Tag begins on a bus full of Japanese schoolgirls with a jaw-dropping and mind-blowing opening, and all I can say to avoid spoilers is that one of them, Mitsuko (Reina Triendl) is separated from the rest of them and off running for her life. And there was me thinking that throwing around a burst feather pillow would be one of their biggest problems…
It’s like she’s trapped in a world where nothing makes sense, where one minute she’s never going to see her friends again, and then she does find Aki, Taeko, Sur and the others before too long… and repeat.
It’s difficult to go into too much detail in a review, and after watching the trailer afterwards – so being careful to explain no further than that, I can say that Tag initially felt very uneven at times and didn’t make much sense, leading to events far from what you’d expect, as everything that happens is outside their control. At this point, this approach means it feels there’s a lack of coherent narrative – but then some of these J-horror movies are like that, so it’s a case of sit back and enjoy the gore!
But once you’ve reached the end, things feel a bit more clear and I think a second viewing will pay dividends.
I’d also add that at one point it went into 2001: A Space Odyssey territory for reasons that’ll become clear eventually.
The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and while there’s obvious CGI core in this movie, the print’s sharp as a tack and with a film almost completely set in bright daytime, it looks stunning.
The sound is in stereo only, the Blu-ray featuring an uncompressed stereo soundtrack. Note that the box also states there’s an optional 5.1 soundtrack, but this is a mistake, and on looking elsewhere online, it seems that Tag was only filmed in stereo. I found no problems with the audio beyond that, but the gore in 5.1 would’ve been cool.
The menu is silent and static, with an image of a bloodied Reina Triendl as Mitsuko. Subtitles are in English only (and optional – so, that’s a good thing if you’re Japanese and don’t want unecessary English subtitles getting in the way), and while there isn’t a chapter selection menu, there are a mere 10 chapters. The only extra is a one-minute trailer. I wouldn’t normally count that as anything to really give an ‘extras’ mark out of ten to, but it’s spoiler-free compared to what it COULD show, so I’ll still give it one.
Also check out an unboxing video below of the Blu-ray & DVD combo package to find out what you’ll get when you buy it!
Tag is released tomorrow on Blu-ray/DVD double pack, and click on the packshot for the larger version.
Running time: 86 minutes
Cat no.: EKA70277
Released: November 20th 2017
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 2.0 DTS HD Master Audio (Stereo)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Sion Sono
Screenplay: Sion Sono (based on the original story by Yûsuke Yamada)
Music: Susumu Akizuki and Hiroaki Kanai
Mitsuko: Reina Triendl
Keiko: Mariko Shinoda
Izumi: Erina Mano
Aki: Yuki Sakurai
Taeko: Aki Hiraoka
Sur: Ami Tomite
Mitsuko’s classmate: Mika Akizuki
Akane: Mao Asô
Matsuko: Sayaka Isoyama
High School Boy / Lord: Takumi Saitô
Jun: Maryjun Takahashi
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.