Plot: Mel (Madeleine Sami) and Jen (Jackie van Beek) are best friends who have a booming business together where they handle the break-ups for people who can’t go through with the break-up themselves, for whatever reason. And they make sure that the break-ups stick – whether that means pretending to cheat with their clients, or pretending that they are dead or missing doesn’t really matter to them. But when Mel starts to second-guess the ethics of their job, not only does their business suffer, but also their friendship.
The Breaker Upperers is a fun film that continuously approaches the line into cringe territory but never really crosses it (for me at least). Still, there is a relentlessness to their humor that just isn’t necessarily my cup of tea. I did enjoy the film, but I didn’t love it.
Ricky (Julian Dennison) has been moving from foster family to foster family, getting in trouble. As a last resort, he’s being sent to the country to stay with Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hector (Sam Neill). And to all of their surprise, especially Ricky’s, he starts to feel at home there. That’s when Bella dies very surprisingly. And since she was the driving force behind taking Ricky in, Child Services – in the form of Paula (Rachel House) – decide it would be best to take Ricky away. But Ricky isn’t having it. He runs away. Hector goes after him, and their disappearance kicks off a manhunt that could end very badly.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople was pure sugar and has very funny moments. It’s not perfect, but I enjoyed it a lot.
Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly) was just caught in a very unfortunate attempt to steal money from an ATM. Instead of prison, she is released on house arrest. But not just at any house – no, she has to stay with her parents. That is, her mother Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) who talks without pause and her stepfather (Ross Harper) who doesn’t talk at all. Kylie is annoyed before moving already and is even more annoyed when her mother talks about how the house is supposedly haunted. But Kylie quickly has to admit that there is something going on in that house.
Housebound was awesome. A film that manages to be hilarious and really, really scary at the same time – a hard enough balance. Plus, it’s smart, surprising and it looks really good. I can hardly believe that this is the first feature film Johnstone made.