Horror Mo(vie)Tober: House (1977) Review
In an effort to avoid spending time with her father and his creepy new lover, young Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) resolves to visit her aunt's remote mansion. With six of her closest friends in tow, including the musically inclined Melody (Eriko Tanaka) and the geeky Prof (Ai Matsubara), Gorgeous arrives at the estate, where supernatural events occur almost immediately. A severed head takes flight, household appliances come to life and a portrait of a cat seems to contain an evil spirit.
House (1977), directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, is one of the most mysteriously creative horror movies I have ever seen. I went into this movie blind, without reading any summaries or reviews. This really helped me form my own opinion and I will probably be doing this for the rest of the horror movies I watch this month.
In House, or HAUSU, the main character Gorgeous was going to go on vacation with her father, who then introduces her to his new fiancé. In anger, Gorgeous decides to send a letter to her dead mother’s sister in hopes that she can visit her house with friends instead of going with her father on vacation. A mysterious white persian cat (Blanche) appears out of nowhere, and Gorgeous befriends her. Her aunt responds with a letter, and her, her six friends, and her cat Blanche venture out to visit Gorgeous’ aunt. Little do the girls know, Gorgeous’ aunt has intentions of killing all of them…
What an incredible movie. I loved all of the murders, and I think the computer effects were really well done in imaginative ways considering the movie was made in the 70s. When watching HASU, you can clearly tell why it's labeled as an “experimental horror comedy.” There are a lot of interesting camera angles, and the cinematography and effects are used in a maximalist approach. Some of the camera techniques that I found interesting included: clear glass to make it seem like they are filming through the floor, a scene where a girl opens and closes each eye; panning the camera to her perspective and showing a character slightly shifting from left to right, and even an underwater scene which is INCREDIBLY impressive considering their limited film technology.
I was laughing at how bonkers some of the scenes were, and some of the deaths were so hilariously creative. The scene that stands out to me most is when their male teacher drives to visit the house, and he approaches a watermelon stand.
If you are bored one night and have nothing better to watch, I would definitely recommend HASU. I am going to rate this movie a 9/10 for being incredibly innovative for its time, going against the norm of slasher films, and for its use of practical and computer generated effects.
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I would like to thank Rochester Hills Public Library for allowing me to rent out this film and my father for putting it on hold.