Sunday, October 13, 2013


Every horrorhound's favorite month is upon us, and to celebrate, I'll be dishing out a personal pick from the genre for every day in October. Some will be obvious and rather unoriginal (sorry that I like movies other people like), while some will be a little more oddball and off-the-wall. Some may even challenge your idea of what constitutes a "horror" movie. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the month with some good movies, even if they aren't ones I recommend!

Today's Pick: House (1977)

I love the Japanese. Their brazen weirdness has given birth to a culture that is deeply entrenched in bizarre artistic expression. But, sometimes even the Japanese exceed the boundaries of their own strangeness and create something so otherworldly that it nearly defies description. Such is Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (or Hausu to help differentiate it from the 1986 horror/comedy of the same name), a fever dream horror/fantasy that has to be one of the closest attempts at actually capturing the cartoonish and hallucinatory nature of a child's nightmares. That's probably helped by the fact that Obayashi's pre-teen daughter has a story credit on the film. I'll say it again: I love the Japanese.

The fairy tale plot involves six girls (each with a character defining name such as Gorgeous and Kung Fu) who travel to an old aunt's house for the summer, unaware that the aunt is actually a witch who needs to feed on young girls in order to become youthful once again. Not content to simply do the classic vampire thing, this aunt utilizes a variety of abnormal methods to obtain the girls' lifeforces.

Unlike most of the other recommendations I've been doing, I really don't want to talk too much about this film because it would just be explanations of all the preposterous scenarios that occur. Frankly, I don't think there's enough time for me to even list all of the deranged things that happen in this movie. This is one where the less you know, the more blown away you're going to be.

I will say this: House is a great movie to watch with your kids, because it has the capacity to traumatize them without showing them anything graphic or inappropriate. I say traumatize in a good way, like all those scary movies you saw late at night and can never remember what they were, but when you find out, it's like unlocking a treasure chest in your memory. House also has such a madcap cartoon quality (with actual animated bits strewn throughout) that it's not a threatening kind of scary, but rather an overload of psychotically colorful imagery.

Here's all I'll say: imagine if Sam Raimi and Mario Bava collaborated on an anime version of Scooby Doo while Alejandro Jodorwosky force-fed them the highest quality LSD on the market and made them sing lullaby songs the entire time. That would get you somewhere close to what House is. It's unfathomably unique and helps reinforce my undying affection towards the Japanese and their love affair with all things wacky. If you're looking to add some vibrant dementia to your Halloween viewing, look no further than House.

Tomorrow, we'll be watching one of the greatest pranks ever broadcast. Orson Welles would have been proud. See you then!

previous entries

No comments:

Post a Comment