22 September: House

An unforgettable mixture of bubblegum teen melodrama and grisly phantasmagoria, Obayashi’s deranged fairy tale House is one of Japanese cinema’s wildest supernatural ventures and a truly startling debut feature.

Distressed by her widowed father’s plans to remarry, Angel sets off with six of her schoolgirl friends in tow for a summer getaway in her aunt’s isolated mansion. But all is not well – in this house of dormant secrets, long-held emotional traumas have terrifyingly physical embodiments and the girls will have to use all their individual talents if any are to survive.

A rollercoaster ride without brakes, House is by turns sinister, hilarious and curiously touching, with ceaseless cinematic invention and a satirical, full-blooded approach to the horror genre.

“It’s not often that you’ll see a movie and be speechless at what you’ve just experienced, realizing that you’ve seen something that is so bugfuck crazy as to not only deny categorization but also give it a restraining order, but Hausu does exactly that. It might be the most ridiculous film you ever watch, and easily one of the most fun.” CHUD

“Stylistically, it starts off over the top, then continues upwards. It’s the kind of film that can have a man turn into a pile of bananas or a creepy painting of a cat spew blood everywhere without breaking its stride.” GUARDIAN

“How to describe Nobuhiko Obayahshi’s 1977 movie House? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home, only to come face to face with evil spirits, bloodthirsty pianos, and a demonic housecat. Too absurd to be genuinely terrifying, yet too nightmarish to be merely comic, House seems like it was beamed to Earth from another planet. Or perhaps the mind of a child: the director fashioned the script after the eccentric musings of his eleven-year-old daughter, then employed all the tricks in his analog arsenal (mattes, animation, and collage) to make them a visually astonishing, raucous reality.” JANUS FILMS

Advertisements