Directed by: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi
1977 / 88 minutes / Unclassified 15+ (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult)


A doomed summer vacation, a flesh-eating house and a feline familiar

House is a fusillade on the brain cells and a smorgasbord of filmic delights, which is apt given that it’s about a house that devours schoolgirls. Described as ‘unhinged extreme’, House (aka Hausu) is an experimental horror film that amalgamates 1970s pop culture with mysterious phenomenology. The late auteur Nobuhiko Ōbayashi had his 11-year-old daughter help with many of the story ideas, lending to the film’s dreamy, phantasmagorical sensibilities. House employs unrealistic special effects, stylised sets, and a storyline where literally anything can happen to a group of teenyboppers vacationing at a mysterious aunt’s mansion for the summer. As the bizarre narrative unfolds, outlandishly gruesome attacks on the girls occur in rapid succession—all closely observed by the pet cat.

House was Ōbayashi’s first feature film after he pioneered Japanese experimental shorts through the 1960s. Along with his background in commercials, the filmmaker’s spirit of radical invention diverged dramatically from Japanese filmmaking at the time, leading to the film’s cult status.

Nobuhiko Ōbayashi won the Blue Ribbon Award for Best New Director in 1978 from the Association of Tokyo Film Journalists.
Audience warning: Contains mild violence and nudity

Saturday 6th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Wednesday 17th February

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Saturday 5th December

National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

Saturday 16th January

General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Sunday 10th January


QAGOMA, Brisbane

Screens in: Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane

Director: Nobuhiko Ōbayashi

Original Story: Chigumi Ōbayashi

Screenplay: Chiho Katsura

Cast: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba and Ai Matsubara

Genre: Fantasy

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

Format: 16mm colour

This film is part of the JFF Classics 2020 program, Provocation and Disruption: Radical Japanese Filmmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s.

From subversive Japanese New Wave cinema to surrealist psychedelic expressions and gritty cyberpunk, Provocation and Disruption features boundary-shattering masterpieces from avant-garde Japanese auteurs including Seijun Suzuki, Shinya Tsukamoto and Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. The program is all about the poetic, the abstract, the visceral and the abrasive in visionary Japanese cinema. This program broadly encapsulates films that were fiercely uncompromising and transcended convention, each leaving its unique mark on Japan’s film industry.