Ten years ago American audiences turned to Japanese horror films for a fresh jolt of scares as the slice-and-dice slasher routines of Freddy, Jason and Co. had lost their edge. But thanks to a rash of American remakes and an endless parade of black-haired, pale-white spooks, the bloom is now off the J-horror rose. Oddly enough, those searching for a truly unique experience from the land of the rising sun should look back to director Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 psychedelic fright-fantasy flick Hausu (House), playing this weekend as part of Webster University's film series. Described by distributor Janus Films as an episode of Scooby-Doo directed by Dario Argento, Obayashi modeled his film on a stream of consciousness ghost story narrated by his eleven-year-old daughter, and created a sugar-high, effects-saturated midnight movie pileup that delivers the missing link between Kwaidan and Pee-wee's Playhouse. Run, don't walk, to Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries) to catch Hausu at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (June 11 through 13). Tickets are $5 to $6.
June 11-13, 2010