Tuesday, October 30, 2012

House (1977)

House (Hausu) is a 1977 Japanese horror film. I found it on Hulu's free list last week and watched it then. It is sooo strange. It reminds me of a Saturday morning children's show, filled with bright colors and happy giggly schoolgirls with cutesy descriptors instead of real names, and pretty bright blue skies with fluffy clouds, and a furry white cat named Blanche, and cheerful plinky-sounding music, and slapstick pratfalls, and scarves blowing gently in the breeze, and watermelons and bananas. Also death, dismemberment and blood. There's no attempt to achieve any kind of realism.

Moria says that Director Nobuhiko Obayashi "seems to have set out to make a kaidan eiga (or Japanese ghost story film) that is wacky and way-out as he possibly can" and that he
experiments with every cinematic technique in his arsenal – random freeze-frames, spiral effects, colour tints, cuts to black-and-white stock, the screen forming into gauzed-out hearts and circles or irising down to a small dot.
Slant Magazine concludes with this:
House, despite the claims, isn't really a horror movie; it's a dark cartoon of unfettered play, an attempt to directly channel budding teens' stream of consciousness .... House is successful in that aim, which means it's about equal parts brilliant, baffling, ridiculous, and unwatchable.
Fangoria says, "HOUSE is something truly special, a film that’s unique and mind blowing—and one whose qualities have not been tarnished by time." It has a score of 90% at Rotten Tomatoes.

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