• House (1977)

    ** (out of 4)

    aka Hausu

    Extremely bizarre Japanese film about seven schoolgirls going to see one of their aunts in a creepy house, which has all sorts of strange things going for it. Soon the girls start to be killed off one by one but what's the reason behind the murders? The murders which also include one getting eaten by a piano. This film is basically another version of Ten Little Indians but it mixes a certain visual style that could only be compared to Dario Argento's Suspiria, which was released the same year. I'm really not sure who to recommend this film to but I'm going to guess fans of the bizarre and surreal will most likely enjoy this as there's really not too much of a plot but there is a lot of strange visuals. The entire movie is pretty much strange from start to finish and I must admit that if there was a story going on, and I'm sure there is as the young girl is going to her aunt to learn more about her dead mother, then it went right over my head. The characters themselves are all rather interesting because they are named after their "specialty" with one being Kung-Fu and she gets some of the better moments in the film. The surreal nature and the mixture of the living and the dead makes one wonder if Tim Burton didn't watch this before making Beetlejuice. The film contains a lot of special effects but they all look very good and you can't help but think most of them would be done today with the use of CGI. These effects add to the campy nature of the film but it was the jokes that really didn't work too well with me. Perhaps my sense of humor is just too dry but the over the top camp just rubbed me the wrong way. I guess some might say I didn't get the film and that's probably true but I do respect what the director was going for here. This is certainly one of the most unique looking films I've ever seen and it's doubtful I'll ever forget it but at the same time I can't say I look forward to watching it again.