I’ll tell you right now, and up front, this is one weeeeeird film! It’s part haunted house movie, part love story, part horror, part comedy and part 70’s children’s TV (you know, when they used to do the really jerky stop motion stuff?).
Hausu (or, House to us English speakers) has a plot (of sorts) that goes a little like this: Oshare (Gorgeous) is excited about spending summer vacation with her father, until she finds out that his beautiful, freakishly serene girlfriend Ryouko would be going as well. Oshare decides she will be going to her aunt’s house in the country instead. She brings with her her friends from school – Fanta (who likes to take pictures, and daydreams a lot), KunFuu (who has very good reflexes), Gari/Prof (who is a major nerd), Sweet (who likes to clean), Mac (who eats a lot), and Melody (a musician). However, the girls are unaware that Oshare’s aunt is actually dead and the house is actually haunted. When they arrive at the house, crazy events take place and the girls disappear one by one while slowly discovering the secret behind all the madness. (taken from IMDb)
I will say this though, even though it was shot in the 70’s the colours in the film are amazing. Its bright colours reminded me of The Wizard of Oz where the colours are really bright and vibrant.
The film starts with two school girls who act like lesbian lovers, rather than best friends. One returns home to find her pops is about to drop the bombshell that they’re still going on holiday, but he’s bringing his new girlfriend with them. The daughter isn’t amused, goes to her room and begins talking to photos of her now dead mother. Very odd.
Oh, did I mention that she changes from her school outfit to her dress just by twirling? Yeah, this chick thinks she’s Wonder Woman or something… that caught me off guard, had to rewind to check if that really did happen. And it did!
After a quick sing-song, a man falls down a set of stairs, gets his ass stuck in a metal bucket, moves around for several seconds in jerky stop motion before using the telephone with the bucket still attached to his posterior. No, seriously, I have evidence:
Next the girls are on a bus and showing photos to one another which begins a series of old style movies explaining the relevance of the photos. Once they get off the bus though…
Note the backdrop behind them, that’s the backdrop for the next scene. Hide it? Nah. Cut to move it in/out? Nah…
Eventually the girls find the house they’re looking for which is inhabited by some (supposedly) older chick in a wheelchair.
From here the girls see spooky goings on and are dispatched one by one. One death includes the now infamous death-by-piano scene:
The entire film is that crazy. Honestly.
In this scene Auntie has miraculously recovered, doesn’t need her wheelchair and is dancing with a skeleton:
After several other deaths, two men decide to discuss their likes and dislikes:
And from here on in we get to see a little flash of boobs and an explanation (of sorts!) to explain the strange goings on. But it’s really not enough to explain ALL the strangeness in this film! It’d take another film to explain that.
Oh, wait, I didn’t mention the weird end credits sequence. Heck, I’ll let it speak for its self:
Keep watching it to at least the 45sec mark to get the full weirdness of it.
Man this is one weird film! I feel like I’ve been tripping for the past 90mins! If you like strangeness then this is one film not to miss. The plot is nonsense, the acting is OK, the effects are 1970’s (so basic at best) but it’s hard to dislike it!
Rating: <– giving it a 3 but +1 for the piano and other death scenes.