Tonight we will be Liveblogging the Japanese horror movie House!
2 Minutes In: Already I have seen editing tricks I have never seen in a movie before (maybe because they are a bad idea), an animated opening title sequence, continuity problems, poor (or poorly translated) dialogue, and music that emphatically does not fit the action. Only 85 minutes to go!
10 Minutes In: Cruising the IMDB… director has made forty movies since House. This is kind of like when I discovered Takashi Miike with Ichi the Killer and realized there are FORTY more things like this somewhere in the world. Only this is much stupider. Woman who plays the grandmother (below) used to be in Imamura and Mizoguchi films, and now she’s in this.
20 Minutes In: Holy crap is this music ever awful. So far I am not buying that this is a horror movie. If there’s any “horror” here, it’ll be extremely goofy and everyone will turn out okay (and best friends) in the end. The visual style, editing and sound mixing are all crazed. Wipes and irises all over. And there’s cat tossing!
30 Minutes In: Definitely not a horror. I feel ripped off.
40 Minutes In: yep, the goofy horror has begun… but it’s SO goofy it puts Sleepaway Camp to shame. It puts The Great Yokai War to shame! This one might out-goof even Princess Raccoon!
Dead fat girl’s head, mistaken for a watermelon, flies through the air and bites another girl on the butt in front of crazy-fake backdrop:
50 Minutes In: I wonder if Sam Raimi might’ve seen this before making Evil Dead 2. Hmmm, and I just found an unauthorized pseudo-sequel to Evil Dead 2 from Italy called House 3/Ghosthouse. So one could rename ED2 “House 2” and form a whole new trilogy. Then we can use the American House IV to finish it off… fitting, since there was no actual House 3 in that series.
60 Minutes In: Movie gets tiring after a while. It’s still super goofy, I’ll give it that… not quick bursts of stylistic flourishes – they are ever-present. Must have taken an age to make, with all the insert shots and models and effects and editing nonsense going on. There was some nice piano music earlier but now it’s back to the ol’ spastic theme song. Should we be seeing nude high school girls? Is that okay?
70 Minutes In: They just found some sort of leather-bound book of the dead, giving credence to my sequel theories. Also, a piano just ate someone. Maybe we can replace House IV with Death Bed: The Bed That Eats. Hmmm, blood spraying out of a hole in the wall and filling the room… definitely Evil Dead 2-ish. One girl you can tell is the smart one, because she wears glasses, has her hair in no-nonsense ponytails, and knows what to do when they find a book (she reads it).
80+ Minutes In: I think the movie just ended, but there’s another 15 minutes on the file. Oh good, here’s a music video. Are they burning the girl’s stepmom’s head? Some voiceover craaaap about the nature of love, then illustrated credits, which I always appreciate.
Whew, so what was that? Some kinda teen comedy horror, I suppose. There’s an intro bit where a girl is sad that her dad is remarrying, then she tries going to camp but camp is cancelled. So she and her camp friends go off to her gramma’s house instead. But gramma is an evil witch who gains power from killing children in hilarious ways. I’m not sure who is still alive at the end because I was sleepy, but apparently the stepmom shows up at gramma’s house there, and I think maybe the main girl takes control of the witch activities and something bad happens to gramma. Whoa, I made 221 screenshots… hold on and I’ll sift through them looking for plot clues. No, it’s no clearer. But needless to say, I highly recommend this movie.
The director is still alive and working, but the executive producer, Tomoyuki Tanaka, creator of Godzilla?? Dead, dead, dead.