Review: ‘His House’ and the immigrant experience as horror.

His House

“Be one of the good ones.”

It sounds like a nice thing, but what it means is “don’t make trouble. Don’t make work for me.” This is the Britain that Bol and Rial arrive in, and the line they hear from Mark, the man in charge of their asylum status. Having arrived from Sudan, a country ripped apart by tribal civil war, the run-down council house they are given to stay in looks like a mansion. Nevermind the bugs, the rats, the barely functioning electrics, or the smell (“just open the window and let it air out” Mark says).

There’s little that might phase them though, having crossed two contents and a stormy ocean that claimed the life of their daughter. The cold attitude of the social workers charged with helping them is the least intimidating thing they have faced, but it’s also one of the more horrifying things in the film. It’s hard to believe that casting the immigrant experience as a horror film isn’t a well-worn trope at this point because it’s so terrifying, even when you consider the ghosts that have followed them from home.

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