His House is the best horror film I’ve seen this year. It might be the best horror film–or film period–I’ve seen in two or three years, or five. It is what happens when “prestige horror” meets relentless, capital-H Horror. It contains stellar dramatic acting and characters you want the best for and feel afraid for. It has slick, clever scares as well as more aggressive, terrifying imagery. It has shadows you might miss if you blink and full-on assaults from the decaying dead. It has manmade terrors and supernatural ones. It contains secrets and mysteries both ordinary and extraordinary. It tells a story that could be told without supernatural elements; it contains supernatural elements the enhance an already compelling story.
I don’t even know what to do besides gush. I’m trying to remember the last time I felt quite this way about any movie and I think the last time was City of God. I’ve loved a lot of movies but this joins a select few on a beyond-loved level. Writing this minutes after it has concluded, I feel like I’ve been struck by lightning.
I barely even want to get into what His House is about. See it with fresh eyes. It’s a haunted house story that stays true to haunted house fiction, but is much, much more as well. It’s a story about the refugee experience that respects that experience while still fully embracing horror fiction. That is not a balancing act you’re supposed to be able to perform, but this movie does it so deftly I’m in awe.
Its leads are perfect. Wunmi Mosaku (Rial) and Sope Dirisu (Bol) are stunningly believable. Remi Weekes’s direction is superb. The ambition of its story is inspiring in that it doesn’t think it must sacrifice scares for drama, or drama for scares. It believes it can have all of both, and it is absolutely correct. I can’t even wrap my head around how much I got out of this movie. I can’t wait to watch it again.
Final Verdict: Thus far, easily the best horror movie of 2020, one of the best movies period of 2020, and already a personal favorite.