Hausu (1977) aka House Movie Review
Written By: K.M.C
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Producers: Nobuhiko Obayashi, Yorihiko Yamada
Writers: Chiho Katsura, Chigumi Obayashi
Date Released: July 30, 1977
Kimiko Ikegami as Gorgeous
Miki Jinbo as Kung Fu
Ai Matsubara as Prof
Kumiko Oba as Fantasy
Mieko Sato as Mac
Masayo Miyako as Sweet
Eriko Tanaka as Melody
Yoko Minamida as Auntie
Rating = 3.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Gorgeous and her six friends head to Gorgeous’s aunt’s mansion for their summer vacation after Gorgeous gets in a dispute with her father over his new marriage. All seven girls are named after a specific personality trait which either aids or hinders them during their stay at the mansion. Gorgeous’s aunt, Auntie, and her mother have tragic stories that tend to follow Gorgeous. Her mother died eight years before from unknown reasons and Auntie’s fiance died in the war before they could even get married. Since then, Auntie has lived in the mansion in hopes that her fiance will one day return. Once the girls arrive at the mansion, strange occurrences start to arise as they are picked off one by one. They soon discover that they are in grave danger as it is revealed that Auntie had been dead for a while yet her soul lives on inside the mansion devouring young unmarried women.
The most memorable comedic moments within Hasura are any scenes with blood in them aside from the grandfather clock scene with Sweety. The comic book-like graphics make the “blood” spilling out look as if someone cut red cardboard paper and stuck it into an outline. Although Hausura has a few bloody scenes, there’s really nothing to be grossed out by.
The Grave Review
Through the eyes of comedy, the film was clever in coming up with ways to troll it’s audience in an artistic, yet articulate, way. The overdone acting mixed in with the absurd scoring of the film makes it all the more available for a scoff and chuckle. Each character is given a defined aspect to their personality as their name that encompasses an almost stereotype of the real world. The graphics and special effects were comically bad yet impressively executed. All of these aspects really make it one of the most ridiculous yet well-crafted comedy horrors of its time.
Some of the film’s silly and fantasy-based aspects didn’t come from Obayashi, but Obayashi’s ten year old daughter, who came up with most of the killing scenes. All of the actresses who portrayed the seven girls had never acted before this film. Given that this is their first film gig, it is to no surprise how over the top and strange their acting is.
The artistic graphic design of the film is what really ranks it high up in the arthouse market. The backdrops, similar to those used in musical theater, give Hausu a dream-like feeling. The design of the set as well as the costuming add final touches to making the film aesthetically please. Let alone the graphics placed onto the film when action or impact occurs gives it a 1950s superhero vs villain vibe to it. Hausuru is a mouthful of comical ludicrousy and creatively awesome graphics.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Hausu (1977) three and a half graves out of five graves.
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