It has to be said, this movie won’t be for everybody. In fact some of you may feel like walking out. I know I wondered if I’d make it to the end at one stage. It is intense. However I’m so pleased I did, what an amazing story, executed in a fascinating new way. No wonder it’s garnered so much attention.
From the beginning slow voyeuristic shots of young female netball players you get the feel you’re in for something different. Then you meet John White (Stephen Curry) and Evelyn White (Emma Booth) cruising past offering to give girls a lift home. Set in 1987 Perth, our senses were yet to be on high alert.
Enter Vicki Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings), an average teen deciding to slip out her bedroom window and head to a party. Moments later she finds herself chained to a bed, watching John and Evelyn carry out ordinary household duties in the kitchen on the other side of the hallway.
The audience is spared from the graphic details and yet in some ways this makes the intensity even greater. A box of instruments, a screen of wallpaper and a long piercing scream is all that’s needed to power the imagination. Another neat trick that amps up the tension is the fact that the terror is played out in an average suburban street.
When neighbours question the loud music coming from the house there’s a glimmer of hope, but this soon passes when people return to their lives not wanting to get involved. Meanwhile Vicki’s mother Maggie (Susie Porter) refuses to give up looking for her daughter.
Shout outs must go to Cummings for a terrifyingly realistic exhausting performance. I’ve been watching her grow as an actor and can’t wait to see what she does next. Similarly Booth’s portrayal of Evelyn swings convincingly between perpetrator, victim and ultimately mother. Loveable comedian Stephen Curry’s John will have you looking at Curry in a completely new light. During the Q and A session that followed Curry owned up to it being difficult to watch the movie while sitting next to his mother.
As the credits rolled I was reminded of the beginning of the movie. As the lights went down and the movie started Curry walked past me on the way out of the cinema. With one hand on the door he exited while giving an evil laugh … I should have taken the hint.
Hounds of Love is a heat thumping, draining, reminder that we have no idea about what’s really going on behind closed doors.
- It is unbelievable to think that this movie is someone’s first feature film. Huge congrats to Ben Young who is now doing great things in Hollywood;
- Another local independent movie made from a limited budget. As usual it was wonderful knowing that the movie was made in Perth, we’re certainly starting to punch above our weight;
- Even more wonderful that the movie received high praise at the Venice Film Festival;
- On a serious note, anyone effected by David and Catherine Birnie or the Claremont Serial Killer would do well to avoid this one.
For more information go to Luna Cinema
BEST ACTRESS, Ashleigh Cummings | Fedora Award, Venice Film Festival
BEST ACTRESS, Emma Booth | Brussels Intl Film Festival
BEST DIRECTOR, Ben Young | Brussels Intl Film Festival