If you’re looking for the best horror movies on Netflix, there’s one gem that you probably haven’t seen, Tag. If you’re into over-the-top splatter horror movies, such as Hatchet and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, then this Netflix feature is a must-watch. Many of the horror films featured on Netflix leave a lot to be desired, but this one is a masterpiece.
Directed by Sion Sono, who is regarded as the most subversive filmmaker working in Japanese cinema, this horror film stars Reina Triendl, Mariko Shinoda, and Erina Mano. Out of five reviews, Tag has a “fresh” rating of 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s a bit puzzling that it doesn’t have a well-deserved perfect score.
This Netflix horror flick is about a high school girl, Mitsuko (Triendl), whose life cascades into chaos as everyone around her suffers a gruesome fate. While those around her meet a gory demise, Mitsuko becomes increasingly uncertain of who she is, and what kind of world she lives in.
This is one of the most thought-provoking Japanese horror movies of the last several years, and if you’re familiar with cinema from that region, that’s saying a lot. The opening sequence is one of the most gripping openings in horror film history. This starts out with a bang, and it doesn’t let up.
At the beginning of the film, a group of teenage schoolgirls are in a bus looking forward to their field trip. They are laughing with one another while throwing pillows — pillows are often symbolic in this horror film— back and forth. While her friends are playing, Mitsuko is composing poetry. She drops her pen, and when she bends down, a supernatural force tears the top of the buss off along with the upper torsos of the passengers, except for Mitsuko since she was kneeling.
We watch the young girl frantically run while the supernatural force, which appears as a gust of wind surrounded by leaves, chases her. Horror fans will likely enjoy this sequence as it is similar to the Evil Dead POV scenes with the evil wind-like supernatural force chasing Ash. The young schoolgirl finally finds safety, and she begins to think the whole thing was a dream. But similar instances start to occur, and she realizes that something very strange, and something very wrong, is happening. She’s thrust into a variety of scenarios, from her wedding that she doesn’t want to attend to a group of teachers killing students, and she begins to try to solve the mysterious occurrences.
On the surface, Tag is a splatter horror film that’s thrilling from beginning to end. Once the layers are peeled back, it’s a powerful story about patriarchy, and the struggle that many Japanese women endure under it. We see Mitsuko portray a playful schoolgirl, an obedient wife, and a brilliant student, all of which are common stereotypes that Japanese women try to break. If you enjoy thought-provoking movies, then this Netflix selection deserves to be on the top of your list.
The directing is simply brilliant in this horror treat. With wide shot landscapes of forests and snow-covered terraces, this Netflix feature is simply stunning. While the dialogue is, at times, too simplistic, this is by design. Reina Trielndl’s performance is impressive, and audiences should have no problem empathizing and rooting for the heroine. Even if you’re not a fan of horror movies with subtitles, you won’t regret watching Tag, and chances are, you’ll watch it a few times over.
With stunning imagery, a deep meaning, and thrilling entertainment throughout, Tag is one of the best horror movies on Netflix.