Horrific, emotional roller coaster ride in ‘Hounds of Love’

by Jason Ridder on May 12, 2017

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Solid Rock Fist Up]

Disturbing, vile, horrific — a seriously difficult watch.

These things can all be said about Australian crime thriller Hounds of Love. Yet at the same time the film is an emotional drama, forcing confusing emotions as it focuses on a woman who cannot shake her love and addiction to a sadistic sociopath.

Hounds of Love stars Emma Booth as Evelyn, a woman in the eighties who assists her husband John in kidnapping, raping and murdering young women. We see the couple picking up a young woman at the very beginning of the film, only to cut to John taking her life.  The film is a tough hour and forty-eight minutes to sit through. But the stellar acting as Evelyn continues to help John makes the film well worth the emotional roller coaster.

The movie is directed by first-time director and screenwriter Ben Young. It also stars comedian Stephen Curry as John, an anti-social man who lives for dolling out abuse and horror. The couple quickly decides on their next target after murdering the young woman at the beginning. They choose Vicki Maloney, played by Ashleigh Cummings. Cummings shines as well as she continually tries to draw a wedge between Evelyn and John, hoping to make Evelyn see she’s a victim as well. This only enrages Evelyn more, making her plea for the quick murder of Vicki.

One of the most difficult things about Hounds of Love is being empathetic to Evelyn. She is just as responsible for the reprehensible actions against the couple’s young victims. She even partakes in raping and torturing the women with her husband. Yet her hopes to get her children back from her ex still forces you to feel some kind of sympathy for her, as she truly is a victim of John as well. Booth’s performance is truly the highlight of this dreadful journey. As she struggles to deny the arguments presented by Vicki, it is an odd sensation as you realize she’s just as responsible for the terror reigning down on the young victims.

The film also focuses on Vicki’s mother Maggie, played by Susie Porter. Evelyn and John force Vicki to write letters to her parents, telling them she’s run away and doesn’t want to be found. She cannot accept the information from the letters and urges police to search for her. She eventually takes matters into her own hand, leading to a suffocating finale.

Everyone involved in Hounds of Love have put together a taut tale of emotional horror, delivering no easy answers as we wait to find out what Evelyn’s final move will be. While the film is harrowing and intense, it is well worth a watch. Hounds of Love is now playing at Screenland at Tapcade.

Jason is a former Emmy award-winning television news producer, film fanatic and pop culture geek. He has a soft spot for horror, sci-fi and fantasy and loves talking and writing about movies.

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