A witch cat, a murderous spirit of a deceased Aunt, her possessed house of horrors and group of young girls led by sisters named Gorgeous and Fantasy make up the main characters in the recently re-released Criterion Collection pressing of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 horror film, House. But what I found even more remarkable and was, evidently, unprepared for, were the pure pop fantasy and surreal directing and cinematography. Cartoonish animation, symbolic rivers of blood, mountains of severed body parts, and tons of demonic glowing eyes often inhabit the same scenes and even the same shot. Quick flashes and strobe-light editing along with bold uses of color also create a nightmarish mirage of kaleidoscopic experiences as you watch these young heroines fight for their lives within this crazy fever dream of sequences.
I highly recommend sitting back, ignoring any pretense of narrative or story arc you may attempt to form and simply allow the visuals to wash over you. They may be bizarre, and sometimes unintentionally hilarious, but they are always well crafted and come from a highly creative place.
Check of some screen grabs and the trailer after the jump!
The original 1977 trailer:
House is available here at the Criterion online store, and also on Netflix.