Shut in with a suffocating earnestness, "Housebound" is a "Repulsion" wannabe that shoulda stayed in bed. While it may sleep over in foreign territories, genre vid shelves will beckon pic home to final resting place.

Shut in with a suffocating earnestness, “Housebound” is a “Repulsion” wannabe that shoulda stayed in bed. While it may sleep over in foreign territories, genre vid shelves will beckon pic home to final resting place.

Rape victim Marie (Katharina Wressnig) is so afraid to leave the house, she’s become oblivious to current events like the discovery of a series of mutilated young women on area freeways. When her mysterious new boarder Tom (Peter Sarsgaard), cook on an offshore oil rig, starts lugging around plastic garbage bags and locking the kitchen door to prepare elaborate meat dishes, her suspicions fuel her already paranoid fantasies. A tentative relationship between the two, disrupted by flirty sis Mignon (Angeline Ball), ends abruptly with his disappearance, yet she is now able to leave the house. Thus is an agoraphobic apparently cured by a serial killer. Austrian-born Wressnig brings a fine Euro gravity to the updated Catherine Deneuve role, but viewers will be distracted by overly schematic and unconvincing production design. Other tech credits are OK, with Larry Blake’s sound design a plus. “Housebound” had been burned above original title, “Kitchen Privileges,” on print caught.

Housebound

Production

A Rearview Mirror production. (International sales: Overseas Filmgroup, Los Angeles.) Produced by Louis Nader. Directed, written by Mari Kornhauser.

Crew

Camera (color), Garrett Fisher; editors, Kyle Curry, Walid J. Mouaness; music, Mark Binder; production designer, Floyd Albee; costume designer, Roseanne Fiedler; sound (Swelltone), Larry Blake. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (World Cinema), Sept. 2, 2000. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Katharina Wressnig, Peter Sarsgaard, Angeline Ball, Geoffrey Lower, Liz Stauber, Ann Magnuson.
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