House aka Hausu (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977)
A little late for Halloween but who cares... House is still a must see film a day you are seing it doesn't really care... It ain't no Christmas movie and that's for sure. College is over for the summer and the girls are happy to go on vacation. But Gorgeous's dad is going in vacation with his new mistress abandonning Gorgeous for the summer. She decides to ask her aunt to stay at her house with her girlfriends. At the aunt's mansion the girls will meet the aunt and many extravagant experiences.
The first part of the film is unsettling, because it's shot with satured colors and innocent girlish scenes that do not prevent from the madness that will follow. The tone of the film is so candy eye-popping that it kinda felt like you are watching a fairytale. Moreover, many elements of the plot tend to let you think that you are actually watching a fairytale. The stepmother that "steals" Gorgeous's place with her father that felt like an Oedipus Rex complex.
Another element of the plot, the coming of age of the girl as a woman, first represented with the outfits of college girls and later the woman clothes and then the many parts of naked women representing the passage to adulthood. And finally the loads of blood representing the menstruations of the young women depicted. The aunt represents how the older woman that can no longer have children and must destroy her younger opponents to conquer men. The white cat probably reprensents evil itself.
The visual treatment of the film is probably the one thing that betrays it. The effects are outdated and the flamboyant-saturated images reflects the late 1970's. Althought, it gives dynamic images of constant movement. After a while instead of preventing the viewer to get bored, it annoys him because he doen't has the time to fully appreciate the "mise-en-scène".
An issue that annoyed me was the fact that some girls disappear and they are forgotten in the story, as if we were jumping over those details of the movie.
In the whole, this is exhuberant film deserves to be watched by every Horror film lover out there. It is fresh, unique and tells a lot about horror story telling even if it has some flaws...