Movie of the Day – Hausu
October 8, 2012 4 Comments
I got to thank that Alamo Drafthouse KC for this wonderful piece of filmmaking. Hausu or House, was part of their unique programming at the Drafthouse and since I am a slave to their theater, I just had to see a movie that was described to me as indescribable. I went and I don’t know what the hell happened in that movie. I am even watching the trailer again and again and I still am not certain what really went down. I mean…wah?
This satirical murder mystery pits a woman who is the epitome of glamour (played by Haruko Wanibuchi) against a clever murderer during a holiday stay at a strange ghostly mansion. Seven young women, who have chosen as nicknames the brand names of much-advertised consumer products, begin to disappear in a decidedly suspicious manner. Are they fashion victims? How else can one explain the eerie coordination between their pastel outfits and the pastels of the rooms in which they appear? It is up to the heroine — whose every screen appearance is heralded by special lighting, gentle breezes, and a soft camera focus — to find out what is going on. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
I am joking when I said I didn’t know what this movie was about. I do know some things about this movie, but mainly I was too busy being assaulted with a trippy, psychedelic horror mystery movie. It is just insane what you are seeing on the screen and it isn’t something that is jarring or horrific, but rather just a jumbled acid trip of wacky scenes and the occasional bloody set piece. The movie is this kaleidoscope of daffy images of disembodied heads, creepy piano playing hands, Japanese pop culture riffs and the occasional horror/murder moment.
Honestly, I am really having a difficult time in coming up with a good way to describe this movie. It’s just a movie that defies some form of description as it bounces around in a chaotic way. At times you get the styling of Dario Argento and then maybe the comical essence of Sam Raimi, but it never ceases to assault your senses with graphic images and a constant, frenetic filmmaking style that keeps you on your toes, glues to the screen.
Hausu is the kind of film that is a cult classic upon its inception. The movie has the right amount of kitsch, absurdity, flair and baffling images to keep any audience in a state of rapt attention. I know that when I saw this as part of a horror movie remix night, the crowd was just into the whole mess of a film. It is a pretty mess, that is for certain, but it is also just a lot of fun. Check out the movie on Criterion Collection or Netflix it if you can. Well worth the fun time watching this cerebral film.