Thursday, 30 September 2010


This was an interesting movie.  I liked it, very retro and Japanese I felt.  But at the same point I don't really know what to think of it.

Hausu is a Japanese Horror film made it 1997 by Toho.  Toho was made famous by Godzilla and other giant monster films.  Though there is more to the story than horror.  While horror is the overall theme, I felt the movie was trying to encompass as many genres as it could, and wasn't entirely sure what it really wanted to be.


Yes, thats an eyeball.

The premise of the movie is seemingly generic enough.  School girls visit a the house of one of the girls' aunt only to slowly disappear one by one.  But honestly, in the first 30 minutes of the film I wasn't even sure if I was watching the right movie.  It didn't feel like a horror movie at all.

Her face is shattered.

The movie starts out with two friends talking about how they will spend there summer break.  One of the girls, Oshare, finds out her widower father has been seeing a woman and intends to bring her to the family's annual vacation.  Oshare is not happy and refuses, and decides to bring all her friends to her aunt's house.  The aunt lives in a large estate in the middle of a forest all by herself.  The aunt is crippled and has to use a wheel chair.


The film is really out there.  Its surreal, and cheesy, all mixed together under a central horror plot.  There characters are all pretty much arch-typical.  The smart girl with glasses, the girl that eats too much, the strong aggressive girl, etc.  The characters don't hurt the plot, if there really even is a plot to begin with.  


Slowly the girls all disappear.  And as they disappear the wheel-chair driven Aunt gets stronger, even so that she doesn't need to use the wheel chair anymore.  And then there's the cat.  The cat is clearly more than it seems.  Its eyes glow a demonic green color, and the cat is usually present when something bad occurs.

Cheesy Special Effects.

The end of the film is what really threw me off guard.  I'm not entirely sure how I was supposed to feel.  It was quite melancholic, but it also seemed to be trying to have a moral too.  I can only think that it was bittersweet?  And that doesn't really feel right.

Her time has run out.

The effect of the film are cheesy.  The glowing eyes of the cat for starters.  In one scene there is a flashing zigzag border around the screen as if to emphasize the horror of a girl being eaten by a possessed piano.  The film was obviously filmed on budget.  Backdrops are obviously painted.  I'm fairly certain few (if any) of the "outdoors" scenes were really even outdoors.


Despite the budget, I believe the film is strengthened by them.  If the film were made today, I think it wouldn't be as effective.  It would just be another horror film.  Whereas the film as it is, is clearly a cult classic.

Not entirely sure how the piano was able to eat her...

While Hausu is not entirely scary, it is a somewhat violent (?) film, no matter how comedic the blood is.  Hausu might not be for everyone.  If you're looking for a bizarre (a man turns into a pile of bananas, if thats not bizarre I don't know what it) comedic horror film that will make you say WTF out loud at some points than I can't recommend this enough.  

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