The haunted house movie is a time-honored tradition, and it has taken many forms. Houses can be spooky – especially big, empty run-down places where people have surely been murdered. It just occurred to me to look up what the first ever haunted house movie was, and what I've come up with is the 1927 silent film The Cat and the Canary (although it's not definitive; there may have been earlier such films). The earliest known mention of a haunted house actually came from a letter written by Pliny the Younger, who lived from year 61-112. So, a while ago. And while it's not Halloween anymore, it's still cold and dark outside, with swirling wind and falling leaves, and the mood is right to experience a bizarre Japanese interpretation of the phenomenon.
We do this by way of a midnight screening of the Nobuhiko Obayashi film Hausu (or House), a cult classic from 1977 that I have regrettably not seen, but those who have swear by its utter insanity. (Watch the trailer below, it's pretty apparent.) It tells the story of Oshare, a young girl who was going to spend summer vacation with her father, until she found out that her father's girlfriend would be along. She changes her mind, going instead to visit her aunt's house, taking along a posse of friends (including a daydreamer named Fanta and a musician named Melody). Once there, they realize that something is not right, as the house begins to devour them one by one.
Baxter Avenue Theater presents a midnight screening of House tomorrow, Saturday. Baxter Avenue Theater is located at 1250 Bardstown Road. Further theater information and showtimes can be found at the theater's website.
Image: Internet Movie Database