When it comes to iconic, baffling and outsider cinema, there’s no country in the world which can hold a candle to Japan. Ranging from the intentionally obtuse to the downright bonkers, for decades Japanese experimental film-makers have pushed the boundaries of taste and logic. Whilst the work of the likes of Miike and Sono may feel strange to mainstream western audiences, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg. In the 1970s, the popularity of American movies pushed many directors towards experimentation. None more famously than Nobuhiko Obayashi’s film House (Hausu).
Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) is looking forward to spending her summer holidays with her father (Saho Sasazawa). However, when he surprises her by announcing she’s going to have a new step-mother (Haruko Wanibuchi), Gorgeous is shocked and angry. Determined to spend the vacations somewhere else, she contacts her aunt (Yōko Minamida) who agrees to let her visit. She invites six friends (Mac, Prof, Kung-Fu, Fantasy, Sweet and Melody) to join her.
House is one of a kind. Obayashi channels his years in advertising to bring a wholly original approach to film-making. Much of the film makes absolutely no sense, which is half the joy. It’s such a vibrant and creative work of cinema. One which throws so many ideas against the wall. It never lets up or gives the audience a moments peace. Rapid-fire editing, ingenious camerawork and a livewire sensory assault ensure House remains a frighteningly singular slice of cult melodramatic horror.
- Stunning 1080p presentation from a high-definition digital transfer
- Original monaural soundtrack presented as uncompressed LPCM audio
- Optional English subtitles
- An exclusive video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns
- 90-minute archive of interviews with director Nobuhiko Obayashi, scenarist Chigumi Obayashi, actress Kumiko Oba, and Toho promotional executive Shoho Tomiyama
- Original Japanese theatrical trailer
- A 44-PAGE booklet featuring an essay by Paul Roquet; and archival imagery
House is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 12 February.