His House ★★★★

What I love most about the horror genre is that it often is at its best when it uses its tropes to explore very real and substantial issues.

Weekes' debut is a film that manages to do exactly that. It explores grief, immigration issues and guilt effectively, while also being a very scary horror film indeed.

It's easy to get stuck on the way Weekes decides to invoke his suspense. He shows that he at points can really do a lot with a little, but he definitely leans on the jump scare a bit too much in certain sequences. Be that as it may, these things are not what make the film. They are merely instruments to make us care about the two protagonists. And while their backstory slowly unfolds in scenes that are sometimes harrowing and sometimes cleverly crafted, we cannot help but be invested.

What also helps are the two central performances. Dirisu and Mosaku are stunning together. They manage to give a certain humble dignity to their characters that worked so incredibly well in this film.

It's not often we get a horror film that is as allegorically effective as His House. The only real thing to criticize here is that it sometimes relies too much on tricks to invoke the terror to drive the plot. Weekes show that he really doesn't need that. He apparently has the gift to distill great performances from his actors and he also shows he has enough creativity to create scenes that are strong enough in and of themselves.

His House is an amazing debut and easily one of the strongest horror outings of the past years.