Let’s get a little weird.
Can Evrenol’s Baskin is simply a treat of a horror film, so I was stoked to give his follow-up a look.
Housewife is an interesting film if nothing else. We follow Holly, who experiences intense trauma when her mother tries to kill her after she begins menstruating. The mother is successful in drowning Holly’s younger sister before Holly manages to escape. Cut to about twenty (?) years later and now Holly is married, traumatized, and a new cult in the area seems to be stirring something up.
Holly is an interesting character. Her trauma seems to manifest through sexual desire, fear, and depressive episodes. Her husband, Tim, seems somewhat supportive, albeit distant. Evrenol’s style gives everything a dreamlike quality, and what is real and what is a hallucination isn’t entirely clear.
The cult, the Umbrella of Love and Mind is presented quite well. The fervor of the followers seems authentic, and the leader is charming enough to be convincing. The realism of the film, despite being surreal and otherworldly, creates a hypnotic viewing experience. The seductive nature of the cult, coupled with the traumatic personality of Holly, makes for something almost entirely new.
The film looks good. I like the cinematography, lighting, and sound throughout. The film manages to have a unique style while not being intrusive to the viewer.
However, this one didn’t grab me as intensely as Baskin did, and I think some of this is due to the chaos not occurring fast enough. We have a lot of odd scenes that are interesting and pretty, but how they add up to the final point isn’t entirely clear.
The film is weird—there is no other word to accurately describe it. We are given enough breadcrumbs to continue to follow the trail, but viewers unwilling to jump into cosmic horror might be confused. This is one of films that I liked but would be hesitant to recommend to others. I do not say that to be a smarmy movie goer who says, “you won’t get it,” but rather “you might not enjoy it.” Housewife is an attractive looking film, but it isn’t the best entry point to Lovecraftian themes. (The Endless is a better choice).
I imagine many would find this film to be boring or too disconnected, but it hooked me. I enjoy Evrenol’s cinematic eye, and this made me willing to go with him into this weird world.
The film is often streaming. Give it go if you have the chance.