Hausu (1973): Miss Havisham Joins the Donner Party   1 comment


Hausu. Every time I mentioned it to a fellow film lover, I heard, “Trippy!” or “You won’t forget that one.” Intrigued, I finally sat down to watch. At a Japanese school for girls, we meet our protagonists. Like the seven dwarves, our seven school girls exhibit one major personality trait each. Melody loves music. Sweet has a gentle nature. Fantasy has her head in the clouds. Prof reads constantly. Kung Fu lives for sport. Mac thinks of nothing but food, and Gorgeous is, as you might have guessed, gorgeous. Due to a change in their original plans to enjoy a holiday by the sea, the girls go instead to visit Gorgeous’ aunt in the country. The aunt lives alone pining for her fiancé who died in the war. Weak and wheelchair bound, Auntie never quite got over his death or that she never married. She lives isolated from the rest of the world. Through a series of flashbacks we see Auntie as she was with her lover and then after his death, looking bitter, at her sister’s wedding.
Soon after the girls arrive at Auntie’s house with their fluffy white cat, weird things start to happen.

cartoon cat

Part fairy tale and part horror, Hausu both embraces and parodies slasher films. People die in weird ways and as their number starts to dwindle, the girls get more frightened and the pace more frenetic. Girls disappear, Auntie gains strength, and the skeleton in her kitchen does another dance.

Auntie and friend

Lines like “There’s a human hand in there.” and “Just let me eat you.” contribute to the Little Shop of Horrors vibe. The effects get stranger too. The cat’s green glowing eyes and the cut paper animation superimposed on live-action film look different from any other film I’ve seen.

cut paper

I enjoyed Hausu because it looks so different and combines fantasy, horror, and fairy tale well. I mean, how can you dislike a film which includes death by piano?

natalie portman in the professional
Does Auntie remind you of Natalie Portman in The Professional?

Posted July 13, 2014 by Kerry Fristoe in Reviews

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One response to “Hausu (1973): Miss Havisham Joins the Donner Party

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  1. Reblogged this on clawkent.

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