Indeed, it is nearly impossible to prepare oneself for a film like Hausu. Calling this film “bizarre” would be a drastic understatement. It certainly is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen before, and has left me virtually perplexed, yet strangely fascinated. At the same time, the film itself isn’t necessarily “ground-breaking”, as many of the techniques used are recycled and turn the film into something that could easily be brushed off as novelty. It really has something entirely different going for it.
Overall, this is about as much coherence as can be found in the tale. There is some form of a subplot involving a doomed romance of the past, and even the aunt’s cat Blanche is somehow connected. Eventually, things start to go wrong when the seven girls are essentially trapped in the house, and start disappearing one by one. The first girl, Mac, is decapitated, and her floating head is turned into a watermelon. Later on, a piano eats off the fingers of the girl by the name of Melody, before consuming her body whole. And those aren’t even the weirdest scenes.
Does this film make very much sense? Not really. However, I think that’s the point. The film itself seems to be very conscious of the fact that it isn’t conventional. Hausu doesn’t seek to scare audiences, or leave them at the edge of their seats, or even to form any sort of valuable ties with the characters or events at all. It seeks to create an atmosphere that is difficult to describe, perhaps hard to swallow, yet oddly poetic in its absolute, nonsensical hybridity. And boy, does it succeed in that.