Hounds of Love

2016 was one the best years for horror movies in a long time and 2017 looks like it could give it a run for its money. Get Out and Raw are already contenders for any future top 10 list I cook up come December and there are plenty of other promising genre movies waiting in the wings.

Like Hounds of Love, a movie that has been winning critical accolades from the film festival scene, even as each rave has been accompanied by a warning: this is a harsh movie and a tough watch and it’s not something you want to approach lightly. However, the reviews suggest that it’s worth the trouble. Now, the trailer is here.

For a better idea of what this film, the debut of writer/director Ben Young, is all about, I’ll just share Jamie Righetti’s capsule review from her recap of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival:

One of the most harrowing films to come out of Tribeca this year follows is first-time director Ben Young’s devastating look at a young girl being held captive by a serial killer couple. Set in 1980’s Perth, Australia, seventeen-year-old Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings) is unhappily bouncing between the homes of her divorced parents, shrugging off classes for time with her boyfriend. When her mother forbids her from going to a party, Vicki sneaks out of the house and accepts a ride from John (Stephen Curry) and Evelyn (Emma Booth), who offer her marijuana at their house up the road.

At the house, Evelyn plies Vicki with a laced drink and the couple soon grab the girl and chain her up in a spare bedroom. Now captive, Evelyn must outsmart her captors and find a way to escape. Honing in on the insecurities in John and Evelyn’s twisted relationship, Vicki begins pitting them against each other as a means for survival in this bleak but riveting fictional take on a pair of real-life Aussie serial killers. With gorgeous slow-motion sequences and strong performances from the main cast, Young has established himself as an up and coming filmmaker to watch.

And Jamie isn’t the only /Film contributor to have been bowled over by the movie. Alex Riviello caught it at the Overlook Film Festival and wrote a rave review, paying special attention to Emma Booth’s performance as the wife of the sadistic serial killer:

But what Hounds of Love does so brilliantly is position Evelyn as much a victim in this situation as anyone. She has been living with this torturer and murderer for so long that she doesn’t understand that there’s any other kind of life out there, and although she seeks to be with her children (who have been taken away from her, thankfully) she has been convinced by John that she needs him and only him. Booth’s performance here is stunning. This woman is confused and cut off from reality and the film is really all about her struggle to rise past her clouded mental state. It’s constantly looking to see if there’s still a human being in her.

From the sound of things, Hounds of of Love won’t be for everyone, but for adventurous film watchers with strong nerves, it sounds like it could be an unforgettable experience. It’s set to hit VOD tomorrow, May 12, so this is your chance to seek it out.

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