‘Bath House’ is a Bizarrely Amusing Stop-Motion Fever Dream

By  · Published on April 1st, 2017

Short of the Day

A pool-managing horse is just where the film begins…

It’s Friday and as such I like to try and leave you with a Short of the Day that will linger in your mind over the weekend, and boy oh boy have I found one in Bath House, a stop-motion animated, 15-minute short from Swedish director and animator Niki Lindroth von Bahr that involves a humanoid horse working as a pool manager, a fox couple, and a gang of mice. As you might can tell from this conglomeration of characters, something goes wrong. A few somethings, in fact.

Bath House feels like a short David Lynch might have made if he was feeling playful, or like a foreign interpretation of a Far Side cartoon come to life. The animation is seamless to the point you’ll forget it’s animated in parts, and von Bahr’s decision to use very little dialogue – teamed with the fact that what dialogue there is is in Swedish – heightens the film’s hallucinogenic absurdity.

If you like brain-blowing animation, Bath House’s got you; if you like heady experimental filmmaking, Bath House’s got you; and if you like cool-looking weird shit, Bath House’s got you there, too. In short it’s a short that delivers the goods on a few fronts, so stop reading and start watching.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist