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My Girlfriend is a Serial Killer - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Hitsuji to Okami no Koi to Satsujin

Japan 2019

Romance, Comedy, Thriller

Kayoko Asakura

Haruka Fukuhara
Yosuke Sugino
Manami Enosawa
Noriko Eguchi
Show Kasamatsu
Naoya Shimizu
Wataru Ichinose

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My Girlfriend is a Serial Killer

My Girlfriend is a Serial Killer - Film Screenshot 1

Story: Etsuro Kurosu (Yosuke Sugino) doesn't get accepted at university, and so he lives a secluded life in his apartment. Since he has not had any perspective in life for a while now, he decides to commit suicide. But the shelf from which he wants to hang himself, breaks off the wall. And this creates a hole in the wall, through which he can see into his neighbor's apartment. To his surprise, his neighbor Rio Miyaichi (Haruka Fukuhara) is a beautiful young woman who goes to university, and so he has a new hobby: he watches the girl in her everyday life. In the course of time, his feelings for her grow. One day, however, he watches her skillfully slitting a man's throat with a cutter. Kurosu cannot believe what he saw, especially since he finally becomes acquainted with her in front of the apartment building. She actually invites him to dinner at her place, and his feelings for her become even stronger. The two keep having dinner together, but then Kurosu sees her murdering somebody again. This time, though, Miyaichi realizes that she had a witness. She wants to kill Kurosu, but since he has nothing left in life anyway, except for Miyaichi who has turned out to be a murderer, he doesn't object. The neighbor finds the young man's behavior interesting, so she doesn't kill him and instead agrees to date him. But how is Kurosu supposed to cope with the fact that his girlfriend is constantly killing people?

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My Girlfriend is a Serial Killer - Film Screenshot 4

Review: The title of this horror romantic comedy kind of makes you think of a Korean romcom, but the fact that the movie is based on a manga by Rahson and the original title of the movie can be translated as "Love and Murder of Sheep and Wolf" should probably make it clear that we are dealing with an unusual mixture here which cannot be pigeonholed. If you are not necessarily a big fan of romantic comedies, but you are still looking for a rather light-hearted movie as evening entertainment, you will have some fun here. Of course, what is particularly fascinating is the fact that we are dealing with a murdering protagonist and a hero who is not necessarily pleased about that, but as he has little interest in other people anyway, he is able to ignore or accept many things out of love. But the tension in the relationship doesn't get eliminated by that. So, you are actually quite interested in the development of this strange relationship.

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It's not only murder, but also topics such as suicide and voyeurism which are treated with a lightheartedness that might offend extremely conservative people. But the movie's black humor is exactly what aroused my interest, and if you can't handle that kind of humor, you should just avoid this flick. You cannot take anything seriously here, and the blood, which often splashes around in (intentionally?) bad CGI, is proof of that. On other occasions, however, you can see real film blood splattering on the walls and there is even one scene in which you get to see the deadly wound up close. Had it not been for the latter, the violence in "My Girlfriend is a Serial Killer" could have been called insignificant, even though the finale includes a small scene full of carnage. In the end, however, director Kayoko Asakura does not try to push the contrast between love story and violence to extremes. But it's a pleasant thing, especially coming from a female filmmaker, that we don't get the kind of kitsch story like in "My Little Monster". Instead, we get something with a special touch.

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At first glance, Miyaichi is a cute girl who is very popular at university but is also known for brushing everybody off. The reason for that is her sociopathic nature. She can't and won't start a relationship with anybody, but she wants to become a little bit more "normal" and is curious about what a life like that would feel like. So, she befriends Kurosu and eventually their relationship becomes closer. Nevertheless, the killer would probably never have shown interest in dating if it weren't for Kurosu not caring about his own life. Through the relationship, Kurosu becomes more hopeful again, while the viewer hopes that love might put Miyaichi back on the right track. But instead, the girl has a lot of fun slitting her next victims' throats right in front of her boyfriend (and sometimes even in extremely risky public places, like somewhere in an alley). In the end, things turn out as they had to, and her boyfriend has issues with the fact that she murders people. But then the problem arises that he wants to change her, something that never ends well in a relationship, especially since she is by no means ready for it and is not dependent on a boyfriend at all.

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Especially in this respect, you would have expected a little more depth from the movie, because twisting the motif of wanting to change the other person and therefore destroying the relationship is quite fascinating. In the second half, however, the director begins to lose a little bit of focus by introducing another girl. Moreover, there is a new threat, which is quite obviously supposed to lead us to a somewhat spectacular finale. In addition, it is also unclear what purpose Reina and her team serve, who dispose of the bodies. With that Miyaichi's murders are supposed to get a framework, but things stay pretty undefined, and so does the concept that the girl only kills according to certain rules. Does she just off criminals/murderers, like in "Dexter", or are there other rules which are based on more selfish reasons? Is she a trained killer? Because it appears that she has a rather interesting technique with which she slits her victims' throats.

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The "heroine" of the story stays a little too flat, but Haruka Fukuhara manages to give her character the necessary charisma and a certain mysteriousness that keeps us interested. While Yosuke Sugino ("Tokyo Revengers") serves us as a compass throughout the morally questionable events, Kurosu is not as three-dimensional as would have been necessary, though. As I said before, the movie kind of loses its focus towards the end, which a short, action-packed finale proves; although the choreography is pretty well-done, and Miyaichi uses something like ballet as a fighting style which makes her flow past everyone like water. Certain scenes also show a role-reversal (this time, the murderer who is forced to keep killing is a woman, or it is actually the man who wants to change the woman here), which is very refreshing, and an action movie with this premise would also have been most welcome. Here, the action seems like an unnecessary bonus, though. Nevertheless, it is a positive thing that the atmosphere is never really that of a romantic comedy, but still remains carefree, and there is black humor everywhere, too. "My Girlfriend is a Serial Killer" would have needed some finishing touches, but despite everything, this movie is still pretty entertaining.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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