TADFF15: Tag

This review was originally published as part of my coverage of Fantasia Fest 2015

A young woman finds herself caught in the middle of multiple deadly situations in Tag. One day, Mitsuko (Reina Triendl) is riding the school bus on the way to a school trip. Suddenly, a killer gust of wind cuts everyone except Mitsuko in half. This begins a very surreal and deadly adventure, as Mitsuki finds herself in various situations and identities. Using the help of her friend Aki (Yuki Sakurai), Miksuko tries to find a way to escape the situation that she finds herself in.

From Sion Sono (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?) comes this very surreal and violent adventure. Featuring an entirely female cast, Tag can be seen somewhat as a reflection of the fetishization of females in Japanese society. This is apparent in the opening scene as the schoolgirls on the school bus suddenly break out in a pillow fight, right before they are sliced in half. Of course, the plot of the film is somewhat deeper than that, particularly as Mitsuko slowly becomes more aware of what is happening to her.

Tag is a film that can be best described as incredibly gory absurdity. The film gets much more surreal as it goes along and there is even a character who gives the advice that life is surreal and that you shouldn’t let it consume you. By the time the film reaches its ending, the audience will likely be just going along with the multiple developments. While not as comically insane as Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, there is still quite a lot of gratuitous violence and gore in Tag, which should help to make it a relatively crowd-pleasing film. Altogether, Tag is a decent mix of ultra-gory surrealism with a commentary of the depiction of females in Japan.

8 / 10 stars


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).