House Blu Ray review

Japanese cinema released a plethora of films in the year of Star Wars 1977. This half crazed, Teen bubblegum, surrealist, Haunted house, nightmare masterpiece was the most significant for film fans. Taking five girls, lead by Angel a mischievous but depressed teen who has dragged the other four to her Aunts mansion in the woods. Inside they find that the horrors acted out here have manifested in supernaturally outrageous events.  From the physical embodiment of fear in a decapitated head to the spectre of a cat that stalks the shadows. Its a fair ride that will make for a great night of dreams and screams…

I was luck enough to have studied with a very fun loving, film fan who happened to be from Japan and had a Gordie accent. She introduced me and my two friends to a series of great Nippon classics. I covered the European films and my friends the Indian cinema or more directly Bollywood. ‘House’ was one of those films she screened for us and I loved it. They others guys not so much but they were always honest enough to say so! The reason I love House is and then was simple. Its an uproar of art, meets angst meets film. It makes you work for its goods, without drowning in form analysis. Director Nobuhiko Obayashi is as well known for being an artist as a film maker and that comes front and centre here. This i think allows him to mix multiple film genres, visual styles and editing processes to blend them majestically into a comedy come horror film come surrealist wonder.

The Blu Ray is lite on the ground but what is on there is below. The 1080 transfer takes the DVD up a notch and is very nice. Comparing the two it is very clear which is more loved. The VHS I saw some 20 years ago was awful so this transfer brings out the colour hues, animated scenes and those light filters nicely. The Cairns essay has range but lacks anything really new being on offer. He is a great film commentator but it feels like he wants to walk over the pre trodden path. The booklet however is great and Roquet adds a level of dynamic thought to his piece. Tjhe best thing on the whole work however is that interview series….



  • Stunning 1080p presentation from a high-definition digital transfer
  • Original monaural soundtrack presented as uncompressed LPCM audio
  • Optional English subtitles | An exclusive video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns
  • 90-minute archive of interviews with director Nobuhiko Obayashi, scenarist Chigumi Obayashi, actress Kumiko Oba, and Toho promotional executive Shoho Tomiyama
  • Original Japanese theatrical trailer
  • A collector s booklet featuring an essay by Paul Roquet; poster gallery; and archival imagery

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