The 2020 horror-thriller film ‘His House’ is a gripping story about how a South-Sudanese couple manage to flee their country and try to start a new life in a British town. However, the house they are allotted as refugees by the government seems to be home to some sinister secrets.
Directed by Remi Weekes, this film stars Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu in the lead couple Bol & Rial. The duo knows enough English to manage daily conversations, but in a apparent white dominated area, day to day life is not going to be easy. The story unfolds in an English neighborhood that looks sparse and stone-cold – not an easy places to blend in. It’s these little details in the film, that add to the oppressive atmosphere of the story, making it palpable enough for viewers to understand just how difficult it is for refugees to settle down in a new place.
Both Bol & Rial are haunted by supernatural visions in their new house, including those of their daughter Nyagak. who couldn’t survive the treacherous boat journey from Sudan to Europe. But time and again, the viewers are given hints that Nyagak’s death wasn’t a simple tragedy in stormy waters. The fact that they suffer supernatural visions in a boring suburban house, makes it more eerier. Horror fans have had enough of the grand old mansions in the middle of somewhere, so ‘His House’ offers a fresh take on the haunted-house trope.
A lot of South-Sudanese culture and folklore is interwoven into the story, making it both intriguing and a little weird. The story however gets a little slow in parts, especially when Rial hallucinates about her past. While it makes for a compelling watch, some viewers might wish there was a little more back-story to the couple. The climax was slightly underwhelming, but explain the tension we see between the couple, while they try to start over. What works best for ‘His House’ is how the makers don’t let it become just another refugee story that’s about ‘outsiders versus natives’, but instead, they dwell deeper into the inner demons of the protagonists.
It’s a 7/10 from me.