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The Picture in the House (2007)

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Writer: Ryo Shinagawa
Year: 2007
Country: Japan
Running Time: 12 mins

Posters and Stills:

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

Our Traveller is Caught in the rain.
Our Traveller is Caught in the rain

The House on the Hill.
The House on the Hill

The Old Man.
The Old Man

The Butcher Shop
The Butcher Shop

The Picture in the House (2007)

Based on 'The Picture in the House'.

Set in 1896 - A lone cyclist is caught in the rain while raining through the desolate New England countryside. He spots and isolated house on a hill - sheltering from the rain he enters it. The interiors are old and run down and mostly empty save for some old shelves laden down with dusty tomes. He picks up one of these books titled 'Regnum Congo'. The book is filled with horrific images of murder and human butchery on the Dark Continent.

The traveller is disturbed when he hears footsteps above him and coming down the stairs. The door opens and an old man enters. He talks about the book and how it holds a strange fascination for him, especially the pictures of the human butcher shop. As they are talking, blood from the ceiling drip down on the pages of the book (from an unseen victim, no doubt). The old man laughs like a maniac as the scene fades to black.


The Picture in the House is  part of a collection of 3 short animated adaptations H.P. Lovecraft's work. The other 2 are 'The Dunwich Horror' and  'The Festival'. Done in claymation, and directed by Ryo Shinagawa as part of the Ga-nime series. Ga-nime , a portmanteau of "illustration"  and "anime", is a relatively recent trend in Japanese animation to create highly aesthetic short anime films using non-traditional animation techniques, often directed by artists who have limited involvement with the anime industry. Typically, these films will utilize a series of illustrations accompanied by voice acting and music, with the only motion provided by extremely simplified limited animation, computer animation, camera movements such as panning and zooming, or stop-motion animation. They are generally produced by only a handful of staff members, with the director often writing, illustrating, or even scoring the piece themselves. Since 2006, Toei Animation has produced several ga-nime, directed by various notable artists, including Yoshitaka Amano and Keita Amemiya, on a variety of subjects ranging from original stories to adaptations of the works of Osamu Dazai, Sakutar  Hagiwara, and H. P. Lovecraft.