Sommerleigh Pollonais – Horror Head Writer
This is another instalment of my FAN HORROR MOVIE PICK OF THE WEEK on mY Moviejunkies Cont’d Facebook page. For today we have Japanese horror/comedy Hausu (1997).
Plot: A schoolgirl and six of her classmates travel to her aunt’s country home, which turns out to be haunted.
Review: What the hell did I just watch!?!
Hausu aka House is by and far the weirdest horror movie I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen Troll 2. Don’t get me wrong though, this is in no way a bad movie, just a really, really, REALLY strange one that made me think someone had slipped LSD into my water when I wasn’t looking.
The story is for the most part a straight forward one. A young girl named Gorgeous (not a nickname) is angry her father is remarrying, so she decides to go visit her aunt and in doing so, reconnect with her dead mother’s memory. Her friends, Mac, Prof, Fantasy, Kung-Fu, Melody and Sweet (again, not nicknames) decide to join her when their class trip is cancelled. Insanity ensues.
Director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi is most definitely making fun of horror movies here and to think this was trying to be anything more than satire would be ridiculous. The characters names for instance are obviously a direct reference to their personalities, similar to the cliched characters you see in horror films all the time. Melody loves playing the piano. Prof is really smart. Fantasy loves to fantasize about marrying their school teacher. Mac eats a lot and is lovingly called fat by her friends (Big Mac anyone?). There’s also a lot of fun being made of anime as well. It’s shown in the way the movie is edited, the choice of music and in some of the stunts (like when Kung Fu does…c’mon, you know where this is going).
The beauty of this film for me though, is while it IS making fun of horror movies, it also shows a true love of the genre. The bloody, gory moments are really good and while some of the effects haven’t held up that well, they still managed to entertain me.
Hausu is most definitely a product of its era, as I’m 99 per cent sure acid was dropped in the making of this film. There’s NO WAY a sober mind came up with the bat crap craziness that’s at play here. But it’s also superbly original (I don’t know any other film in the 70s that remotely looks like this one) and after watching it, I know without a doubt, films like Evil Dead, Society and The Cabin in the Woods took inspiration from the Hausu that Obayashi built.
Shout out to our Fan Pick Winner, Matthew Bailey for this one. His Criterion Collection includes this masterpiece and after watching it, I can totally see why.
Sommer’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
* And also a shout out to our Funny Caption Friday winner and two-time champ Rhianna Mc Kenzie. If you would like to try your hand at a funny caption please like and follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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