Sunday, January 17, 2021

Netflix’s ‘His House’ Stars Wunmi Mosaku & Sopẹ́ Dìrísù on Blending Horror and Political Asylum

*“His House” is the new Netflix horror thriller that centers on a young refugee couple who make a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan to a small English town. While struggling to adjust to their new life, they discover an unspeakable evil lurking beneath the surface.

The film is the debut feature from British writer-director Remi Weekes. Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù (AMC’s “Humans”) and Wunmi Mosaku (HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”) star as former bank employee Bol and his wife Rial, who undertake a terrifying journey through desert and sea to escape the war-torn country- losing their daughter along the way.

When they finally arrive in a British detention center, they receive temporary permission to stay in the U.K. until their asylum is granted. With restrictive rules not allowing them to take any employment, the couple soon learns that the horror of getting to their new home was just the beginning.

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EURweb correspondent Jill Munroe spoke with Dìrísù, Mosaku and Weekes about the film, what makes this project special.

Wunmi Mosaku: I thought the concept was genius. It really painted and actualized the horrors of the experience, and I had never really thought of it in that way. I had always thought of myself as someone who was open and liberal, that no person was illegal. But I hadn’t really opened myself to thoughts of all the emotions and the traumas and horrors that these people actually experience. And continue to live with in this new country that they find themselves in. Just kind of honoring that and paying homage to these really strong, but truly traumatized people that we don’t hear from regularly. We talk about them, but we don’t talk to them.

Dìrísù shared his thoughts on how this film shows that couples are stronger together, no matter their issues.

Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù: I think that couples are stronger together. I think that it’s easier to overcome your individual battles when you have a strong partner with you… I hope that’s something someone takes away from the film, just to talk to their life partner. Try not to shoulder all the burdens of the world by yourself.

Director Remi Weekes explained why he wanted to combine the genre of horror with the real-life challenges that many immigrants face.

Remi Weekes: When I was developing this project, I did lots of research. Something that I found fascinating was that in this country (England,) when you are claiming asylum, the government will give you a house but you’ll be forced to follow rules to have it. For example, you can’t leave, you can’t work, and you’re given very little money. For asylum seekers, it can be a very re-traumatizing moment to be stuck in the house and living with your demons. That was the geneses of the film.

The film is available on Netflix from October 30.

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