A serial killer is at work in suburban Japan. Students Yuro and Itsuki are fascinated by the murders and begin visiting the crime scenes together. But when they find his notebook, they realise he is closer than they had imagined.
The Honkaku Mystery Prize winning novel Goth by Otsuichi (the pen name of Hirotaka Adachi), written as a collection of intertwining short stories, was first adapted into a manga by Kendi Oiwa and then this live-action film, Goth: Love of Death.
The film is a macabre serial killer thriller with a difference: the protagonists, instead of trying to stop him, admire what he’s doing.
A murderer is at large in suburban Japan. His modus operandi is to kidnap and kill beautiful young women, then cut off one of their hands as a private trophy and leave their bodies posed in public. The story begins with the discovery of his second victim, who goes unnoticed for a while; her corpse seated beside a fountain while passersby see nothing amiss.
Yuro Morino, a silent and lonely student, is following the killings with interest. She visits the crime scene, which is close to her home. While there, she notices fellow pupil Itsuki Kamiyama standing and watching. Outwardly a lively and popular boy, his face is blank and emotionless and Yuro realizes that she has found someone who shares her unusual interest. They begin to spend time together, visiting the spots where the killer has left corpses and studying his ‘work’ as though it was art. But when they find the murderer’s notebook – which contains details of an undiscovered corpse – they realize he is even closer than they had imagined.
Directed by Gen Takahashi and adapted by a team of writers (Takahashi himself, Gram, Takashi Hotta, Michio Kashiwada and Midori Saito), Goth: Love of Death stars Rin Takanashi and Kanata Hongo (The Prince of Tennis).
Interestingly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, this very un-Hollywood film is due for a Hollywood remake. It’s to be directed by JT Petty (The Burrowers, Mimic: Sentinel). But has Hollywood missed the point? We don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling the film but suffice it to say that if the remake’s logline is anything to go by, it’s a complete reversal of the original’s premise.