skip to main content


R13: contains violence, horror and offensive language

Spoiler alert

This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this movie.

Housebound poster

Date registered: 09/06/2014

About the film

Housebound is a New Zealand comedy horror film. The film opens with Kylie involved in a botched attempt to rob a bank ATM. Kylie is sentenced to home detention at her mother, Miriam, and step father Graham's house, a fate for Kylie that could be regarded as worse than prison.

Kylie is sullen and constantly bickers with Miriam. There soon emerge signs that the house is haunted. Kylie's probation officer Amos is a closet paranormal enthusiast, and starts investigating the phenomenon and things take a turn for the strange with her counsellor Dennis.

A still image from the film - Kylie stuck at home with her mum and step-dad

Classification criteria: Horror

The publication contains numerous horrific elements. Signs that the house could be haunted begin with the computer blowing up when Kylie tries to log on, and a mysterious ring tone apparently coming from the basement.

A still image from the film - ghost-man-in-a-sheet

Classification criteria: Violence

The film includes the infliction of serious physical harm and significant cruelty. While the violence is not of the highest extent, there are some spikes of strong 'splatter' violence. The humorous manner of depiction serves to substantially reduce the impact of both the violence and horrific elements of the film.

A still image from the film - Kylie and her mum covered in blood

Classification criteria: Crime

The film opens with the botched robbery of an ATM, leading to Kylie's home detention. Otherwise the film has a scene where Kylie discovers a bag of cannabis among other things hidden in the house. There are no scenes of drug use onscreen. The film does not promote or encourage drug use.

A still image from the film - Kylie and her mum talking to a policeman

Classification criteria: Highly offensive language

The film has extensive use of offensive language but it is generally not of a high impact. The language is often employed by Kylie as she bickers with her mother and other characters.

A still image from the film - Kylie and her mum looking terrified

Decision summary

The dominant effect of the film Housebound is of a fun, fast-paced, and humorous New Zealand horror film. The film has cultural and artistic merit, as it is a well made genre film which has a readily identifiable New Zealand setting.

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form. In the case of Housebound the right to freedom of expression needs to be restricted due to its occasionally strong depictions of violence and horror.

While the humorous manner of depiction substantially reduces the impact of the violence and horror, this material is still likely to greatly shock and disturb children particularly the occasional scary moments and the odd scenes of graphic gore. Highly offensive language is likely to cause serious harm to children by inuring them to such language and encouraging them to use it for themselves.

Housebound is classified as objectionable except if the availability of the publication is restricted to persons who have attained the age of 13 years. This restriction on availability is the minimum necessary to prevent likely injury to the public good.

Contact the Information Unit if you require further information on a classification decision.

R13 label
R13: contains violence, horror and offensive language