Exclusive: Morgana O’Reilly Talks Housebound

Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly) is in trouble again. She’s been given quite a few breaks, being young and bright, but this time the judge has had enough: Unrepentant Kylie is sentenced to house arrest, ankle-bracelet and all, and forced to live with her nattering mum, Miriam (Rima Te Wiata), and stoic stepdad, Graem (Ross Harper).

That’s worse than prison as far as Kylie’s concerned. She settles into a sulk, doing nothing but zoning out in front of the TV set, eating her parents out of house and home, and basically not lifting a finger. But Kylie soon learns she’s not the only Housebound (review) soul… someone else is forced to stay within the walls of the creepy, creaky old homestead. Someone who may or may not be alive.

We had a chance to chat with this enchanting lead actress and find out what it was like to play someone who goes from zero to hero in the course of an hour and a half.

Dread Central: Which aspect of Kylie did you enjoy playing most? She has such an arc in the film!

Morgana O'Reilly

Morgana O’Reilly: I loved her fire! She’s eternally pissed off, which for me was hard at first, only because I find that darkness very easy to access so it can spill into my own life too easily. It took me awhile to learn how to tame Kylie, but once we figured out how to play nice together, she was heaps of fun.

DC: You and Rima Te Wiata have such great chemistry! Did the two of you know each other before shooting? Did you do anything to get into mum and daughter mode?

MO: We didn’t know each other, but I knew who she was; she’s a super iconic actress in New Zealand and Australia! But we got on straight away, we have a similar sense of humor, so would spend most of the time giggling like mates as opposed to mother and daughter. The mother and daughter relationship was written really well so it wasn’t hard to find. But shooting a low budget horror/comedy in the middle of a New Zealand winter really gets you bonding.

DC: What did you think when you first read the script for Housebound? There is just so much to it.

MO: It was so long ago now I can hardly remember! But I think I thought it was rad? I wanted the work more than anything! But after we’d been chipping away at the film for a long while, I started looking at some of Gerard’s cuts. That’s when I could see what the film was capable of being; that’s when I got excited.

DC: What do you think horror fans in particular will like best about the movie?

MO: Gerard (Johnstone, director) is a perfectionist so be ready to be truly honored as a horror fan, because if he’s decided to make it right, he will. The comedy comes from the characters and the lines; it’s never really a dig at horror movies, only the situation. It’s good times.

Housebound Release Details
XLrator Media is handling US distribution of the horror-comedy HOUSEBOUND and will release the film October 17, 2014, on its acclaimed “MACABRE” genre label in theatres and on VOD and iTunes.

HOUSEBOUND is Gerard Johnstone’s feature film debut. It was produced by Luke Sharpe for Semi-Professional Pictures; executive produced by Ant Timpson, Daniel Story, and Chris Lambert; and funded by the New Zealand Film Commission.

Synopsis
Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother, Miriam – a well-intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables and small town gossip. However, when she, too, becomes privy to unsettling whispers and strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her mother’s overactive imagination or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s not particularly thrilled about her return.

Housebound

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Staci Layne Wilson

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