The Hide and Go Kill series (aka: Creepy Hide and Go Seek) had a major impact on me – it highlighted that I’m so old that even Ringu and Ju-On movies are now being copycatted by directors who grew up on them…
HIDE AND GO KILL (2008)
The premise of the series is really kind of creepy. Lonely kids learn online about playing Hide-and-Seek Alone—essentially playtime with a ghost. The risk is, if you don’t follow the rules properly—which include a ritual involving a doll, a knife, rice, salt, etc.—you die when you play. Sounds like a recipe for a lonely person to commit suicide to me. If you’d like more info on how to play an extremely dangerous version of the game, click here.
Anyway, the first film is only 72 minutes long and actually feels more like an anthology of sorts, as there are 3 individual tales of victims of the game. The first involves a girl who plays in an attempt to reconnect with a BFF who has become distant after playing the game. The second tale has a group of friends deciding to film while playing the game. And the last tale has a young woman playing totally alone.
While the urban legend gets under your skin, this film feels like a cheap The Ring/The Grudge knockoff, complete with online clips of a ghost girl crawling out of a closet and up to the camera.
déjà vu mashup – ghost girl crawls from closet
while a TV glows nearby.
The final tale even has the main character being chased around her house by the crawling girl, but it’s so damn dark you can’t see much.
HIDE AND GO KILL 2 (2009)
The second film essentially feels like a remake of aspects of the first film with more money thrown behind it—and an even more unapologetic cloning of The Ring and The Grudge. It deliberately builds more tension through slow and suspenseful terror sequences like classic Asian horror, but the whopping hour and 42-minute run time is still a bit much and it begins to drag near the end.
Once again, a schoolgirl’s friend disappears from her life, so she sets out to uncover what the Hide-and-Seek Alone game has to do with it.
So naturally, she plays it…and spends the rest of the film running away from a grudge girl, grudge noises and all! Exhausting. So exhausting it eventually lands her in the hospital.
I’m pretty numb to these ghost girls at this point, but the final appearance is pretty effective, with the grudge girl slimed to the max as she crawls from a tub in the hospital, croaking things like, ”Ready or not!” and ”Found you!” EEK. Fricking…EEK.
“I’d like to see them Sadako and Kayako bitches do this!”
HIDE AND GO KILL 3 (2010)
Just like The Ring films, this series becomes ridiculously repetitive. Yet of the three films, this is probably my favorite, even if it is kind of the most absurd in that it strays farthest from the original plot. Running a perfect 90-minutes, it’s evenly paced, and the derivative scares are just right.
A schoolgirl’s brother goes missing thanks to the initial “Hide-and-Seek Alone” opening sequence, which is nice and creepy. When she visits his place, she finds info about the game, and so she starts to look into it with the help of her boyfriend.
Now for the dumb part. They don’t even play the game and the damn grudge girl starts showing up and chasing after them in various places. They also get ominous phone calls and scary messages through television screen static. They eventually discover they need to find a particular resting place in order to put the grudge girl to rest and stop their own deaths. Yeah, it’s The Ring.
This time, the grudge girl is totally white and pretty much looks like a corpse when we get the full Monty in the final confrontation. But before that, there is one much scarier scene in which the main girl mistakes a coat hanging in a closet for the grudge girl…kind of. Best scene in the whole franchise.
Actually, I can’t say that for sure, because there is at least one more film, but I haven’t been able to hunt it down yet. It involves students in a movie club shooting a film about the “Hide-and-Seek Alone” game.