Housebound topped my list of Best Horror Movies of 2015; it’s a film I’ve enjoyed over numerous viewings, and one I recommend to hardcore and mainstream Horror Freaks alike. But I’m sitting here, trying to resolve very mixed feelings about an impending remake coming from New Line. I didn’t even know it was in the works until I read an update on Bloody-Disgusting this morning:
New Line Cinema has found the writer for their remake of the horror-comedy film Housebound, hailing originally from New Zealand and writer-director Gerard Johnstone, this tracking board is reporting. According to the site, 2016 Hit List scribe Chris Borrelli will be penning the U.S. remake. Borrelli previously wrote the 2007 film Whisper and last year’s The Vatican Tapes. His work will next be seen in the thriller Eloise, releasing next February.
Regular Horror Freak News readers know I’m hardly anti-remake; while I’m not always happy with the results (this year’s Martyrs remake was atrocious), I like to give the benefit of the doubt. Remaking old movies can bring classic tales to new generations, and English-language remakes of foreign films can bring those stories to vastly wider audiences.
So why is the idea of a Housebound remake rubbing me the wrong way?
First of all, the film is less than 2 years old! This year’s Cabin Fever remake may have seemed unnecessary, but at least the source material was over a decade old. Second: Housebound is already an English language film, hailing from New Zealand, making a remake both untimely and pointless. I mean, no one felt the need to remake Wolf Creek, right? (Yes, I know Australia and New Zealand are different, both geographically and culturally, but neither country suffers a language barrier that prevents these films from being marketed to international audiences).
Most importantly, the success of Housebound has as much to do with the chemistry between the actors as the strength of the writing and direction. It’s a hilarious, often chilling tale, but it’s also about a family reconnecting after a period of estrangement. Recreating the story of Housebound is easy; finding actors who connect like Morgana O’Reilly and Rima Te Wiata did will be like catching lightning in a bottle. And one if the things I loved most about Housebound was that if felt like it could have been any family, in any suburban neighborhood. The country was always secondary.
Of course I’ll calm down, put things into perspective, and approach the Housebound remake with an opened mind. Still, if you have yet to experience the original yourself, it’s a must-watch for all Horror Freaks so get on it! You can stream it on Netflix.
Official Synopsis: A would-be thief (Morgana O’Reilly) is remanded to the custody of her estranged mother (Rima Te Wiata), who turns out to be correct in her assertion that evil spirits are afoot in their family domicile.