Plot: A series of brutal murders has left students in shock, as young people are being found killed. The victims are dragged as well, until the skin is torn and shredded, so quite a vicious mind is involved. The rumors start to swirl that Hikiko is involved, the spirit of a bullied girl who now haunts the school. One young girl runs a website about Hikiko and talks about the murders, but lately some details have been posted that no one but the killer could know. She is soon bullied by the other girls, even her close friends, being taunted as if she were the killer or Hikiko herself. This starts off simply, but soon she is being roughed up a lot, putting her in a vulnerable mental state. But as the killings keep happening, she is tormented even more and as if her school time wasn’t bad enough, her father is abusing her at home as well. Is the spirit of Hikiko stalking the students or are the murders the work of a less supernatural force?
Entertainment Value: This is a shot on video Japanese schoolgirl thriller, with a blend of ghostly apparitions and the terror of the school social order. While the murders and rumors of Hikiko are consistent narrative elements, much of the screen focuses on the abuse suffered by our lead at school and at home. At just over an hour in length, the movie can’t go too in depth, but it makes a valiant effort. The story is fine, but the performances leave something to be desired. These kind of scenes need malice to pack that punch and here, that isn’t palpable. I do the scenes still work, just not as well as if the cast had some believable menace. The supernatural scenes are fun and probably the highlights, with a typical creepy figure like we’ve seen in similar movies. So no new ground is broken here, but the narrative of the abuse does make things seem a little fresh, in any case. There’s a solid premise here, but Scream Girls runs too short to make the most of the concept. If you’re an Asian horror fanatic or just love schoolgirls though, you could do worse.
No nakedness. A little blood, but its rare and non graphic. The horror here is more about atmosphere and tension, not shocking blasts of crimson. That being said, I wouldn’t have minded an uptick in violence. The ghost effects look about like you’d expect, so no surprises, but it works well enough. This doesn’t seem like a well funded project, so I think they did the best they could, given the circumstances. Aside from schoolgirl giggles and the constant”Hikiko-san!” chants, not much memorable here. The dialogue is straight forward and there’s no humor or camp, which limits the wackiness and one liners. I’d say the craziness scale is in line with similar Japanese horror movies, its a little weird, but nothing too out there.
Overall Insanity: 2/10