The Japanese film Hausu (House) was released in 1977 by director Nobuhiko Obayashi. I watched a version of the film translated and distributed by Criterion Collection, which describes the film as a “hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits, a demonic house cat, a bloodthirsty piano, and other ghoulish visions… equally absurd and nightmarish, House might have been beamed to Earth from some other planet.” I’d summarize the basic plot structure as: following her father’s announcement that he is remarrying, Gorgeous and her friends—Sweet, Melody, Prof, Fantasy, Mac, and Kung Fu—head to her mother’s childhood home for the summer, where they are hunted and eaten alive by her aunt’s cannibalistic ghost, who consumes all of the unmarried girls who come visit her.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD THE EXPERIENCE OF DISAPPEARING INTO SOMETHING MUCH GREATER THAN YOURSELF? I was born into families in exile, so I learned where I was through the screen. Here is the world they brought you to, said the screen. I will show it to you.