Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 6th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2009
Director: Masafumi Yamada
Writers: Takeshi Miyamoto, Masafumi Yamada
Cast: Yukie Kawamura, Mayuko Kawakita, Masahiro Usui, Ben Yuzawa, Yuzu Kubota, Miyû Wagawa
DVD released: November 9th, 2010
Approximate running time: 100 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Hide and Go Kill 2, is a sequel in name only to its predecessor Hide and Go Kill. Plot wise Hide and Go Kill 2 does not stray too far away from its aforementioned predecessor. With main differences being a red herring involving demonology. Also this time around the plot is told is a linear way, instead of in reverse. Another area where this film also differs is how the majority of the film is told via one persons perspective a school teacher, who becomes an amateur sleuth. When a student and co-worker disappear. And finally the biggest difference being that this film moves at a more languid pace than its predecessor. Scenes are often drawn out, especially the ritualistic ‘Hide and Seek Alone’ sequences in which participants follow with the utmost detail the rules of the game. Expanding these sequences could have lessened their impact. And yet somehow they are even more potent this time around then they were in Hide and Go Kill.
It is the scenes in-between the ‘Hide and Seek Alone’ sequences where the film shows its greatest weakness. These scene while necessary to the story at hand. There are several times were they drag on a few beats to long. Of course this would not be a J Horror film without a yurei (a contorted looking dead girl with dangling limbs, an abundance of moister and unkempt long black hair that obscures her face). It does not matter if this is your first exposure to J Horror or if you are a diehard fan of this genre. This is the type of character that will forever remain engraved in your memory and haunt you in your nightmares.
The film’s most memorable performance comes from Mayuko Kawakita, who plays the missing student. It is her desire to use ‘Hide and Seek Alone’ to get rid of someone that sets everything in motion. Unfortunately she soon discovers that playing with supernatural forces can be deadly. Another performance of note is Yukie Kawamura (Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl) in the role of the amateur sleuth teacher. Even though Hide and Go Kill 2 has all the ingredients that one would expect from a J Horror film. In the end its leisurely pacing and inability to build momentum that often overshadows its strengths. And by the time the film’s ironic twist ending rolls around. It is too little, too late.
Cinema Epoch presents Hide and Go Kill 2 in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels fare well, details look sharp and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese. The audio sounds clear and consistent throughout. With the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack benefiting most from this audio mix. There are no problems with distortion or background noise. Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free have been included with this release.
Extras for this release include a image gallery with music from the film playing in the background and a promo image gallery of titles that are available on DVD from Cinema Epoch. Overall Hide and Go Kill 2 gets a strong audio / video presentation from Cinema Epoch.