Home sweet home or home sweet hell? The trailer for director Remi Weekes‘ His House, coming to Netflix in October, blurs the line between the two until it disappears entirely. His House was picked up by the streaming giant ahead of its Sundance Film Festival premiere earlier this year. His House also promises to be a stunning, buzzworthy feature film debut from Weekes in the Black horror arena.
His House stars Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) and Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country) as a young couple fleeing war-torn Sudan and seeking asylum in the UK. They are given a temporary residency in a shabby council estate that also comes with a set of rules and guidelines they must follow to the letter if they want to keep the house and their place in the country. This is easier said than done. The couple soon discovers there is something evil lurking within the walls of their home which threatens to not only tear them apart, but affect their ability to stay in the UK and remain in good standing with the government.
An official statement on His House from Weekes first shared during the Sundance premiere gives better insight into the director’s motivations to make this horror movie and why it’s necessary viewing. Weekes shares, in part, “Unlike traditional haunted house stories where the protagonist might be able to escape, our protagonists – two displaced asylum seekers – do not have the privilege to simply leave. Rather, they are stuck having to survive within their house. This is often the case in the UK, where asylum seekers have to follow draconian rules when given accommodation. This is also often the case with trauma – you’re stuck having to find ways to survive your grief and finding ways to heal within it.”
Weekes’ statement continues, later revealing:
Coming from a mixed background and surrounded by first-, second- and third-generation immigrants, the feeling of being unmoored, of not knowing your place in a country that often considers you – at best – a guest, or – at worst – an invader, is a familiar feeling. Seeing the dominant class spar with the narrative as if fighters in a ring made me disinterested with telling the story from any other perspective but the perspectives of the two immigrant protagonists. I wanted the focus of the film to be introspective, about them, rather than any larger commentary. The conversations within the film are the conversations that I grew up hearing, as had by my family, my friends and the people that moved in and out of my life. Being a minority in the UK, often, you tend to be torn between two places. There is one part of you that wants to assimilate and fit in and disappear. And there is also the other side of you that wants to rebel and reject the orthodoxy, to seek belonging closer to your roots. These two sides are often at war, and this battle is at the heart of the film.”
His House will be released on Netflix on October 30. You can watch the official trailer below. For more, check out Netflix’s complete roster of spooky movies and TV arriving in October.
Here is the brief synopsis for His House:
“After making a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, a young refugee couple struggle to adjust to their new life in a small English town that has an unspeakable evil lurking beneath the surface.”
Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.