Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating Halloween with 31 days of horror double feature recommendations. Each day of the week will have its own theme, with today’s being Weird Wednesday! And if you want see what’s in store or what you missed, see the Daily Double schedule.
On Weird Wednesdays we’ll walk with the movies that go off the beaten path…as though machete-wielding hockey mask killer zombies were ‘normal’ anyways. For this Daily Double, it’s bizarre takedowns of hearth and home from the lonely island of Japan!
If the structure of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 cult classic Hausu lops off your head with its non-sequitur twists and turns, there’s good reason for it. Obayashi began his career as an experimental commercial director but wanted to broaden his body of work by writing and directing his first feature film. As legend has it, Obayashi believed our imaginations are never more fertile than when they are young, so he found inspiration in his young daughter when he asked her to describe to him in detail all the scary dreams she had. Inexplicable but frightening, these child’s nightmares provided the basis for what would become one of the trippiest and scariest horror-comedies ever made. Hausu is about seven giggling Japanese school girls who travel to a woman’s rural home, where they meet a cast of strange characters. This movie has everything: Shapeshifting watermelons, severed heads, aggressively violent mattresses and grandfather clock prisons. For the feline fanciers among you, be prepared for a fluffy white cat with special talent. Like something between The Picture of Dorian Gray, the nonsensical hotel horror of The Shining, and The Monkees, Hausu is a marvel of oddities crafted with great purpose — to scare the bejesus out of kids and return every adult back to their sleeping-with-the-light-on childhood.