Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 18th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2008
Director: Gen Takahashi
Writers: Gram, Takashi Hotta, Michio Kashiwada, Midori Saitô, Gen Takahashi
Cast: Kanata Hongô, Rin Takanashi, Kunihiko Ida, Mika Kamiya, Chika Kumagai, Maari, Toshinobu Matsuo, Keishi Nagatsuka, Kei Nakata, Yûna Natsuo, Sôtarô, Minoru Torihada, Miyu Yagyu, Sô Yamanaka
DVD Released: May 25th, 2010
Approximate Running Time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: Two teens form a morbid bond. When they become infatuated with a serial killer who chops off the left hands of his victims and leaves their bodies artistically posed in public places. One day the find a notebook that was written by the killer. Instead of turning over the notebook to the police. They decide to keep the notebook and try to find the killer. The more they learn about the killer, the further they put themselves in harm’s way.
Goth was adapted from a novel that was written by a Japanese author named Hirotaka Adachi who uses the pen-name Otsuichi. Hirotaka Adachi ‘s novel was also adapted into a Manga series by Kendi Oiwa (Welcome to the N.H.K.).
First off, there are several instances on the DVD box art for this film where Goth is referred to as a horror film. This is kind of misleading since there really are no out and out frightening moments in the film. Shocking moments, yes there are several. Like the discovery of the first victim and the sight of her missing left hand. Structurally and tone wise this film is more like a mystery film. Also the film is not overtly graphic with all the murders happening off screen. The killers’ handy work is only seen long after each murder has occurred.
Pacing wise the film moves along at a lethargic pace with the bulk of the film spent observing the evolving relationship between the two main characters Kamiyama and Morni. Their morbid fascination with death is what draws them together. And it is their growing obsession with death that propels the story forward to unforgettable conclusion where they come face to face with the killer. In a film that is filled with many surprises, my favorite moment is a scene where Morni who recently found the killers’ note book. She goes to the place where she found out it. Dressed like one of the killers’ victims. When all is said and done, this film’s ability to create tension and blur the line of morality are its two greatest strengths.
Well Go USA presents Goth in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The image looks detailed, colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate and black levels look strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese with removable English subtitles. The audio sounds clear and balanced throughout with the score being the most robust part of the mix.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 40 seconds – anamorphic widescreen in Japanese with no English subtitles) and a making of documentary (44 minutes 52 seconds -anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). The documentary contains behind the scenes footage and comments from the cast and director. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available on DVD from Well Go USA. Overall Goth gets a strong DVD release from Well go USA.