His House

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
His House Movie Poster Image
Unique horror-drama; some scares and blood, war violence.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Movie centers on the struggles experienced by a couple who escaped the brutal civil war in South Sudan and arrived in England as refugees, and their determination and ambivalence about beginning new lives. Through horror, the movie explores themes of trying to move on from traumatic pasts, and how the past has a way of finding one. 

Positive Role Models

Bol and Rial are refugees who have made it into England after escaping the horrors of war-torn South Sudan. Movie frankly shows their determination to succeed in their new lives, as well as their ambivalence about leaving everything they’ve known behind. A woman encounters racism while trying to find a doctor's office, is told by teens to "go back to Africa." 

Violence

 Demonic-looking monsters appear in the walls of an apartment building occupied by a refugee couple. Man cuts his arm open with a large knife, draws blood. Woman stabs man in the leg with a screwdriver. Scary sounds, jump scares. In flashback scenes, people are killed on South Sudanese streets by men in jeeps with machine guns. Man shown walking down the street while on fire, before falling to his death. Dead bodies in classrooms. While on a boat trying to cross into England, the boat capsizes and people drown, including a little girl the main characters had adopted. Young girl shown screaming for her mother while on a bus that's leaving a South Sudanese village. 

Sex
Language

Infrequent profanity. "F--k" used once. "S--t." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in a pub. Cigarette smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that His House is a 2020 horror-drama in which a young refugee couple from South Sudan discover that their new apartment in England is haunted. Expect both horror movie and war violence. Monstrous-looking demons appear and disappear inside and outside the walls of the apartment, replete with scary sounds and jump scares. One character stabs himself in the arm with a large knife, creating a large wound and blood. Woman stabs man in the thigh with a screwdriver. Attacks with a knife. In flashback scenes, two main characters shown escaping their South Sudanese village as it's being attacked in the midst of a brutal civil war. Characters shown getting shot by machine guns. A man on fire stumbles down the street before falling to his death. Dead bodies piled up inside a classroom. A young girl drowns on a boat bound for England. A woman talks of finding her family butchered to death. Young girl shown screaming for her mother as she was one of the last to get on a bus escaping her village. Woman encounters racism while trying to find a doctor's office, is told by teens to "go back to Africa." Cigarette smoking. Drinking in a pub. Infrequent profanity, including "f--k." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byMiki A. January 30, 2021

Scary but well made psycho horror

Very Interesting setting about a couple of refugees (sounds like model is Rwanda) who sought new lives in UK. Good opportunity to learn about war torn African l... Continue reading
Adult Written byFox News November 1, 2020

Horrible

Very violent and nasty do not recomend watching with kids 18 and up.
Teen, 13 years old Written byDisquaTheProphet October 7, 2021

A modern metaphorical horror masterpiece

This movie is amazing. I have recently seen it twice, and even after watching it the second time I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll try to keep my review... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJaerei August 14, 2021

Good movie, a little slow moving

This movie was touching and I cried at some parts, it includes the story of their journey as refugees which was quite upsetting and emotional. There is some gor... Continue reading

What's the story?

In HIS HOUSE, Bol and Rial Majur are a young couple from South Sudan trying to begin a new life in England. They escaped the horrors of the civil war in their South Sudanese homeland, and while refugees in England, they hope that they're on the path to citizenship. One of the conditions of attaining citizenship is that they're to live in a dilapidated apartment in London to wait out the time until they may be granted citizenship. Upon arrival in this new apartment, they soon discover, in addition to the garbage in the yard and inside the building, something seems to be lurking in the walls. Strange noises occur at all hours. Demonic apparitions seem to appear. Rial soon believes it to be the work of an "apeth," or witch, who is offering them a trade: If they allow themselves to be taken by the demons, the young girl who journeyed with them from South Sudan who died of drowning when their boat capsized en route to England will get to live again. While Rial sees this as a sign for them to leave England, Bol is determined to stay and to stop the demons from haunting their new home. 

Is it any good?

His House is a refreshingly thoughtful and poignant horror-drama. It's refreshing because so much horror these days is lazy and cheesy, with paint(splatter)-by-number stories that all start to seem the same, or are just some idiotic "Part 87" sequel of some long worn-out franchise. In His House, the "haunted house" story is a way to explore the plight of refugees, the challenges of trying to adapt to an alien land, of trying to make a fresh start in life, of the ghosts of the past that can haunt our waking and sleeping presents. It's not an easy thing to mix the realism of a newly-arrived refugee getting lost in the streets of London while trying to find her new doctor and the magical realism of the recently dead peeking through the walls of these same refugees from the walls of where they have been sent to live. Often, blends like these are clunky and heavy-handed, but it works here. 

Furthermore, unlike most horror movies where the audience is given just enough about the characters to make them likable or unlikeable enough to derive entertainment value out of their survival or brutal murder at the hands of their tormentors, the two main characters are fully developed -- human, flawed, survivors -- to the point that you want them not only to survive, but also to prosper in their new lives. The growing divide between Bol, a former banker who is determined to put his past behind him and start again in England no matter what, and Rial, a former teacher who sees the emergence of the "apeth" (witch) in their apartment as a sign to leave their strange new country, adds another layer of conflict, made all the more engaging as more and more is revealed about their relationship and their pasts. His House should be welcome viewing for those who have grown beyond weary with the phoned-in hackiness of so many horror movies these days. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about horror movies. Many horror movies have a kind of "paint (or splatter)-by-numbers" quality them in that they all seem to follow the same formula. How is this movie different? 

  • How is this both a drama and a horror movie? How do the two connect? 

  • What do you think are the deeper messages the movie is trying to communicate, in terms of refugees, immigration, how it can be bittersweet to leave the past behind, and the difficulty of trying to move on from one's traumatic past? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

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