Tuesday, November 10, 2020

His House in 250 Words or Less

Director Remi Weekes's film His House (available at a Netflix near you!) is what we mean when we ask for stories that haven't been told before -- what the possibility of that can be. A ghost story about a South Sudanese refugee couple (Sope Dirisu and the greeeeeeeeat Wunmi Mosaku of Lovecraft Country) who drag the horrors of their homeland along with them to the new world -- in this case a run-down tenement flat somewhere vaguely outside London -- sketches itself in all sorts of wondrously fresh, and freshly terrifying, ways and means. It simply doesn't feel like any ghost story I've seen -- not in the way the ghosts behave, and not in the way the people behave towards the ghosts.

Behaviors born on the backs of a different culture, reframed -- the sweet rub lay in the friction, resulting in sparks, oh what sparks, in our eyes. And what better, more fun way to lean us into an understanding of a culture than through genre rules? I know more about South Sudan then I did going into this bloody base horror movie, and the medicine went down easy. And I understood more about the fraught nature of assimilation and cultural erasure as well, for that matter. You feel it in your belly. This is what genre is for, at its best and most meaningful -- I stood in these character's shoes so we could run, run, run together from the spooky icky scary stuff. Nothing bonds like screams!

1 comment:

FoxVerde said...

this will definitely be a re-watch latenight at christmas time.