From the outset Housewife unsettles you and continues to attempt to do so with each new scene. Sewn together with a slight through line, the film plays seemingly as a series of segments. Each one of them relates to the main story without really connecting, however the themes throughout are the connective tissue.
Holly has issues. As a result of a horrific childhood event Holly has problems and all of them relate to this trauma and more specifically children and mothers. She is seen taking birth control on the sly and being totally freaked out by prams and other children in general and this plays on her mind constantly. As Holly begins to spiral, an old friend – Valery comes back into her life and brings word of a cult that she has been in for the past two years. Holly attends a meeting with the cult (The Umbrella of Love and Mind) and things get weird…
Housewife doesn’t play as a straight Giallo film (if such a statement is true anyway) but it certainly has all the hallmarks of one with the vivid neon colours, close ups and lighting. It is a hard film to tie down and I think that is the point – it is all about dreams and through these dreams the director Can Evrenol’s vision and flair can be put on display. Every scene is meticulously shot and when things get weird and bloody, things really get weird and bloody.
The music in this film is superb. Haunting piano keys, synth and strings all combine to create a very heavy atmosphere making the simple act of following Holly walking through the house laced with menace and foreboding.
The true meaning of Housewife I guess can only be answered by Evrenol, if there is a true meaning at all. It comes down to interpretation, so naturally this will lose some people that just want to watch a film and not think about it but others will end up loving the lucid dream structure that the film really leans into for the final thirty minutes or so. Speaking of the final thirty minutes, it gets batshit crazy in the finale and you can connect dots in a perfunctory way but that seems like the easy way out.
Housewife is an interesting film but as a horror film it isn’t that scary. It is an artfully made film that asks you to interpret in your own way and on that basis alone it is worth watching.
Housewife is available on VOD, Digital HD and DVD October 2 (USA).
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78