Netflix’s ‘His House’: Elevating the Haunted House Genre to New Heights

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“His House” is a standout in the realm of haunted house movies. While many films in this genre focus on supernatural elements that induce fear, “His House” delves deeper, exploring themes of grief, guilt, and the struggle for belonging. Directed by Remi Weekes and released in 2020, the film offers more than just scares—it presents a poignant examination of the immigrant experience.

The story follows Bol and Rial Majur, a couple who have fled Sudan due to civil war, seeking refuge in the United Kingdom. They are allocated a decrepit house by the government, a place filled with ghostly phenomena. Leaving the house might result in deportation, so they must learn to coexist with the eerie presence. Bol and Rial grapple with the traumas of war and the loss of their child, navigating a new country that isn’t necessarily welcoming.

The film is an intimate drama as much as it is a horror story. Bol and Rial’s differing approaches to their new life in the UK are central to the narrative. Rial faces microaggressions and overt hostility, longing to return to Sudan to either face the pain or join her lost loved ones. Bol, on the other hand, tries to assimilate into the community, suppressing his past. Initially, he denies the existence of the supernatural entity haunting their house.

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Ultimately, both Bol and Rial realize they can’t escape the presence of the ghost. They must learn to live with it, accepting that their memories and traumas will always be a part of them. Rial understands that she has survived, and there’s no returning to her old life. Bol comes to terms with the fact that his memories will never fade. As Rial eloquently puts it, “Your ghosts follow you. They never leave. They live with you. It’s when I let them in, I could start to face myself.”

What sets “His House” apart is its exploration of horror beyond the supernatural. The ghosts in this story aren’t just spectral entities—they represent the memories and guilt that haunt the characters forever. No matter where they go or what house they inhabit, these feelings persist. The film challenges the notion of a haunted house, suggesting that it’s the individuals themselves who carry the haunting.

Furthermore, “His House” grounds its horror in reality. Bol and Rial face real-world horrors outside their home, from hostile neighbors to systemic challenges imposed by the UK government. The film emphasizes that the outside world can be even more terrifying than any supernatural presence.

In this way, “His House” transcends the typical haunted house movie. It invites viewers to empathize with the characters, understanding the terror they must confront daily. This film doesn’t rely on the unfamiliar or remote settings of traditional horror—it brings the fear right into our own urban lives.

“His House” is a chilling, thought-provoking film that offers a fresh perspective on the haunted house genre. It’s available for streaming on Netflix, providing viewers with an experience that’s both haunting and deeply moving.