Lost in the Funhausu

Nate Dorr

Nobuhiko Obayashi's Hausu (1977)

At this point House, or Hausu, Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 monstrous mansion meltdown isn't so much sunken cinema as risen cinema. After years languishing in the obscurity of some mid-Pacific trench, it's managed to resurface, starting with its 2009 NY Asian Film Festival appearance, for various late-night screenings, a theatrical run, and—just in time for Halloween—a much-deserved release by Criterion in all its frenzied camp-collage glory.

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And while House is already generating plenty of blog chatter at this point, it's certainly a film that leaves words sorely inadequate (misleadingly generic synopsis: vacationing schoolgirls are snared in a house with a dangerous history), a film whose utterly insane editing, design, and aesthetics really must be experienced. Preferably by watching it. Though — and here's why it deserves one more blog post — in a pinch, a collection of stills may suffice to intrigue and entice. And even with these 48 glimpses, there's just so much I'm leaving out, that no amount of words or pictures can actually convey. Just see it.

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