Story: When Eiji and his mother return to their family estate, things are less than ideal, as the property is sought after by a predatory investment firm. The land has somehow resisted the ever increasing urban sprawl, a rural, isolated property that is covered in natural wonders. This is of course why the land developers are so insistent to acquire the land, since it could lead to massive sales numbers if developed. But Eiji and his family want to keep the land natural and untouched, even his blind cousin Takiri, who is shrouded in mystery. Takiri is able to unlock the land’s true wonder, a force of nature that wants to be left alone, but is pushed and pushed by the developers. Will the family be able to hold onto the gorgeous estate or will they fall victim to the greed of the developers, even with some monstrous assistance?
Entertainment Value: Howl from Beyond the Fog is a beautiful movie, a terrific kaiju adventure, and a true work of art, thanks to the creative, beautiful puppetry on showcase here. That’s correct, this movie is populated by puppet performers and the artistry is simply spectacular, this is a visual feast to say the least. I know some will roll their eyes at a puppet movie, especially one with a serious, emotional narrative like Howl from Beyond the Fog, but it works so well and in truth, the movie never misses a beat for a second. The story is quite good and packs a lot into the 35 minute duration, but it is the visuals that stand out and leave the most impression. The kaiju elements are well used and while we see some of the more action driven scenes the genre is known for, I appreciated the time taken to weave Nebula into the narrative so well. I think this is a beautiful, creative, and memorable film that earns a high recommendation.
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