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31 Days of Films and Frights – Day 17: Hausu “House”

31 Days of Films and Frights – Day 17: Hausu “House”

“Just try it” the pusher had told me. I knew better, however. I’d heard all about the effects of acid drops, and I wanted nothing to do with it. I had heard about people having “flashbacks” years after dropping the hallucinogenic drug, and I had no interest in having one come to me in the middle of an important speech, or while I’m piloting an impossible mission to rid the world of an evil galactic empire (you see, I am capable of ambitiously dreaming without the aid of a chemically induced chimera).

As I began to view today’s entry in this month long series of horror films timed to the upcoming All Hallow’s Eve, I suspected that somehow someone had slipped me a Mickey at some point in my past, and I was now suffering the onslaught of the aforementioned HPPD.

31 Days of Films and Frights – Day 17: Hausu “House


Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Year: 1977
Cast: Kimiko Ikegami, Yôko Minamida, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba
Language: Japanese
Country: Japan
Specs: 88 mins. / Color / OAR 1.37.1 / MPAA Rating: R
Rating: ★★ / D

A schoolgirl travels with her classmates to visit her reclusive aunt, only to tragically learn that the country house in which she resides is alive.

Having lived in Japan, and thus having an understanding of their fascination with watermelons, I was able to relate to the set-up of bringing the delectable fruit as a gift to the oba-san. I was not, however, able to relate to the outcome of such a generous gesture. Needless to say, I will forever think of watermelons, and, much to the dismay of my toddler daughter and her fascination with all things Snow White, wishing wells, in a much different light after having watched this fanciful flick.

The film is certainly to be commended for its effort and originality. However, much like a 2 year olds finger painted murals on the wall in the recently remodeled foyer, it may not be welcomed nor retained.

The acting in this foreign picture was amateurish. I understand that most of the cast were mere dilettantes, and it shows. Of course, there is so much zaniness going on in this film, I’m not sure I even paid much heed to the acting chops of the talent. Cheesy effects are the best way I can describe the effects here. Cartoonish ghosts, plastic body parts, kaleidoscope of colors, novelty shop eye balls, the outlandishness never lets up.

The story doesn’t serve much purpose, either. It simply serves to showcase the forenamed effects. I honestly felt Obayashi had lost his mind, and this film was the result.

Don’t confuse this with excellent William Katt film of the same name. This is not another version of that same story. In fact, in has more in common with This House Possessed than it does the franchise starter from 1986.

If you want to be bedazzled by the puerile antics of a film, this is for you. If you hate cats and find them as creepy as I do, you’ll want to visit another haunt.

Don’t say I didn’t imashimeru you.

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Movies

 

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31 Days of Howl-oween: Day 06 – House

31 Days of Howl-oween

A Review of Films Filled with Frights

Day 6

Film #06


~ House ~

Director:  Steve Miner
Year:  1986
Cast:  William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz
Language:  English
Country:  United States
Specs:  93 mins. / Color / OAR 1.85:1 / MPAA Rating: R

Dealing with the recent disappearance of his son, divorce from his wife, suicide of his aunt, and continuing nightmares from his service in Vietnam, horror novelist Roger Cobb decides to take residence in his deceased uncle’s house to write his next novel.  Soon Roger begins to experience strange and demonic happenings, and he has to decide if the hauntings are real, or a result of his post traumatic stress disorder, all while his nosy neighbor attempts to intrude on his intended solitude.

This movie dubbed a horror-comedy is not a gut busting comedy, but more of a quirky horror movie (it does come to us from writer Fred Dekker [story by] of “Tales from the Crypt” and “Monster Squad” fame).  There are certainly plenty of goofy looking monsters, but the scares are aplenty in this haunted house tale.  There are some genuinely funny lines, particularly from the amusing George Wendt, but most of the acting is played straight, instead of the slapstick antics that are common in other films of this class.  In fact, it is not until the second act that anything resembling comedy even appears in the film.

The acting is very well done, and the dialogue is perfectly fit to the actors cast in the roles.  The creature effects are excellent, particularly the eerie Big Ben, complete in army fatigues.  The film thankfully wasn’t predictable, as can be a common obstacle to other horror films, and was engrossing from start to finish.

Next time I see a dog digging in the backyard, I may just get a little queasy.

My Rating:  **** / B

Available from Amazon: House DVD

Stay tuned…

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2010 in Movies

 

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