Posted by: Peter Hall
Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977
Written by Chiho Katsura
Reputations are an interesting thing on their own, but they can be exceptionally curious when it comes to the horror genre. If anything garners a reputation within our walls, it’s likely because it is either A) notoriously bad or B) notoriously shocking. So once a fan catches wind of a reputation, it’s practically impossible to not hold the film up to the exaggerated fancies and standards that have heard about. In the case of HAUSU, the reputation isn’t one of being bad or shocking, it’s just known as being a notoriously weird Japanese film.
Well, now that the Criterion Collection have released the film on Blu-ray and DVD in the US, I’ve finally had a chance (and an excuse) to see what the hubbub is all about. Annnnd…….
Yeah. It’s got a reputation for a reason: HAUSU is pretty damned bizarre. However, I don’t think it’s the nonsensical oddity that many make it out to be. It’s got a lot of interesting artistic merit and clear intent to it (after all, Criterion put their stamp of approval on it by delivering this pristine presentation of the movie), but, yes, it’s certainly one of the weirder, if not weirdest, Japanese genre exports around.