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Hide and Go Kill (Hitori kakurenbo) 
Written by: on November 6th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
Japan, 2008
Director: Tomoya Kainuma
Writers: Jun’ichi Kanai, Tomoya Kainuma
Cast: Saki Yamaguchi, Aimirôra, Haruka Misaki, Rui Ôno

DVD released: November 9th, 2010
Approximate running time: 72 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99

Synopsis: Every night around 3:00 A.M., lonely high school get together online and play a game called ‘Hide and Seek Alone’. What starts off as a harmless game. Quickly turns deadly when some of the participants begin to disappear.

What do you get when you combine modern technology (the internet) and a childhood game (hide and seek). You get a eerie cautionary tale about solitude. The plot for this film is actually three separate tales. Which ultimately collide by the film’s finale. Even though the plot is told via back-word’s narrative. The first two girl’s stories lay the ground work for the final tale. In which the origins of ‘Hide and Seek Alone’ is revealed. Without giving to much away about the film’s main twist. Let’s just say that those who participate in this most unusual game. Are forced to face their darkest fears head on. Content wise and visually this film is deeply rooted in J Horror. With the bogeyman or in this case bogey-woman (yurei) being a young woman with dark unkempt hair.

And while there is some repetitiveness to the three stories which make up this film’s plot. This does not lessen the impact of each girl’s demise. The one area where this film surprised me the most were the performances from the cast. Who are all very good in their respective roles. With the film standout performance coming from Saki Yamaguchi, a Japanese Gravure Idol (in her film debut). When all is said and done, there are not that many avenues that have not already been traveled in J Horror. And to Hide and Go Kill’s credit it does not try to reinvent the wheel. Instead it relies on this genres most stable element building tension with creepy imagery.

The DVD:

Cinema Epoch presents Hide and Go Kill in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is a clean looking transfer that has accurate looking colors and flesh tones. Black levels range from average to good and details generally look crisp. The one area where this transfer is sometimes lacking. Is during some of the darker sequences the image is not as crisp and at times murky.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese. The audio is in great shape as everything sounds clear and balanced throughout. Also the audio mix does a very good job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. 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 gets a good audio / video presentation from Cinema Epoch.

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