Hausu (House)

A bewitching good time!

Never seen the movie? Me neither! Watch the trailer here.

With Lindsay

This is one of my favorite movies because

It’s so bonkers in the way that only a 1970s Japanese horror movie could be. 

I am shocked Darch hasn’t seen this because:

I’m not. No one has seen this movie. 

The three parts I’m most excited for Darch to see are:

1. The ridiculous (and sometimes offensive)  character names
2. Pretty sure there’s some weird watermelon-based body horror
3. I recall there also being uncomfortable visual metaphors for menstruation

 

Darch

I’m pretty sure this movie is about:

I know it is Japanese because of the title and because Lindsay told me it is a Japanese horror movie. So I am feeling like there is going to be some sort of Godzilla-esque monster named Hausu. Hausu is misunderstood by all except for Miko, a girl with a backpack. She knows how to quell the monster with SCIENCE (and a little bit of telekinesis). As the monster grows ever stronger, Miko has QUITE the ticking clock before the world ends, or worse, her boyfriend leaves.

Famous scenes/lines I think are in this movie:

“I’ll know how to defeat Hausu if I can crack this ancient code!” “Wait! That’s what Hausu wants us to think. We should do the opposite instead.” “Which means… Hausu has been  here before!” There’s also a scene with A LOT of flashing lights when Hausu is walking just above the secret cave where Miko is running all of the experiments and the ground is shaking and everything seems terrible until Miko cracks the code.

I haven’t seen this movie because:

I wouldn’t know how to find it if I tried.


Darch types in gray over here.

Lindsay types in maroon over here.

Alright so excited for this weirdness.

Really hoping to find out that Monster House is just an homage to this movie.

—WE MEET THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS, BEST BEST FRIENDS—

Characters named thus far: Gorgeous and Fantasy. These are teenage girls. Also a lot of weird fade-edits.

Good to see that gym teachers around the world universally only wear track suits and carry basketballs.

—GORGEOUS DOESN’T GET HER DREAM VACATION BECAUSE HER DAD BRINGS HOME A POTENTIAL NEW WIFE—

hausu-bff

Shots fired at Ennio Morricone early in the movie.

“Hey meet your new ghost mom, honey.”

Her REAL mom has the same scarf that ghost mom has. A SYMBOL???

—WE MEET THE GANG

Melody is the girl who plays music. Kung Fu is the sporty one. Prof is the brainy one with Harry Potter glasses. Mac is the fat one who’s always eating because MacDonalds GET IT. Sweet is…nice?

Fantasy is the one that makes movies. And Gorgeous is… only valuable because of her looks?

—THE GANG GOES TO GORGEOUS’ ESTRANGED AUNT’S HOUSE THAT THEY DEFINITELY TRUST—

Ordering their deaths now. 1 Fatso, 2 brains, 3 music 4 Sweet 5 Kung Fu 6 and 7 Fantasy and Gorgeous at THE SAME DAMN TIME.

Darch is right now predicting the fluffy white cat murders everyone. I am not saying how close she is.

Step-mom is planning to crash the party at Auntie’s house: “It’ll be my first trial in becoming her mother.” How about, I dunno, talk to her about her period or something instead of being a buzzkill?

If this white scarf is not a symbol for something, I’m retiring this blog.

—FOR NO REAL REASON WHATSOEVER, THEIR (HOT?) TEACHER IS GOING TO THEIR AUNT’S HOUSE AS WELL—

Amazing bucket scene. Johnny Depp in Benny and Joon would be jealous.

Their teacher has to go to the hospital because he has a bucket stuck on his butt. 1970s Japan’s healthcare system was out of control.

“Only a witch cat can close a door.” Gonna have to start spreading that around.

—WE HEAR THE STORY OF THE CURSE—

hausu-video

I legit like the storytelling device of playing a flashback and having the characters react as if they can actually see it.

So far the weirdest part of the movie is not that the cat has an everlasting life and never ages. It’s the backgrounds on the train.

Or maybe the girls ‘witnessing’ footage of an atom bomb explosion and cheerily crying, “It looks like a cotton candy!”

Prof says ghosts don’t exist, she’s asking for a murderin’.

—THEY GET CLOSE TO THE AUNT’S HOUSE AND MEET A MYSTERIOUS BEING—

Hmmm we’ll just stop at this random fruit stand and pick up a watermelon and a curse.

That man has a face that inspires toads.

So great and weird that Murder Auntie is waiting in her wheelchair as the door opens, with her tiny sunglasses like some kind of FDR ghost.

Okay for sure Auntie is going to eat their souls so she can live forever until her hubby comes back.

—THEY GET INSIDE THE HOUSE AND IT WASTES NO TIME TRYING TO KILL THEM—

KUNG FU ALWAYS READY TO KARATE CHOP A ROGUE CHANDELIER

OMG She is going to steal all of their talents too.

This is a straight-up Fantasia house.

“Maybe the cat came out of the picture.” THESE GIRLS are better detectives than the Pretty LIttle Liars.

—MAC DIES FIRST, AS PREDICTED—

I FORGOT MAC’S SEVERED HEAD GOES FOR THAT BOOTY

hausu booty.gif

OMG I’m pretty good at calling stuff but I was wayyyyy off on this one.

