His House Parent Guide
This is one of those horror films that creates fear not from abstract nightmares but out of the brutal realities some people face in the real world.
Parent Movie Review
Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) have finally made it to England, after escaping a civil war in South Sudan. Tragically, their daughter Nyagak (Malaika Wakolo-Abigaba) drowned on a treacherous night-time sea crossing, leaving her parents bereaved and emotionally volatile as they try to navigate a tortuous legal process to gain asylum in the United Kingdom. Even with that step successfully completed, life remains difficult for Bol and Rial. The house they are placed in by the government isn’t in ideal condition, and worse, they seem to have brought along some ghosts of their own. Despite the kind support of their caseworker, Mark (Matt Smith), the couple are in for a rough transition to their new lives, made more challenging by that strange sound coming from behind the walls…
As horror movies go, the content here is remarkably mild while still being disturbing. There is some violence, although not much – most of it takes place off-screen. There is little profanity, and what there is comes entirely from background characters. With no sexual content or drug use, His House is probably suitable for older teens who can handle the scares, and more importantly, the strong social messages.
This is one of those horror movies that has much less to do with some abstract nightmare and more to do with the brutal realities that people face in the real world. Instead of having some fanged and clawed monster looming around their home, Bol and Rial are tormented by the ghosts of their own past. There’s a legitimate question to be asked about whether any of this is real, or whether the horrors they experience are just grisly manifestations of their own traumas. Certainly some of the most disturbing parts of the movie are the flashbacks to the lives from which they tried to escape.
That deep personal focus definitely makes His House more compelling than some of the less thoughtful horror films. I think the best horror movies tend to be about something broader than just fear. In this case, the movie brings home some uncomfortable questions about the role we in the Western world have played in an ongoing humanitarian crisis, and the lasting consequences of trauma. I don’t know that you’ll find any easy answers here, but it’s worth watching all the same – unless you really want to be able to sleep soundly at night, that is.Directed by Remi Weekes. Starring Bradley Banton, Mevis Birungi, and Javier Botet. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release October 30, 2020. Updated February 5, 2021
Watch the trailer for His House
Rating & Content Info
Why is His House rated TV-14? His House is rated TV-14 by the MPAA
Violence: There are several depictions of blood. A young girl is seen drowning. A man cuts his hand unintentionally. A person is nearly stabbed. Several decaying corpses are seen. Bodies are seen in the aftermath of a massacre. A man is seen burning alive. An individual commits suicide by slitting their wrist.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are two uses of extreme profanity and two uses of scatological profanity. There are occasional uses of terms of deity and mild curses.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are shown drinking in a bar.
Page last updated February 5, 2021
His House Parents' Guide
This movie highlights the trauma and danger which refugees are exposed to, both in their home countries and in their attempts to find a new home. What has the global response been to the ongoing refugee crisis? What has your country done to help? What kind of responsibility to these people do you think we have?
Bol and Rial have made some difficult decisions to make it to England. What do you think was the hardest one? What are the consequences of those choices for them? What about for the people around them? Do you think those decisions were justified? Why or why not?
For more information about the civil war and refugee crisis in Sudan, you can read the following:
BBC: South Sudan profile - Timeline
Human Rights Watch: South Sudan Events of 2018
UNHCR: South Sudan Refugee Crisis
The most recent home video release of His House movie is October 30, 2020. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
A very different version of the refugee story is seen in Jasmine Road, in which a family of asylum seekers from Syria are relocated in small-town Alberta.
African refugees struggle with an agonizing dilemma in The Good Lie.