Review: Oni-Gokko (Tag)

8 Mins | 2012

Director, Writer & Editor: Shane Ryan 

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When it comes to Japanese films, there is a sense that they have more freedom than those from West, mainly the US and UK. Common examples would be Ringu and Ju-on, with the American versions being toned down to a certain degree. Shane Ryan’s Oni-Gokko (Tag in English) goes along the same lines as those (Japanese versions) films.

Now, it’s not to say that those that are not toned down are automatically good. However, when watching Oni-Gokko, you can’t help but feel that if it was, it’d lose some of its power. The short film is bizzare, but there’s an emotional side to it, which comes down to Ryan’s wonderful script and the performances of actresses, Mariko Miyamitsu and Eri Akita.

Oni-Gokko isn’t that scary, but it still haunts you through the chemistry from its lead actresses. You feel for the characters; they’re flawed, but you can understand where they’re coming from. We all regret things we have done in the past, even if we’re not totally at fault for them. And that’s what makes this short film stand out: horror isn’t all jump scares but perhaps the real life scenarios that occur around us.

A wonderful script, emotional and hard-hitting, with two effective performances from its lead actresses, Oni-Gokko is all that you ask for in a horror film that doesn’t rely on jump scares.

5/5

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