OH WOW AUNTIE IS SUDDENLY HUNGRY?????? You mean like MAC’S TALENT???

I hate to be stereotypical, but it is very Japanese that these seven high school girls assigned someone as a ‘leader’ while on summer vacation.

—AUNTIE TALKS THEM OUT OF WORRYING, EVERYONE THINKS FANTASY MADE UP THE  WHOLEMAC-IS-DEAD THING—

Kung Fu definitely the hero. Can’t talk me out of it.

KF is absolutely my favorite.

Everyone keeps blaming “illussions” like David Blaine is even alive yet.

Okay I need to call out that KF got attacked by haunted logs that ripped her skirt off, she punched the shit outta them, and then surveyed the carnage and said “This is ridiculous.”

—THE GIRLS FOOLISHLY SPREAD OUT ALONE IN THE SCARY HOUSE—

THIS MOVIE INVENTED CAT ON A PIANO YOUTUBE VIDEOS.

Gorgeous just walking through a ghost house at night, brushing her hair and wearing all white.

Uh oh Gorgeous, Ghost Aunt is going to be pissed if you mess up her devil worshipping shrine to dead hubby.

One of my favorite parts that I forgot about is the weird Australopithecus skeleton that dances with everyone.

Okay legit Fantasy is the most tragic character in this movie. She just can’t do anything to help it.

She is the one that keeps finding the bodies.

—SWEET IS MURDERED BY BEDDING THAT SHE WAS OBSESSED WITH AND THE GIRLS ARE LIKE, MAYBE WE SHOULD CALL THE POLICE—

Wow Gorgeous, you’re acting strange. We have this incredibly important call to make… why don’t you do it?

So just to be clear on one of the plot lines, Mr. Togo, who is marrying the gym teacher for non-love related reasons is unable to take the girls on a trip and instead is coming to a random student’s aunt’s house to… hang?

Prof’s cold, unfeeling logic in the face of HER FRIEND’S SEVERED HAND IN A JAR is really inspiring.

OMG STOP LEAVING PEOPLE ALONE WITH FANTASY.

Melody getting eaten by this piano while laughing the whole time is a particularly gruesome part that I also forgot.

hausu piano.gif

Okay, new take on an old movie. Fantasy is actually a psychopath and having blackouts where she murders all of her friends.

Really thought Brains would have died, but I guess her brains saved her. I was spot on about Kung Fu and Fantasy lasting long though.

—WE MADE IT THIS FAR WITHOUT CARING ABOUT A MAN, BUT NOW WE ARE EXPECTING HIM TO SAVE US—

Mr. Togo has time to stop for ramen but not to save the girls from damnation.

This movie also posits that the only thing more permanent than death is the need to get a ring on it.

Also Mr. Togo wins the Oscar for most incompetent man in a girl power movie.

—THEY READ AUNTIE’S DIARY/GRIMOIRE AND FIND OUT THAT THEY NEED TO KILL NOT THE CAT BUT THE IMAGE OF THE CAT—

The sound of a baby crying while blood sprays from a cat’s mouth in a painting is a preeeeeetty heavy symbol.

hausu cat blood.gif

—MR. TOGO IS NOT HAVING MUCH LUCK GETTING INFORMATION FROM FROG MAN—

Full-frontal nudity from Prof, the dark horse in that race.

Brains was killed by her glasses, and her inability to swim in blood. Guess you can’t learn that in a book.

The demise of this evil witch was kicking a cat picture. Also now there’s like a young boy from JUMANJI on a door near the stairs situation happening, but with crocodile and more VERY THIN blood.

Oh, Fantasy, you’re so cute. You see your friend dressed in a wedding gown come down the stairs as the house fills with blood, you think she’s still okaaaaay.

—EVERYONE IS DEAD EXCEPT GORGEOUS WHO IS NOW EMBODIED BY HER AUNT AND HER STEPMONSTER APPROACHES THE HOUSE—

This movie is POINTEDLY a pro-marriage campaign.

I really distinctly remember suspecting Step-mom when I first watched this, anticipating a whole “this scarf keeps my head on” thing. It’s too prominent a motif for her to be underutilized.

Step Monster’s folly was… wind?

hausu wind.gif

So I’m still not sure if this movie comes down as pro- or anti-ghost. Cuz Murder Auntie’s voiceover at the end is like, “But love is important and we must keep telling stories of love.”

—THE MOVIE ENDS AND LINDSAY AND I SPEND ABOUT 30 MINUTES READING THE SAME WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE AND TELLING EACH OTHER THINGS FROM IT—

Real line from the Wikipedia article: “[Director] Obayashi recalled that his producer told him that [production company] Toho was tired of losing money on comprehensible films and were ready to let Obayashi direct the House script, which they felt was incomprehensible.”

Overall Rating: A

Comments: WOW this movie is fantastic. It is weird and confusing at times and there are honestly moments where you have to say “Well, that was ridiculous” and move on. But this movie was visually complex, stunning and interesting. It was intentionally cheesy at moments and intentionally crazy, weird and outlandish at others. It is something that I will honestly never forget. So many moments are 100% unique to this movie. It truly was ahead of its time.