31 Days of Horror: Day 10- Tag

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Posted October 10, 2017 by Thomas James Juretus in Movies

It’s Day 10 on our nightmarish cinematic journey, and today’s entry is the 2015 Japanese fantasy/horror movie Tag (released in Japan as Riaru onigokko). The movie begins innocently enough, with a group of school girls on a bus trip. Mitsuko (Reina Treindl) drops her pen while working on some poetry. Lucky her, for at that moment, the top half of the bus gets sliced off, along with the top halves of all the other passengers. Mitsuko makes a run for it, and comes across a girl’s boarding school, where she meets classmates Aki (Yuki Sakurai), Taeko (Aki Hiraoka), and Sur (Ami Tomite). The girls cut class, and learn of Mitsuko’s experience, which she now believes to be a nightmare. But Sur has another hypothesis-that perhaps Mitsuko experienced an alternate reality. Things get violent back at the school, and Mitsuko must go on the run, crossing into the lives of alternate egos Keiko (Mariko Shinoda) and Izumi (Erina Mano). Violence follows as Mitsuko tries to find her way back to reality.

For a horror movie, director Sion Sono (Suicide Club, Tokyo Tribe) tackles some heady themes. The movie explores alternative universes, identity, and the nature of reality itself. At 85 minutes, the run time is a bit too brisk to really explore its ideas, but it’s a credit to the cast that the movie remains engaging throughout. All of the girls are likeable, and it’s easy enough to empathize with Mitsuko’s plight. There’s plenty of action and gore effects, which include dismemberment, shootings, stabbings, and brutal fights. The effects are nicely done, and the movie does require your attention as it moves quickly as it presents its clues as to what’s going on. It all works to provide some satisfying and thrilling entertainment. In Japanese with English subtitles, now showing on Netflix. 8/10 stars


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Thomas James Juretus