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Housebound Kylie Bucknell and mum, Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Ryan Lampp

Housebound: after robbing an ATM machine Kylie Bucknell is sentenced to house arrest for eight months, but her old family home appears to be haunted. All of the setup, paranormal and haunting stuff absolute dynamite; but has the side-effect that the murder mystery in the second half feels a touch inferior – although it’s still wildly entertaining. Branded as a “Horror Comedy” I’d argue that it’s more a black comedy that is set in a haunted house – although this isn’t a bawdy spoof. The comedy writing and delivery is outstanding (in a NZ deadpan way) with a lot of great genre and trope gags that create a fun and off-kilter tone where even things like a juvenile delivery of  “do they?” sends you properly ROFLing. The rickety house setting is reminiscent of Braindead (aka Dead Alive), but Housebound doesn’t lean on – or borrow from – it much, with only a few splashes of gore, and its eye firmly on the comedy prize. Housebound is a fantastic directorial debut: the story’s well told, it looks great, but most importantly – it’s really really funny, letting it stand proudly alongside Tucker and Dale Vs Evil and Cabin in the Woods. Believe the hype.

Score: 8.5/10

Housebound Cast Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Ryan Lampp

Housebound Amos Pointing Recording, Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Ryan Lampp

TED TEDTalks Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh, Jessica Barth, Bill Smitrovich, Laura Vandervoort, Sam J. Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Seth MacFarlane, Sam JonesTed: a young boy who wished that his teddy bear could come to life and be his best friend gets just that, but 25 years later their friendship is tested by a smelly girl! With Wahlberg, McFarlane and Kunis as the leads you know that this one should be funny, and it is. They’re also aided by some ace casting of the smaller roles; Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHale, Ryan Reynolds, Sam Jones etc. The film’s pretty much gag-o-rama, with the funniest ones being the ‘shouldn’t be laughing’ moments – the Airplane / Saturday Night Fever homage to a spoof was brilliantly used too. The downside is that the direction is fairly plain, and story is weak, and although it’s funny, it’s not end-to-end-side-splittingly-good. The bottom line is that as a (live action) extension of family guy – cast, voices, music – the Ted does alright, but as a ‘film’, it doesn’t quite cut the mustard. It’s definitely funny, but most of it is forgettable.

Score: 6/10

TED Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh, Jessica Barth, Bill Smitrovich, Laura Vandervoort, Sam J. Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Seth MacFarlane, Sam Jones