Review: Hounds of Love

 

 

Writer and director Ben Young brings a harrowing tale of love and abduction to the screen with Hounds of Love, a film that will make you clench your ass and never hear Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin” the same way again.

 

 

By Adam Holtzapfel

 

 

Having seen this at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus, OH, fans that saw Hounds of Love on Friday were treated to a showing of Young’s short film Something Fishy (a tale of two teenagers whose friendship takes a dark turn) and a video introduction from Young as he talks about how he made Hounds of Love out of necessity.

 

 

Set in Perth in 1987, Hounds of Love tells the story of Evelyn (Emma Booth) and John (Stephen Curry) as well as the story of Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), her mother Maggie (Susie Porter), and father Trevor (Damian de Montemas).

 

 

 

The film starts with a slow motion shot of teenage girls playing basketball. As they wrap up we see a girl walking home and a car pull up offering her a ride. From there we cut to Vicki leaving her boyfriend Jason’s (Harrison Gilbertson) place. We see her at school where we learn her parents are getting divorced as her teacher mentions her parents divorced when she was 11. We see Vicki has a good relationship with her father and a strained one with her mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We cut back to Evelyn cleaning up a room and sheets while we see John driving to a secluded location. From there Vicki is talking to her mother and decides to sneak out to a party. John and Evelyn pull up and offer her a toke before the party and that she can call a cab from their place. From there the audience is brutalized and taken on an emotional roller coaster.

 

 

What works for this film is the fact it doesn’t focus on what’s actually being done (think shower scene in Psycho), it focuses more on the characters and their relationships. John is a guy that is cold, but could sell a ketchup popsicle to woman in white gloves. Evelyn is emotionally damaged and we see her emotions range from empathy to jealousy to love and so on. We see their toxic relationship and how it impacts each of them. We see how Vicki loves her parents, but also despises her mother. The make up and effects work and drive the point home. Also setting this in a time before cell phones adds to the tension as the film builds to its final climax while showing Vicki’s intellect and will to try and survive. I will say Ashleigh Cummings deserves an award, holy shit does she nail the character of Vicki and also has a set of pipes that would make any scream queen proud. This is a film that will absolutely shake your core.

 

 

If you can see it in the theater I highly recommend it, if not it is currently available on demand and I’d say watch it as soon as possible. If 2017 ended today this is easily in my top 2 films of the year. I give this 4.5 out of 5 upside down crosses.

 

 

 

(Images Taken From Google) 

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