I Do Movies Badly: House
House is uh…an indescribable film. Avant-garde haunted house horror-comedy, Obayashi’s absurdist answer to Jaws is technically innovative, off the wall ridiculous, and a seeming deconstruction of horror archetypes. Also, boring and exhausting (unless you’re Chuck Stephens).
I absolutely agree that this film is not good, and I don’t know why it’s in the Criterion Collection. I really don’t think you can call a film as childish as this “highbrow”, and a film intended to be the answer to Jaws is never going to be “arthouse”. I don’t see the film as “commenting on” or “deconstructing” archetypes: the characters really are just archetypes with only one defining characteristic (which they’re all named after) and that’s it. The Criterion essay you linked to compares them to the Seven Dwarves of the Disney film, and I really don’t think he’s doing anything more than that with such characters.