What the hell did I watch? Hausu (House) is definitely the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen; it’s like I just took an accidental acid trip. It’s so damned strange and bizarre, and yet it’s intentionally so. Unlike most movies that make no sense whatsoever, Hausu is supposed to make you ask yourself, “Did I just watch a piano eat a girl?”
Hausu barely bothers with what would normally be the essential elements of a movie, like plot, and characters. We’re introduced to Gorgeous, a Tokyo schoolgirl, and her friends. Don’t worry about forgetting their names; each is named after her sole characters trait, and their dialogue constantly reminds the viewer what that is, just in case you forgot. Gorgeous is expecting to spend the upcoming break with her father, but he surprises her by bringing home his new fiancee. This development does not sit well with Gorgeous, since she’s become accustomed to having her father all to herself. Out of spite, she decides to change her plans and go visit her mother’s sister, whom she hasn’t seen since her mother’s funeral. Likewise, her friends, with their own plans having fallen through, decide to go with her. Unfortunately for them, her aunt’s house is haunted, and her aunt may actually be a ghost herself. Or a witch, I’m not sure. Or her cat may be a ghost. The movie pretty much stops making sense around here.
Once the girls get to the house, all kinds of weird crap starts happening, and Hausu starts exhibiting Busey-levels of crazy. Inanimate objects begin attacking them, things move around on their own, said furniture turns carnivorous, and so forth. If this sounds at all conventional, it’s not. Yes, these kinds of things happen in most haunted house movies, but this is far from a conventional movie.
Honestly, it’s really not fair to judge Hausu by the standards most movies are judged by. Usually, when a movie makes so little sense, it’s a shortcoming, but not here. Those other movies are trying to be coherent, and they don’t feature a watermelon taking a bite out of a girl’s ass. So yes, I could point out Hausu‘s many flaws, like it’s one-note characters, or the annoying and pointless subplot involving the girl’s favorite teacher, who is supposed to join them on vacation (and what school doesn’t encourage its staff to spend unsupervised time with their underage students?), but that would be futile. Don’t concern yourself with such trivialities as, ‘why should I care about character X’. Because quite frankly, if someone’s sole raison d’etre is to be turned into a giant pile of fruit, that’s good enough for me.
Please don’t take this to mean that Hausu‘s not good. Quite the contrary; it’s really well-made. It’s possibly the most technically advanced horror movies of the 70’s, bursting with creative, avant-garde touches and visual experiments. Even if you don’t like crazy foreign-made ghost stories, it’s far more fun to watch than your typical slasher fest.