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March 5, 2011


There's a scene in the middle of The 'Burbs, one of my very favorite movies, when Tom Hanks' Ray Peterson, in a moment of awe, tries to cope with what he's just witnessed.  With a blank expression, he manages to stammer out something like "I've never seen that. I've never seen anybody drive their garbage down to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick. I've never seen that."

I only bring that up because it's the only way I can come close to describing the thing I've just witnessed - Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (aka Hausu).  I doubt I'm the only person to feel that way, and I imagine this film would give even my Film History professor a brain tumor.  I don't even know what to say right now - I'm relatively sure there are fragments of my brain currently strewn across the back of my recliner.

Obayashi's film might be the craziest thing I've ever seen in my life.  After a prolonged set up regarding a group of school girls going to a remote house for the summer, the film becomes a stream of random and odd supernatural events that...well, that are completely random and crazy and all over the place and kind of amazing to see.

I know that's not much of a description, but if I was to go too far I'd spoil the fun you could have discovering whatever freakish occurrence is coming up next.  Also...there's like no way I can describe what Hausu/House is.  But trust me you guys....IT'S SO GOOOD.  It's the weirdest, awesomest, craziest thing I've seen in ages.  So go find it and watch it and marvel in the wackiness.  Please.  Just do it.  You know you want to.  It's like imperative that you find this movie and watch it, like now.

Here's the trailer.  I'm gonna think about this movie for the next like five hours now.  It's the craziest.


Liam Underwood said...

Got this via Criterion recently - words can't adequately describe the movie.

This semester I'm takng a Cult Film unit. A couple of weeks ago we had a screening, to which I suggested Hausu. The response from about 50 or so students was mixed to say the least, from applause at the end to students walking out wondering what they'd just wasted their time watching.

I figure if you can't appreciate Hausu, you have no business watching cult films. It's glorious ricketiness at its very best.

Christine Hadden said...

I have yet to see this, but the talk around the blogosphere seems to all concur that this is one wild and crazy trip to psychedelic Weirdville.

Netflix, here I come...

Lazarus Lupin said...

Have you ever been to a restaurant and they hand you this thing and you don't know what it is and then they tell you it's a "Deconstruction" of a piazza so we separated each ingredient then just mixed them up at will. This is hausu it is deconstruction of horror films and film making itself. It uses practically every film technique or process with a logic that can only be describe as "obtuse." I am tempted to say this is a dadaesque film but even those make more sense. It is truly film making on the edge.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

The Mike said...

Liam - Good call about it being a kind of catch-all for cult fans. It really does seem like you have to have a certain mindset to get into it, but if you have'll be in bigtime.

Christine - I was resistant, assuming it would just be wacky for wacky's sake. After seeing it, I think it probably is...but in all the right ways.

Lazarus - Also a good call, because this is definitely a disjointed piece of filmmaking that seems to be patched together at times. But I dug that about it.

Thanks for reading all!

: said...

A new pal of mine let me borrow this one about a month ago. I haven't been in a big hurry to watch it, expecting it to be just . . . weird.

But from your review, and the trailer, I might just like it more than I thought I would. Sounds like I need to quit putting it off.