Film: Sweet Home

Sweet Home is a 1989 Japanese haunted house horror movie that would be another obscure piece of cinema sought by horror enthusiasts... if it weren't for the Famicom game of the same name. Experiencing both, in either order, is necessary to fully appreciate the story. Since the trailer advertised both the movie and the game simultaneously, it's safe to say that this was designed as a cross-medium work, despite production on the game starting after production on the film did. Several events occur in a different order.

The story of both the film and the game centers around a five-person crew that ventures into the long-abandoned mansion of famed artist Mamiya Ichirou with the intent of filming a documentary while attempting to restore Mamiya's works. Upon entering the mansion, the group discovers that the ghost of Lady Mamiya (Ichirou's wife) haunts the place — and they're trapped inside. The group must now attempt to find a way out alive...and possibly lay Lady Mamiya to rest once and for all along the way.

The film, like the game, has never been released in the States, though it is also similarly easy to track down.

Not to be confused with Chis Sweet Home (couldn't be farther from it, really).

This film contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Lady Mamiya accidentally killed her baby by turning on the furnace when he was playing inside it.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: This literally happens to Taguchi.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Apocalyptic Log: The frescoes. There are also the notes left behind by a previous group that never made it out of the mansion.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: When Lady Mamiya's spirit manifests herself, Akiko throws a chair at her. Which just explodes upon impact.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The axe. After Taguchi messes with it, almost hurting somebody, he sets it aside in a corner of the house. Asuka is later killed by it when it falls toward her.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Yamamura.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Before Taguchi's death, Asuka is cold and unresponsive to the group. After her Demonic Possession, she wants to leave the group before she causes any harm. But after Taguchi's death, the next time the group sees her, she's literally molten.
  • Demonic Possession: Lady Mamiya possesses Asuka. After killing Asuka, she does this to Emi.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Lady Mamiya was cornered by the townspeople when she was alive, she threw herself in the furnace that killed their children. Ichirou thought that that would stop the horror. He was wrong.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Akiko is almost crushed by one when she sets out to rescue Emi.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • In perhaps the most infamous scene in the game and the movie, Yamamura's skin melts off, leaving only his skeleton behind. In the movie, even that collapses.
    • Even though it happened before the events of the game/movie even take place, innocent children being burned alive is hardly family-friendly.
  • Five-Man Band
    • The Hero: Kazuo - The leader of the crew of five who are creating his documentary.
    • The Lancer: Asuka - An art restorer/reporter. Serves The Lancer role more obviously in the movie, being uncooperative with the group at first.
    • The Medic/The Smart Girl: Akiko - A nurse.
    • The Big Guy: Taguchi/Taro - The cameraman filming the documentary.
    • The Chick: Emi - Kazuo's daughter.
    • Sixth Ranger: Yamamura - Introduced later in the game/movie and isn't trusted by Kazuo at first.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Done by certain enemies who turn out to be Two-Faced monsters. Also happens in the ending where Everybody Lives.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Definitely a major flaw in the movie, especially since — unlike the game — it actually gives Character Development and character background to the cast.
  • Ghost Butler: Happens few times.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Despite not taking discretion in some parts, this happens during Asuka's Shoot the Dog moment.
  • Ha Ha Ha No: When Kazuo starts laughing about Akiko's worries, she does this.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Taguchi becomes this in the movie.
  • Haunted House: Mamiya Ichirou's mansion.
  • Haunted House Historian
  • Heroic BSOD: Asuka, shortly before being killed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Yamamura, in order to save Emi from Demonic Possession.
  • Homicide Machines: The incinerator.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. The accidental death of Mamiya's son is what causes the events of the mansion to unfold.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: To understand exactly what happened to Ichirou, you have to piece together the various bits of story from the frescos. Do so at your own risk.
  • Living Shadow: How Lady Mamiya manifests herself initially.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Invoked by Lady Mamiya, as she's the one haunting the mansion, except for one specific part of the mansion: when the incinerator is located at the end of a hallway from the back door of the mother's room, you've got a messed-up house even without a ghost.
  • Mama Bear: Both the game and movie show just how screwed up this trope can be. To wit: Lady Mamiya wants to make sure her dead baby has "playmates" in the next world, so she kills a bunch of other children in the same way her child was accidentally killed (being burned in an incinerator). When someone digs up her baby's corpse, she returns as a ghost, terrorizing her mansion and brutally killing anyone who comes near.
  • Mr. Exposition: Yamamura, who tells the people of the legend of the mansion.
  • MST: A hilarious one of the movie here. Warning: You may never be able to take the movie seriously again.
  • One-Winged Angel: Lady Mamiya. And it's a rather horrific one too.
  • Posthumous Character: Kenji, Etsuko, Shogo, Takashi, and all of the undead monsters.
  • Say My Name: Emi, Yamamura, and Lady Mamiya's names are shouted.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Memorial Tower where Lady Mamiya's baby is entombed is the only thing stopping Mamiya from haunting the house and continuing to kidnap babies.
  • Shoot the Dog: Asuka has to do this to the zombified Taguchi — with a wrench.
  • Sleep Mask: Asuka is wearing one when she is sleeping in the car.
  • Title Drop: One fresco says "Home Sweet Home" on it, and a song during the climax also does it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Taguchi, for knocking over the memorial. He ends up dead.
  • Toplessness from the Back: We get a glimpse of Akiko doing this as she changes into some new clothes.
  • Tragic Monster: Taguchi.
  • Two-Faced: Ghost of Lady Mamiya appears like this.
  • Wrench Whack: Ami ends up killing Taguchi by bashing his head in with a wrench.