Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.
Oshare (Gorgeous) is excited about spending summer vacation with her father, until she finds out that his beautiful, freakishly serene girlfriend Ryouko would be going as well. Oshare decides she will be going to her aunt's house in the country instead. She brings with her her friends from school - Fanta (who likes to take pictures, and daydreams a lot), KunFuu (who has very good reflexes), Gari/Prof (who is a major nerd), Sweet (who likes to clean), Mac (who eats a lot), and Melody (a musician). However, the girls are unaware that Oshare's aunt is actually dead and the house is actually haunted. When they arrive at the house, crazy events take place and the girls disappear one by one while slowly discovering the secret behind all the madness. Written by
According to director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, this is the first Japanese film to use video effects, which he applied in a scene to make one of the girls "dissolve" underwater through low fidelity video and a simple chroma key effect. See more »
An Ingeniously Bizarre Fairy Tale - Easily one of The Weirdest Flicks Ever made
Wow! Noribuki Obayashi's "Hausu" aka. "House" of 1977 is easily one of the weirdest films I ever saw and I generally generally am a fan of the bizarre. A Horror-fan and avid lover of Japanese cinema, especially from the 70s, I had high expectations for this film, and I was not disappointed, even though the film was totally different than what I had expected. Having read no reviews of the film before seeing it, I expected a pure Horror film, but it turned out to be an incomparably bizarre and experimental Horror-parody, with a delightfully macabre and grotesque humor rather than scares. The film already starts out extremely strange (in an awesome manner), and it gradually gets weirder and weirder as it goes on.
The film starts off with a bunch of teenage high-school girls, all of whom have certain distinctive characteristics that are mentioned in their nicknames, who travel to the countryside to visit the aunt of one of the girls. I don't want to spoil even a tiny bit of the plot of this unique Horror-parody, and therefore won't carry with a plot description, but I can assure that fans of surrealism and weird cinema will be delighted. While "Hausu" is not a film I would recommend to everyone, this is an absolute must-see to all my fellow fans of Japanese film, the Horror-genre and bizarre art-house cinema. Director Obayashi uses a bizarre of editing imaginable, with grotesque cutting, totally insane effects. Sometimes the editing equals that of a (bizarre) video-clip, only to jump to an entirely different style. Yet all this strangeness never draws the viewer away from the story, which is itself just as surreal as the film's style. Overall "Hausu" can be described as a unique and bizarre fairy tale with a grotesque and ingenious, often macabre and always unique sense of humor. There are moments in this film at which the viewer will just stare at the screen not knowing what to think, and scenes at which one is barely able to breathe in laughter, and every second of the film is very strange. Very delightfully strange that is, as "Hausu" is a bizarre gem that must not be missed by lovers of the surreal. Mainstream audiences might not know what to think of this, but every fan of a more unique form of cinema should give this a try. Surreal, exceptional, and one of a kind!
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