat of deportation and hatred. Attempting to establish a new life, their determination is shattered when an evil entity is found lurking in their house. In the dark shadows lies a cruel beast waiting to claim them with only Bo and Rial’s strong spirit their weapon.

Written and directed by Remi Weeks, ‘His House’ is a very slow paced but interesting movie. Exploring issues of grief, guilt and living in alien environments, the themes make it stand out. The house comes to represent their strength of will with its dark gremlins mirroring the torment they feel in having left friends and family behind.

‘His House’ doesn’t forget to be scary with effective shocks discarding the usual lazy jump scares. The silent stillness the characters inhabit feels far scarier with the atmosphere of consistent dread. Dirisu and Mosaku deliver fine performances enabling you to feel the conflict within their roles. Weeks’ use of stark photography elevates the realistic feel the script needs, making the story more visually interesting.

‘His House’ may not make you love creepy old dwellings, but it succeeds in being a thought provoking spooky film. Its low budget look elevates its high ambitions. Weeks is a talent to watch with his latest an arresting story ensuring you’re still watching until its creepy end.

Rating out of 10: 7

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON NETFLIX.

Queen and Slim

‘Queen & Slim’ is in the same mould as the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway classic ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. Having a pair of fugitives as protagonists, such films want you to follow them on a journey. ‘Queen & Slim’ adds several topical ingredients making it more enticing. By exploring issues of racial prejudice, poverty and love, it consistently captivates. Under Melinda Matsoukas’ steady direction, ‘Queen & Slim’ packs a punch as it hurtles towards a fiery conclusion.

Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) are African Americans out on their first date. When pulled over by a racist cop for a minor traffic violation, trouble starts. Events swiftly escalate with a dead cop and the pair going on the run. Becoming fodder for a hungry media, Queen and Slim do what they can in order to escape the law. Becoming a symbol of mistreated youth, their media-driven notoriety reaches all corners of America. This level of fame isn’t what they bargained for as they fight for survival.

‘Queen and Slim’ is an engrossing romantic drama. Queen’s loner demeanour is the polar opposite of Slim’s spontaneous nature. Opposites don’t necessarily attract but circumstances force them to work together. Their developing relationship is believably realised. Their reactions to those whom they meet reveals a lot about themselves and the differing nature of notoriety.

The themes ‘Queen and Slim’ deliver are well conveyed by the strong cast. Turner-Smith and Kaluuya display genuine chemistry, making following their plight more interesting. Their co-stars equally shine as does the cinematography which adds to the story’s general ambiance.

Whilst ‘Queen and Slim’ is a movie filled with important messages, it isn’t a dull history lesson. It’s relatable and often moving with an atmosphere all its own. Whether you agree with their actions or not, ‘Queen and Slim’s central characters inhabit a world feeling all too real which is a key to the film’s success.

Rating out of 10: 8

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR RENT ON YOUTUBE.