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I have been a longtime Kiwi horror fan. I love early Peter Jackson and also love newer exports like Paul Campion Devil’s rock and Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s What we do in the shadows. That being said, I’m thrilled to stand up for Gerard Johnstone’s horror comedy in 2014, Confined at home on the latest edition of The Overlook Motel.

Following a failed burglary, Kylie finds herself condemned to house arrest in her childhood home. While she may prefer to spend her sentence watching TV and eating junk food, Kylie finds herself taking part in an investigation into the history of her old home. She is convinced that the house is haunted. So, she sets out to prove that there are paranormal forces at work in her family domain. The results are both hilarious and unexpected.

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Although Confined at home is an export from New Zealand, the film’s comedy is reminiscent of British humor. If you are a fan of the British comedy release, your chances of enjoying this Kiwi horror movie are especially good.

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Many of the film’s best comedic moments come from a cast of talented characters who deliver their lines with an unmoved sparkle. Kylie’s mother, Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) is a delight. She has many of the best lines from the movie, but she’s more than just a comedic relief. Miriam looks well-meaning but intrusive. She always has something to say, and it’s usually at least a little wacky. Underneath the eccentric character is a kind, caring woman who loves her daughter and seems to make a genuine (but often misguided) effort to rebuild their relationship. Her patience runs out as Kylie’s behavior becomes more outrageous. But it’s always clear that she loves her wayward offspring.

Morgana O’Reilly is just as impressive as the main character Kylie. The actress describes Kylie as reserved and distant, afraid to let anyone in. Kylie’s tongue-in-cheek humor leads to some memorable and hilarious exchanges with her onscreen counterparts. Case in point: Kylie casually calls her stepfather, Graeme, a “cabbage in a polar fleece.” While his egocentric nature is initially alienating, as the film progresses the viewer begins to glimpse his humanity. Kylie becomes infinitely more accessible as she gradually changes from an empowered, aimless heroine to a resourceful heroine.

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Remarkable cast of characters apart, Confined at home has a third act that really shocked me the first time I saw it. Gerard Johnstone’s direction and clever screenplay make the journey to the denouement a memorable journey filled with thrills, chills and laughter.

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If you missed out on this delicious mix of horror and comedy, I urge you to give it a chance. And you don’t have to take my word for it. The great Peter Jackson called it “a wonderfully witty horror comedy that delights in scaring you.”

If you want to check Confined at home released, it is available to stream on Shudder as soon as this article is published. After watching the film, please let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, Where Instagram.



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