Moonlight Frights: Sweet Home
Today’s pick for Moonlight Frights is one film that has me bewildered. This classic Japanese horror film later became the basis for a video game. Sweet Home served as the foundation for franchises like Resident Evil and Silent Hill as well as influencing other video games in the survival horror genre.
A team of filmmakers are seeking out the Mamiya mansion to recover Ichirō Mamiya’s frescoes. Kazuo Hoshino is the director leading the crew, with his daughter, Emi, serving as a guide. Others investigating the lost frescoes include photographer, Ryō Taguchi; producer, Akiko Hayakawa; and covering it is reporter, Asuka. These five journey into Mamiya mansion and begin unearthing the artist’s lost works. While uncovering a hidden grave, they realize it was for Mamiya’s young son. After paranormal activity begins occurring, Asuka’s emotional outbursts at the discovery rise viewers’ suspicions of what is happening in this derelict manor.
Needless to say, paranormal activity is the least of their worries. As the true terror reveals itself, the crew begins plotting their survival. One of the deaths of the crewmen is quite gruesome, the scene nauseating me like no other film can do. That alone deserves a special shout out to the special effects and make up artists; their work was phenomenal. As one particular blog put it on a macabre rating system, five incinerated babies out of five.
Sweet Home is anything but a walk in the park. The early tropes of a decrepit mansion provide a scare, with the terror only revealing itself midway. Other caricatures of the horror archetypes included a wise old man, damsel in distress, ominous music disguised as lullabies, y’know, the usual tricks to psych you up. But I faithfully recommend Sweet Home to those looking for a genuine horror flick.