Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

April 30, 2011

Movie Review: Hide and Go Kill 1 & 2 (2008)

I really like Japanese horror films, for the most part. Takishi Miike is a master director in the genre and American producers prove that over and over again by remaking his Japanese films in English. The Japanese horror film, unlike our Western films, is more concerned with atmosphere and mood than logic and plot (and some people can argue that the current state of American horror is evidence that we do not care about story or plot either). Ringu, Ju-On, Death Note, Battle Royale… all of these are fine examples of authentic, mood-driven Japanese horror. Hide and Go Kill, 1 and 2, are not fine examples. These are the Japanese equivalent of our shot on video b-movies. Where we, the American crap filmmakers (myself included), rely on hackneyed story and tired character archetypes, the Japanese schlock filmmaker relies on tired and predictable visuals to set the mood. And, before you ask, whatever story or plot logic the majors have in Japan is completely out the window. So, after sitting through Hide and Go Kill I am officially retitling the English version as Hide and Go Shove a Pencil in Your Ear, ‘cause that’s what it felt like.

Buy Hide & Go Kill and Hide & Go Kill 2 on DVD!

The ‘story’ for Hide and Go Kill (which is the same story for Hide and Go Kill 2) defies logic. OK, [deep breath], girls all over Japan are dying mysteriously due to a strange new game called Hide and Go Seek Alone. It is a very simple game. All you really need to do is: find a teddy bear, butcher it, stuff the inside with rice, sew the bear up, place it in a room, chant some bizarre ghost thingie poem and go hide in a closet. If you did that correctly, a ghost will find you and slaughter you. See? That’s why it is catching on like Dungeons and Dragons at fat camp… you can only play it once! This is the game that stops giving the second you figure it out because you die! Great stuff. This happens over and over again until one girl, addicted to the same ‘text novel’ that gives the instructions to the game, sees her friends dying. I think she solves it, or wins the game or something. I’m not sure because I was so thoroughly confused by that point I didn’t know what was going on. I barely remember putting Part 2 into the player.

The one saving grace of these films are the ghost scenes. The cinematography and effects are inspired and the ghost girls live up to the standard set by Miike and others. Once you get through those, though, you will marvel at the weird things that Japanese school girls do that American school girls do not. Things like: giggling uncontrollably, being overly concerned with their appearance, incredibly annoying voices, say awful things to one another, never think beyond the next day and don’t realize that their futures rely solely on the quality of sperm that fertilizes their ovaries. Wait a minute, maybe we really are a global community after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment