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House (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1977)

Kimiko Ikegami , Kumiko Ohba , Nobuhiko Obayashi  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kimiko Ikegami, Kumiko Ohba, Yoko Minamida
  • Directors: Nobuhiko Obayashi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003WKL6X0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,995 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "House (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Constructing a House, a new video piece with director Nobuhiko Obayashi
  • Emotion, a 1966 experimental film by Obayashi
  • New video appreciation by director Ti West (House of the Devil)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by Chuck Stephens

  • Editorial Reviews

    How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s indescribable 1977 movie HOUSE (Hausu)? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby-Doo as directed by Mario Bava? Any of the above will do for this 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, all realized by Obayashi via a series of mattes, animation, and collage effects. Equal parts absurd and nightmarish, HOUSE might have been beamed to Earth from some other planet. Never before available on home video in the United States, it’s one of the most exciting cult discoveries in years.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One release I never thought I'd see in my lifetime.. September 16, 2010
    By ac
    Criterion is a great company -- arguably, the best DVD releasing company in the world. They are known for standards of excellence that aren't traditionally seen in most other companies' releases; not only in their DVD transfers and special features, but for the consistent high quality of the films they release. Most of the films Criterion release are already well-established, traditional, "classic" films. So, it's always nice to see a somewhat more "obscure" film get the Criterion treatment -- this film definitely deserves it.

    While not completely "obscure" -- it's quite well-known in Japan, as well as amongst underground horror and experimental film lovers around the world -- it certainly doesn't seem as, dare I say, "important" as many other Criterion releases. But being the underdog works here, since the film only costs $26 brand new (well below most "big" Criterion film's releases) so it will hopefully motivate more people to check out this work of art.

    ...YES, a work of art. While touted as a "horror" film, this most resembles an art film, one of the more experimental variety, and it is masterfully-shot and -directed. Utilizing all sorts of outrageous effects and downright bizarre editing, this often brings to mind directors like Shuji Terayama (Emperor Tomato Ketchup) and Toshio Matsumoto (Funeral Procession of Roses). While there are some more straightforward "horror" elements -- skeletons, an evil kitty -- most of them are downright silly, and remind me somewhat of American "classic" b-movie cheesefest Spookies than any serious work of horror. It is NEVER scary, and gets by mainly on absurdity and cheese.

    So, why is this film getting 5 stars? Why is it "worthy" of a Criterion release?
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    39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    Every once in a while you read about a film that it's indescribable and like nothing you've ever seen before. Usually that's hyperbole; it's just a bit offbeat. Not in this case. House (made in 1977) is genuinely like no other film I'd ever seen before, and I loved every minute. The closest in vibe to this film that I've seen is Funky Forest: The First Contact - but that one's all over the place, and lacks the continuity of a single strange story like House. It's surreal horror, a hallucinatory and often hilarious supernatural thriller about Japanese schoolgirls who spend their school vacation visiting the aging aunt of their classmate. This is the kind of film you want to see in theaters if you have a chance - but barring that see it at home, after it's out on dvd, with an open-minded crowd of friends who dig foreign, cult or arthouse films.

    Gorgeous, as she's known, is irate that her father has decided to remarry, and so she invites her friends to stay in the aging and empty country house of her aunt rather than go with her father and his fiancee on vacation. We are introduced to each of her friends, all of whom have nicknames that describe their temperament and character: there is the beautiful Gorgeous, there's the apparently dreamy and gullible Fantasy, the brainy Professor, the always hungry Mac, the musical Melody, and so on. Along the way, on a magical train ride in which the animated fantasy background that shines through the windows of the train seems to resemble a film strip, she tells them how her aunt had once loved a man who promised to come for her after the war, but never returned.
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    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely enthralling July 25, 2011
    There is very little I could say about House to do it justice. It is such a unique film that anything I say about it will be misleading. Suffice it to say that in a world where the same movie is remade over and over and over House is something that appears to be completely original. It is also extremely entertaining. I am grateful to the Criterion Collection for bringing this outstanding film to my attention. If you are reading this page then your curiosity is already sparked. If you find yourself interested in watching an extremely absurd and funny horror/art film with great visuals, then you cannot go wrong buying this DVD.
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    10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Buy it, very cool. March 3, 2011
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    The people who are giving this movie bad reviews need to loosen up. This movie is great. The most amazing 70's visual effects I have seen besides Star Wars... If you are in to the "vintage 70's film look", Michel Gondry, Japanese pop art, 70's horror movies, Phsycedelic art, ect.., you will love this! And NO you do not have to be high to love this, you just have to have good taste.
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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    Normally, I would NEVER even consider watching the bonus supplements or featurettes prior to watching the film itself, for the most obvious reasons - spoilers, hindsight recollections and justifications, and often the BS that those involved in production conjure up several decades after the film was made to make themselves appear more clever and grandiose than was probably the case. By the same token, if I don't enjoy a film, I usually can't be convinced by these features that I'm missing the boat - you either like something or don't, with few exceptions, IMHO. That said, sometimes, as infrequent as it is, when I'm still scratching my head when a flick is over, the bonuses will illuminate and enlighten to the point where I now have received the clarification necessary for me to fully comprehend and enjoy aspects of a film obscured to me for one reason or another. Such is the case with 'House', almost more so than any foreign flick I've ever seen.

    When a film is hyped up to be 'all that', my expectations lead me to be only one thing - let down. When you read the Amazon product details as well as the dvd cover description, the promise sounds far too brilliant to be realized, so I decided to do a little research. After reading several website reviews, I felt I was getting farther from the truth instead of closer, so I decided to watch the bonus features before I sat through the actual movie. This is one of the few times when doing so proved to be absolutely essential to my overall viewing experience and ultimate enjoyment of this minor yet remarkable movie.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars As Picasso said: every child is an artist. (Read last paragraph).
    *Great odd-ball classic of 60s 70s experimental filmmaking.* It is both very Japanese and also universal in that time period of experimental cinema, I'd compare it (very loosely)... Read more
    Published 24 days ago by G. Johnson
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Published 1 month ago by Andrew Lee
    2.0 out of 5 stars This "House" should be condemned.
    This movie plays with your head by starting out fun and John Hughes-esque when it features your seven incredibly beautiful and sizzling hot Japanese girls that lead the movie... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by TechnoMachinima1996
    1.0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't bother!
    Possibly the worst horror movie I have ever seen. It's basically a movie version of an anime. The special effects are poor and the dialog is childish.
    Published 2 months ago by Thomas E. Tucker
    4.0 out of 5 stars That's when the fun really starts
    Ok, this is a crazy movie when you are sober. I suggest watching this while you are tripping balls. That's when the fun really starts.
    Published 2 months ago by shusmita
    1.0 out of 5 stars I found it quite boring. Unentertaining
    I found it quite boring. Unentertaining, and a rip off.
    Published 2 months ago by jessica zimmermann
    5.0 out of 5 stars What did I just watch!?!
    There are no words for this psychedelic fever dream of a movie. I first saw it at my local museum with friends and soon to be wife and step kids. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Mechanicoid
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Hilarious and new found Halloween classic
    Published 3 months ago by Jp
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    What the heck did I just watch?
    Published 3 months ago by denversk8
    5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Gem: Best Gaggle of Lost Girls Ever!
    This is a masterpiece I knew was out there. Years ago I saw Eko Eko Azarak: Misa the Dark Angel, where a gaggle of vivacious, attractive schoolgirls go to a wilderness retreat and... Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Binky Chottorrhœhia
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