The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) Movie Review

The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) Movie Review | by

Recommended Audience: Fans of 黃 河 River HUANG, 許瑋甯 Wei- Ning HSU, 劉引商 Liu Yin–shang, 張柏舟, 黃詩棋 Yumi WONG and horror movie fans

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The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) Movie Synopsis

Wei’s grandma suddenly disappears for no reason, but strangely the routines still move on as if she never vanished– the laundry is still done, their house is well-arranged as usual, and even breakfast remains prepared for Wei every morning.
The Tag along 4Distraught with worry, Wei is totally clueless until he finds an uncanny video in his grandma’s camera, showing that there was a little girl in red tagging along her. Oddly enough, after Wei’s grandma finally returns, it turns out that Wei is missing instead. Struggling to unravel the enigma, Wei’s girlfriend Yi-Chun gradually discovers that the mysteries behind Wei and his grandma’s sudden disappearance may be connected to the urban legend of “The Little Girl in Red”, but what’s even worse is yet to come……

The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) Viewer Rating: 3.5/5 ***

The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) Movie Review:

This is probably one of the few movies which I panicked even before the film started, thanks to my movie partner, Malcolm who has ‘kindly’ watched with me despite hating horror films. Also, I heard the movie was based on true events that happened in Taiwan, heightening the tension even before the
The Tag along 1This will most probably be more relatable to the Chinese or people who are familiar with asian folklore and horror stories. Here, the film revolves around a kind of mountain demon known as Moxina (魔神仔) which kidnap human from their homes. For every lost person found, another person will go missing (in replacement).

The Tag along 3The film managed to incorporate the play on the individual characters’ guilt and emotional struggles, as well as a small link to the environmental destruction human has caused on the forests. Yi Chun (Tiffany Ann Hsu, 許瑋甯) plays a huge role in discovers the identity of the spirit which captured her boyfriend and his grandma, hence joining the expedition to search for them.

The Tag-alongWei (River Huang, 黃河) is a character which reminded me of my negligences to my family, and sometimes, how close we were to helping the people closest to us. The number of times his grandmother (Liu Yin–shang, 劉引商) called him and how they were ignored until he realised things were amiss. While the actors were convincing, there was one unexplained plot which I was curious to know. What happened to the security guard – Chang Po-chou (張柏舟) after he was attacked?

I won’t say that this is a very scary film per say, but this film touches a long-circulating urban legend in Taiwan and provide a sound explanation behind the missing/ kidnapped/ dead people after seeing this mysterious girl in red. Hence, it’s like watching horror films during the lunar seventh month, you can’t help but get some goosebumps thinking how events similar to the film actually did take place.

Do You Know?

DirectorThe movie is Cheng Wei-hao’s (程偉豪) debut feature.

The Tag along 2The Little Girl in Red is a long-circulating urban legend in Taiwan. The descriptions of her forms and whereabouts echo the monster depicted in the ancient Chinese book “Classic of Mountains and Seas” that takes advantage of human beings’ greed and weakness to lure them into the deep mountains before planting them like trees in the woods. There are various implications to the true identity of the little girl in red. Though some claim that she is an avenging devil who used to suffer from persecution, no one is yet able to determine who or what she is. The origin of the little girl in red is still a myth.

AC1C2440This horror film broke the Taiwan horror film records and became the best selling film in 10 years. Below are records of sightings of the little girl in red.

Taichung, March 1998 – After a funeral, a family was watching a trip video in which a weird-looking little girl in red was found tagging along the relative who passed away. But no one remembered seeing her anywhere during the trip. The footage was authenticated by professionals and caused disturbance among audience island-wide after it was exposed in the media. Strangely, the family member who provided the TV station with the video died in a car crash shortly.

Taichung, 1998 – One driver caught sight of the rumored little girl in red in a mountain area and decided to follow her. During the pursuit, the little girl suddenly disappeared into a heavy fog. The driver almost fell off a cliff after a sharp turn.

Hualien, 2014 – An eighty-year-old woman mysteriously went missing during a trip. Around fifty members of the police and the fire department conducted a search for five days before finding her under a giant rock. The woman surprisingly answered, “A little girl in red held a red umbrella and took me away.” The urban legend of the little girl in red returned after sixteen years.

AC1C6667Wei Ning Hsu had not watched horror films for almost ten years due to her fear of them. For this movie, the director requested her to watch them as part of the movie’s preparation work. She ended up screaming through them. Wei Ning Hsu said she was really terrified during filming due to the makeup that the child actress was wearing. She ended up developing goosebumps all over her body, including on her face.

AC1C2493River Huang has admitted that he is sensitive to the presence of spirits in real life. He joked that whenever he had scenes with Wei Ning Hsu, she would always posed him the question: “Do you feel anything?”. The phrase became a staple of their conversations during the entire filming process.

Behind The Scenes and Interviews

Check out The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) Facebook Page!
The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) is out in cinemas on 21 January 2016.

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*Disclosure: Invitation by Clover Films Singapore. No monetary compensation was received for the movie review.

17 thoughts on “The Tag-along (红衣小女孩) Movie Review”

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  4. What Fatemah Say's

    woah the trailer is very creepy, especially because I saw it at 1 am =p
    The scene where the girl finds herself in blood is so scary, can’t imagine happening it to myself.

  5. wow! i think this is going to be a great thing to watch. i really need to check my sched and have tie to watch this. 🙂

  6. Just reading your post made me cover my eyes a bit because I might see the little girl on the next photo. lol I am a coward at watching horror movies so I’ll probably pass on this one 😛

  7. I haven’t been scared for a while now. I hope that this movie is really scary instead. I wonder how the kid didn’t get spooked on her role as the little girl in red. Still, this must be good because of being a best selling film for 10 years. I hope this will be available in Philippines.

  8. That poster looks great. That idea of letting the girl wear red is also novel. White is too common already. I will watch this if it gets shown here. – Fred

  9. I like the combination of a horror movie with a mythical mystery based on an urban legend. It would be really nice to see how the urban legend unravel for real in the story.

  10. I love Tiffany ever since I saw her on It Started with a Kiss. I’d love to see her on a very different acting role, and since this one is a blockbuster hit, I will watch it. 🙂

  11. I am never good with horror films as I tend to be really scared. Lol. That’s pretty interesting though. People who use urban legends and folklore for horror films wing it, because it’s something that’s been a part of your culture and that’s what makes it scarier.

  12. I don’t really watch that much horror movies, especially Asian horror movies, because they are really effective in creeping the h*ll out of me. Asian horror movies are better than their Western counterparts because they seem realistic in conveying the story.

  13. I find the plot interesting. I definitely won’t be able to catch this on the big screens so I’m hoping that Thrill or Red by HBO features this movie in the nearer future. Geez, I was freaked out by the image of the little girl in red. This should be good.

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