Kiwi comedy-thriller Housebound has debuted to glowing reviews at the prestigious South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Directed by first-timer Gerard Johnstone, who wrote local television show The Jaquie Brown Diaries, the film was labeled "magnetic" and "one to look out for" by critics.

Filmed at the end of 2011, Housebound tells the story of Kylie (Morgana O'Reilly) who is forced to move back into the house she grew up in when she is placed on home detention. Her mother (Rima Te Wiata) is convinced the house is haunted, and soon Kylie starts to wonder if she is right.

The cast also features Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Millen Baird, Ian Mune and Wallace Chapman.

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Watch the trailer for the critically acclaimed New Zealand feature, Housebound, written and directed by Gerard Johnstone. Staring Morgana O'Reilly and Rima Te Wiata.

Opens in New Zealand cinemas on September 4. Click here for more information.

declared they had "fallen in love" with the film, writing: "What you, dear reader, need to know is this is one to look out for.

Housebound

is a pleasing blend of scares and laughs wrapped in a Tales from the Crypt-like package that doesn't sacrifice character for thrills... Johnstone clearly knows what it takes to make a horror-comedy work".

Meanwhile fangoria.com said the film found "a sweet spot between an absolutely hilarious and properly eerie experience.

"Johnstone possesses some real chops as far as Gothic atmosphere and comedic timing are concerned, and lead Morgana O'Reilly is magnetic and likely has the best facial reactions onscreen this year."

-nzherald.co.nz