Hounds of Love has the potential to unsettle you to the core, with its clinical and merciless atmosphere to its emotionally unstable antagonists, this Mystery/Crime film stands as a powerful reminder of the horrors that can be committed. So be warned, all of those who enter this unsettling film.
Hounds of Love follows the story of a young schoolgirl (Ashleigh Cummings) getting kidnapped by a husband and wife duo of killers.
The film being based on real events makes portions of it difficult to come to terms with, as these scenes really remind you that sick-minded humans like this exist. The artistic scope for writer/director Ben Young is naturally limited, all due to it being based on true events, making his work all the more impressive. Despite this natural limitation he seamlessly creates a story that unfolds in an unpredictable way, leaving audiences to clench their fists and grind their teeth in anticipation for the films conclusion. Ben Young realises that the sheer horror of the crime is not enough to make you understand it all – experiencing the victims perspective truly adds to the monstrosity of the acts committed and puts the audience in a position of vulnerability. Surprisingly we are also given the predators perspective for a good portion of the film, outlining their own lives and issues, but never justifying their acts – this allowed for an even level of pacing and freshness.
We were also offered fantastic performances from all of our female actresses, with Emma Booth standing out as the emotionally twisted serial killer with a split personality and Ashleigh Cummings as the battered and bruised victim. While Ashleigh Cummings performance really helped add to the film’s realism, she had some spots near the beginning of the film that weren’t so great. Stephen Curry was a nice addition as the head of the house, and he truly seemed to be the most merciless bastard you’d ever meet.
Visually this film’s strengths lie in its production design and interesting cinematic sequences, though nothing groundbreaking was done to really bring the film to the next level. The sound design had some truly unsettling and horrifying moments in the film that sent chills up my spine. The soundtrack had a bleak and ominous beat to it, constantly making you feel like anything could happen, but by the end it settled for a more hopeful tone.
Hounds of Love is a tensely constructed story of a young girl that is driven to survive, it accurately shows the manipulative figures that psychopaths can be and the indoctrinated subordinates that they use to achieve their goals. With plenty of tension to keep you hooked; Hounds of Love is a horrifying story of predator meets prey – with relentless antagonists and a heart pounding conclusion to finish it off.