Hausu (House) Reviews
Group of school girls go to visit auntie of one of the girls and stay in her house. Cue freaky happenings and creepy cat.
Really is silly, but does it with flair.
The acronym WTF was invented for House.
I was warned beforehand that this movie was off the wall, but hey, 75% of the Japanese movies I've seen have been crazy. It started off as certainly a quirky movie, with unconventional screen translations from scene to scene, wacky editing, bubbly Japanese school girls with names like Gorgeous (she's very pretty), Kung Fu (she knows Kung Fu), and Melody (in a shocking twist, she's musically inclined), and just loads of that particular kind of flavor that some Japanese movies have.
Then the six main characters took a trip to visit one of their aunts at her home (the house of the title), and the horror aspect of the movie set in. What specific kind of horror? The kind that involves a severed head appearing and biting a girl on the butt, and then rubbing up against it. Stunningly, the movie only escalates from there.
House is fun, but it's clearly insane. An affinity for the weird and zany is a must, or this will be a waste of time for you. This movie has creativity coming out of the wazoo. How many times have you seen someone viciously attacked by feather pillows and mattresses? The special effects are also great, especially for the seventies. This was probably the most psychedelic movie I've ever seen.
Is House a frightening movie? No. But if you have the right kind of sense of humor for it, you'll have a ball getting together with like-minded friends and watching this. There's a lot of comedy, of both the intentional and unintentional varieties. It's all very tongue-in-cheek. Even the soundtrack is hilarious, if you pay attention to it.
House gets a hearty recommendation from me. It's an entertaining, inventive spin on the haunted house formula, with a lot of uniquely Japanese craziness thrown into the mix. It's worth owning, in my opinion.
There are parts of it that I loved, but for the most part it felt like it was trying just a bit too hard.
Definately worth seeing, but go in with an open mind.
This is going to sound strange, but a movie this bad is kind of timeless. In the sense that I don't think there was any time when a movie about a man-eating piano or schoolgirls with adjectives for names wouldn't be strange. Not only is this film extremely, extremely crazy, it's crazy in many different ways. It's trule remarkable. It uses paint-on-film effects, superimposition, stop-motion to tell its story (such that it i), and if the narrative doesn't make sense, there are a myriad of reasons why that could be. I am so glad I saw this movie. I was squealing about how stupid and great it was, and my friend was confused. "I thought you just said you thought it was stupid." Nono, mate. It can be both. Ever see Crank 2?
Hausu (House) follows Oshare when she finds out that her Father's girlfriend is joining them on their summer trip, she and her friends decide to go to her aunt's farmhouse instead. From the moment they arrive, strange things begin to happen and the girls slowly begin to realize Oshare's Aunt may not have their best interest in mind. The plot is nothing original by any stretch. It has stereotypical characters one would expect even down to their names. We have Prof who's the smart one, Mac the fat one, Kung Fu (though her technique is Karate) the tough one, and three more whose characteristic you could tell by their name. Despite being cliche (although the archetypes are meant to satirize) the plot provides a whole of fun. It has a very cheery feel to it. The characters while stereotype are all very likable each with their own quirks to standout. Usually slasher films would devolved their heroes to the point we would like for the them to suffer, but not the case here. It's because of the way these archetypes are written to be innocent that makes us want to stick with them and even sadden when one of them departs. The backstories adds mystery to the haunted house and even some character development that will garner laughs. It's more so a comedy than a horror flick which might upset horror fans, but horror fans should give it a chance if wanting something vastly different from the tired format.
Nobuhiko Obayashi direction is what gives the film its own identity. In it's execution, this is more style over topping substance. The imagery is something a weed addict would imagine if watching a horror film. The multicolored lighting creates both a sense of disorientation, hallucination but also just gives the film feel like a manga/anime or even come to life as well as a 70's style vibe. This is helped through some of the cinematography and editing, some shots looking like comic panels. In some places there is frenetic camera movement that makes it feel like the house is spinning out of control. The visual and practical effects are very good in creating a house of disorientation and disorder. It's the only horror film where you could see a girl eaten by a lamp, getting beaten by pillows, and my personal favorite one getting eaten by a piano. The music is also great reinforcing the 70's vibe of the film from some of the beats. Most of the cast consist of actresses who are all convincing in their and very lovely. You'll sure to find one that you'll end up liking allot.
Hausu while playing more on the comedy side than horror succeeds for doing so. It never becomes a downer to watch instead opting to put a smile on the viewer face in a fresh way to a premise they have seen a thousand time before. It might sport the look of a B-Movie, but it's a triple A entertainment.
The main question for me is whether this is one of the most tastelessly directed and edited films I've ever seen, or if its indulgences should be forgiven because they're intentionally ridiculous. And I just don't know which is the case. Obviously, the director must have laughed at how awful some of the special effects are -- they anticipate bad Photoshopping by decades -- but I'm not so sure what he thought about all the double images, iris shots, onscreen texts, chaotic montages and other bits of rampant, undisciplined silliness.
I am leery of contradicting myself, but I have a hard time reconciling my views that "House" took far too long to reach the scary part (over a third of the film) and that the exposition -- with its weirdly sunny, children's-television ambience -- was more consistently entertaining than the horror-intense second act. Certainly, the late sequences based on a body-butchering piano and a possessed overhead lamp were exhilarating fun, but there were also plenty of lulls with the girls just tediously yammering with each other. Also, I felt a crucial payoff was missing: a point where the aunt transformed into a fully demonic presence. Instead, the menace was redirected to her cat.
I'm glad that I saw "House," but there's a difference between saying "You've gotta see this!" and saying "You've gotta look up the best scenes on YouTube!"