How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s indescribable 1977 movie House (Hausu)? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby-Doo as directed by Mario Bava? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits, a demonic house cat, a bloodthirsty piano, and other ghoulish visions, all realized by Obayashi via mattes, animation, and collage effects. Equally absurd and nightmarish, House might have been beamed to Earth from some other planet. Never before available on home video in the United States, it’s one of the most exciting cult discoveries in years. –The Criterion Collection
Nobuhiko Obayashi (大林 宣彦 Ōbayashi Nobuhiko?, born 9 January 1938) is a Japanese director, screenwriter and editor of films and television advertisements who is well known for his surreal visual style. He began his career as a pioneering figure in Japanese experimental film during the 1960s before transitioning to directing more mainstream works such as television and feature films. Though he remains mostly unknown outside of Japan he has made a prolific number of films in his 50 years of working with the medium.
Obayashi was born on the 9th of January 1938 in the city of Onomichi, Japan. He was the eldest son of a father who was one in a long paternal line of medical doctors. As his father was called to the battlefront during World War II, he was raised in his early infancy by his maternal grandparents. Through his childhood and adolescence Obayashi followed many artistic pursuits including drawing, writing, playing the piano, and a growing interest in animation and film. read more
I wasn't intending to feature a third horror movie poster in a row for this column, but then I saw House, and, more importantly, I saw this
Like any good horror film, the violence and bloodshed escalates with every set piece, each more elaborate (and entertaining) than the last; lighthearted cannibalism, slightly disturbing sexual innuendo… read review