Blu-ray Review: The House of the Lost on the Cape

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Disasters can force people to just readjust their lives and attitude. Whether they be natural disasters or emotional disasters and even a sports related disaster such as when your quarterback doesn’t notice they stepped out of the endzone and the safety loses the game: disasters are bound to change us. We act like we can overcome or just ignore the impact, but it’s a part of you. The disaster might not define you, but it will inform your approach to living. The House of the Lost on the Cape is a tale about three women who overcome a disaster and discover their new roles in the world. The animated film from Japan starts off delicate and ends with a crescendo of action.

A massive tsunami has hit a seaside town. The ground is covered with the waste from the destructive waves. Through the debris walk three women. Yui (Mana Ashida/Madeleine Morris) is a 17 year old runaway and Hiyori (Risa Mei/Sari Awano) is an 8-year-old who can’t find her parents. They have tagged along with an old woman Kiwa (Pam Doughterty). She’s an odd lady, but has a safe house that all of them can live inside. This is a good thing since so many of the houses in the area have either been destroyed or severally water damaged. Kiwa’s house is Mayoiga and has a bit of mystique to it. The place supposedly heals the travelers that seek refuge under its roof. Both the young girls need to heal. The house has a bit of magic since Kiwa keeps pointing out the little “Fushigitto” that roam the grounds. There’s a lot going on and eventually the three women discover they have a serious and spiritual mission to complete.

The House of the Lost on the Cape is a great experience because it starts rather quiet as the characters attempt to recover from the natural disaster. Hiyori can’t talk. The finale is a massive battle scene that doesn’t seem out of place as the story builds up to the experience. It doesn’t feel like they started a new movie. The pacing sucks you in and makes you believe that this trio must battle a supernatural creature. The House of the Lost on the Cape is a choice piece of seaside storytelling.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer brings out the beauty of the background drawings. The audio is 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 DTS-HD MA in both Japanese and English. Both versions sound fine. The movie is subtitled in English.

DVD has everything on the Blu-ray.

Director Shinya Kawatsura Special Q&A – Amnecy Festival (9:49) goes into how the film was made for the 10th anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. He wanted to make a deep film that was standalone after working on series before. He gets into making the film reflect the novel.

Yui and Kiwa’s Secret Recipes allows you to cook 10 items mentioned in the film including Stir Fried Pork with Bamboo Shoots, Cucumber Sandwich, Milk Pudding, Calabash Stir Fry and Fried Cucumbers. You get the ingredients, the simple instructions on how to prepare and a sense of how long it takes to make it right. You can eat just like the characters.

Trailers (2:10) has the trio moving into the house and finding out the mystery. There’s both the Japanese and English language version of the trailer. We get a sense that there’s a monster lurking in the film.

Shout! Factory and Eleven Arts present The House of The Lost On The Cape. Directed by Shinya Kawatsura. Screenplay by Reiko Yoshida. Starring Mana Ashida, Sari Awano, Shinobu Otake, Madeleine Morris, Risa Mei and Pam Dougherty. Rated: Not Rated. Running Time: 105 minutes. Release Date: September 27, 2022.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.