House

How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s indescribable 1977 movie House (Hausu)? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby-Doo as directed by Mario Bava? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits, a demonic house cat, a bloodthirsty piano, and other ghoulish visions, all realized by Obayashi via mattes, animation, and collage effects. Equally absurd and nightmarish, House might have been beamed to Earth from some other planet. Never before available on home video in the United States, it’s one of the most exciting cult discoveries in years.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Constructing a "House," a new video piece featuring interviews with director Nobuhiko Obayashi, story scenarist and daughter of the filmmaker Chigumi Obayashi, and screenwriter Chiho Katsura
  • Emotion, a 1966 experimental film by Obayashi
  • New video appreciation by director Ti West (House of the Devil)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Chuck Stephens

Cover design by Sam Smith

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Constructing a "House," a new video piece featuring interviews with director Nobuhiko Obayashi, story scenarist and daughter of the filmmaker Chigumi Obayashi, and screenwriter Chiho Katsura
  • Emotion, a 1966 experimental film by Obayashi
  • New video appreciation by director Ti West (House of the Devil)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Chuck Stephens

Cover design by Sam Smith

House
Cast
Kimiko Ikegami
Gorgeous
Miki Jinbo
Kung Fu
Kumiko Oba
Fantasy
Ai Matsubara
Prof
Mieko Sato
Mac
Eriko Tanaka
Melody
Masayo Miyako
Sweet
Kiyohiko Ozaki
Mr. Togo
Saho Sasazawa
Daddy
Asei Kobayashi
Watermelon man
Tomokazu Miura
Auntie's fiancé
Fumi Dan
Teacher
Godiego
Godiego
Haruko Wanibuchi
Ryoko Ema
Yoko Minamida
Auntie
Credits
Director
Nobuhiko Obayashi
Producer
Nobuhiko Obayashi
Producer
Yorihiko Yamada
Concept by
Chigumi Obayashi
Screenplay
Chiho Katsura
Cinematography
Yoshitaka Sakamoto
Production design
Kazuo Satsuya
Music
Asei Kobayashi
Music
Mickie Yoshino
Songs performed by
Godiego
Editing
Nobuo Ogawa
Director of special effects
Nobuhiko Obayashi

From The Current

Mike Portnoy’s Top 10

Mike Portnoy is one of the founding members of Dream Theater. He is currently the drummer in the Winery Dogs, Twister Sister, Transatlantic, Flying Colors, the Neal Morse Band, and Metal Allegiance.


Feb 27, 2017
Austin Garrick’s Top 10

The Toronto-based songwriter-producer Austin Garrick is one-half (alongside vocalist Bronwyn Griffin) of the electronic pop duo Electric Youth, whose full-length debut album, Innerworld, was released in September 2014 by Secretly Canadian/Last Gang R


Sep 29, 2014
Criterion Screams!
Criterion Screams!

Eighty-nine seconds of pure Criterion terror. How many of these scream-worthy movies can you name?

On Film / Short Takes
Oct 31, 2013
Cover Story

This week, Time is all too happy to judge a movie by its cover. Gilbert Cruz, an editor at the magazine, has compiled a list called “Top 10 Cool Criterion Collection Covers.” Cruz’s taste in design tends toward illustration over photography, th…


Feb 22, 2011
Top Ten by Design

If you’re a movie lover, you’re probably overdosing on year-end top ten lists these days. Odds are, though, none of the ones you’ve seen are quite like this one by Sam Smith, the graphic designer who provided the cover images for Criterion’s …


Jan 7, 2011
Entering House

In a new interview at the blog Hamster Triathlon, Criterion’s Curtis Tsui reveals that he was a fan of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House long before it became cinema’s cult crush object du jour. Tsui, who produced our release of this piece of comic-hor…


Nov 5, 2010
House: The Housemaidens

A coming-of-age story about a clique of teenage schoolgirls who will never grow old and a demon spirit in the guise of a spinster who was never young, Nobuhiko Obayashi’s eye-poppingly demented, jaw-droppingly inventive House is 1970s Japanese p…

By Chuck Stephens


Oct 26, 2010
Introducing Kuroneko

Hot on the heels of the hit theatrical run of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s cult sensation House, Janus Films is premiering another unsung Japanese horror movie with a feline twist. Kuroneko (Black Cat), a chilling 1968 ghost story directed by the incredible…


Oct 22, 2010
Caption Contest Winners

Last month, we asked you to give us a hand in creating brief ad taglines for our October titles. The response, in comments on the Criterion Current, was so overwhelming that we had trouble narrowing it down. Congratulations to the winners, Andy J., …


Oct 6, 2010
At Work with Curtis Tsui on Paths of Glory
At Work with Curtis Tsui on Paths of Glory

I work in the editorial department here at Criterion, and I’ve recently taken it on myself to do a little poking around at the office, to find out what my colleagues have going on and share that with visitors to the Current. Producer Curtis Tsui is…

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House: Come Inside
Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House: Come Inside

Quick—what 1977 slapstick-horror movie features floating severed heads, a man transformed into a pile of fruit, a girl-eating piano, and the occasional stop-motion tangent? If you can’t answer now, you’ll be able to soon, because Nobuhiko Obaya…


Jan 13, 2010
Introducing Nobuhiko Obayashi

Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi, who made the utterly bonkers 1977 kinda-horror film House, currently getting a first-time American theatrical run from Janus Films, is profiled by Paul Roquet in a new essay for Midnight Eye. One of the few pieces…


Nov 13, 2009