The premise of The Happiness of the Katakuris is like this: A middling patriach of a Japanese family leaves behind his mundane shoe sales job in order to open up a bed-and-breakfast at the foot of Mt. Fuji and drags his whole family along for the ride. However, when they finally get their first guests, each one ends up dying overnight. Desperate to stave off police suspicion and save the family business, they decide to bury the growing number of bodies in the nearby grounds.
Now, this sounds pretty macabre, like some sort of Asian “The Telltale Heart.” A conventional treatment of a plot such as this might be a quiet, haunting horror movie filled with chilling imagery, deadly silences and mounting dread that culminates into a terrifying treatise on guilt and paranoia.
But this movie was made by Takashi Miike, so it’s a musical comedy instead.