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The Happiness of the Katakuris is a 2001 Japanese film directed by Takashi Miike, and is very loosely based on the South Korean film The Quiet Family. This movie blends so many different elements that it utterly defies description. It is in roughly equal parts Surreal Horror, Black Comedy, Musical, and Farce.
The Katakuri family, after a long string of failures decide to pool their remaining resources and open a guest house in the country. At first, this seems like a great idea that is finally bringing a measure of success to the family; until their guests start dropping dead. Not from mysterious or supernatural means, nor even the result of a serial killer; but for purely mundane reasons. Suicide, heart failure, and so on. All played strictly for laughs as the family attempts to hide the bodies, in order to prevent the deaths from ruining the house's reputation; because, after all, dead bodies are bad for business.
This film contains examples of:
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Played for laughs. The narrator's a little girl; her mother randomly decided to run away from her father while pregnant; her uncle used to be a successful Salaryman... until the day he flipped out; and Grandpa is on death's door for most of the film.
- Black Comedy: And how.
- Blatant Lies: Richard is a big fan of this.
- Dead Baby Comedy: This is Takashi Miike after all.
- Failure Is the Only Option: One of the main sources of the film's Black Comedy.
- Foreign Remake: Of a Korean movie called The Quiet Family.
- Gorn: Only one scene, where a man commits suicide by stabbing himself with a sharpened key.
- Leading to a musical number where the Katakuris ask "He had a knife, why didn't he use that?!?"
- The bit with an imp tearing out a woman's uvula is kind of gorn-ish, but it's in Claymation.
- Gratuitous English: Played for Laughs. Richard Sagawa randomly peppers his speech with English words in an attempt to back up his dubious claims that he's a British Navy Officer.
- Medium Blending: Several sequences are done in Claymation.
- Of Corpse He's Alive: Pretty much all the guests.
- Our Zombies Are Different: They sing and dance!
- Out with a Bang: A sumo wrestler who dies of a heart attack during sex; and his girlfriend who is unfortunately trapped underneath.
- Pastiche: Of so many things; including classic Hollywood musicals and horror films.
- Rule of Funny: Especially if it's darkly funny.
- Zany Scheme