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A cult phenomenon in Japan that spread abroad with re-releases on Janus and Criterion, Obayashi’s 1977 fever-dream House (“Hausu”) is a delirious and delicious haunted house flick worth seeking out. Shot with every hallucinatory, purposefully unrealistic editing and special effects technique in the book, House is playful, laugh-out-loud funny, and cringe-inducingly cheesy.

The plot doesn’t matter. The characters don’t matter. The dialogue doesn’t matter. Not even the repetitive music really matters.

Just shake up a cocktail, sit back on the sofa, switch off your analytical mind, and watch the madness unfold as Obayashi plays with every cinematic trick you can think of– and then invents some more.

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