Simply hilarious. Sweet. Tender. Good natured. This may be the feel-good film of the year and it had me and the audience laughing constantly. I loved this film. And it ends perfectly with just the right amount of heart when a simple "arigato" says everything that has to be said and life is fine, totally fine. The plot is minimalistic - in fact there really isn't one to speak of - it is just a quirky take on life filled with a few lovable characters that just don't quite fit in - a little bit reminiscent of Taste of Tea. Teruo (the slightly portly and always bemused Yoshiyoshi Arakawa ) lives in a used bookstore with his father and is fascinated with horror and has a roomful of ghastly looking dolls and creatures - your typical horror geek. Though he takes it further with some fabulously funny pranks. He wants to build the ultimate Horror House - that will literally scare people to death. His friend and cohort in these pranks is Hisanobu (Yoshinori Okada), an amiable administrator in a hospital. Into their lives comes Akari (Yoshino Kimura) an accident prone very shy woman who can't seem to do anything right - but capture hearts. Not much happens - but the characters and the absurdities of life generate a sweet tasting never nasty mood filled with mirth and good feelings. See this if it ever comes your way.
My rating for this film: 8.5