Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Micro Review [film]: Hausu

The Meat

Sometimes it's possible to have high expectations for something, and then feel a little disappointed when you experience it and discover it was exactly what you expected. It didn't have that little extra tweak that puts you just enough off-balance to get swept away. That's how I feel about the 1977 Japanese horror movie Hausu. It's the story of a group of schoolgirls who decide to spend their vacation at their friend's aunt's house. The girls all have names like Gorgeous (or Angel), Sweet, Kung Fu, etc., based on their personalities, and the aunt may or may not be dead, or a witch, or a cannibal, or all of the above, or she may just be a manifestation of the evil house. It's not important. And also, I think someone turns into bananas at some point.

This movie is totally bonkers, and from the very first shot - which is super cool - probably very different from anything else you've ever seen. It delivers on the promise of the genre, if the genre is "insane Japanese haunted house slasher movie," but it reaches its peak of weirdness early, and plateaus, which is kinda too bad. It's definitely worth a look, though, and if you're hoping for a big, climactic bloodbath, boy are you going to get your wish.

The Math

Objective Quality: 6/10

Bonuses: +1 for its early mix of horror and comedy; +1 for the fact that the director also made this utterly amazing commercial with Charles Bronson:

Penalties: -1 for brief but squirm-inducing, not-sure-if-she's-18 nudity

Cult Coefficient Value: 7/10

[See explanation of our non-inflated scores here.]