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Weird can be good, as long as it's compelling to watch. And that luckily is the case with Takashi Miike's horror musical "Katakuri-ke no kôfuku".

Basically the one thing that this movie has really got going for it is the fact that it's a real joyful movie to watch. It's an horror, that got presented as a feel good movie. An unusual approach to the genre, to say the very least but it does work out well and the movie is a true pleasant, though weird, experience to watch.

Of course this movie is quite weird, after all, it's a Takashi Miike movie and the concept of the movie also isn't exactly a very common one. But you actually get used to its weirdness pretty fast, since you're taking real easily by the movie its cheerful atmosphere, silly musical routines and its good humorous approach. There will be still people that just can't get into this movie of course, since it's a movie that isn't simply for all tastes but I think that overall most people will truly enjoy this movie, even those that aren't familiar with Takashi Miike other work or style of film-making.

You can also really take this movie as a spoof on the entire musical genre and scene. It pokes fun at the type of cheerful and colorful musicals in which the characters burst out in singing suddenly, for no real apparent reason. These type of movies also aren't exactly my favorite thing, so I could really appreciate the movie for sort of making fun of it, by going over-the-top and adding all sort of horror elements, that are obviously in large contrast with the 'normal' musical genre. And having said that; the musical moments in themselves are also quite good. They are well shot, choreographed (deliberatly silly and over-the-top) and some of the songs are quite catchy, even if you don't understand Japanese at all.

But just like basically all Takashi Miike movies, the movie is not just one thing. It's not only just a musical but so much more really. When you start analyzing its story it completely plays out as a standard and familiar horror movie, with slasher elements in it. But also all of the characters are more complex than they seem at first sight. Also comedy and drama plays a central role in the movie its story and on top of that, the movie becomes a claymation movie as well at times. It makes the movie always a surprise to watch, since you literally really have no idea what will happen next. It's too weird and too unique to predict anything.

If I'll have to say one negative thing about this movie is that it's being a bit too long for the movie that it is. The movie could and should had wrapped up things sooner really. Not that the movie becomes boring but it does start to drag toward its end and even though the movie is well below 2 hours, it feels like a much longer one.

Other than that, a greatly cheerful and unique horror musical from Takashi Miike (who else?).

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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