*Movie Review, courtesy of Shudder.com
For years, Japan has been the master of horror and the paranormal. When Ju-On
(呪怨), and the American version titled: The Grudge hit movie screens, tickets flew! I know I went to see it. The same thing happened with Ringu (リング), The Ring. There is something about the style of Japanese horror, and a never ending ending. So what did these two movies have to do with one another? A cure for a curse.
A girl with a gift moves next door to the accursed home where Toshi, and his mother Kayako were murdered. She hears a suspicious call, but never dares to answer it until a spooky night when she sees someone in the window of the abandoned home. Meanwhile, college friends, Yuri and Natsumi purchase a VCR to create a DVD for Natsumi’s parents, for their anniversary. Unknowingly, they purchase an urban legend; the Cursed Video is inside. The tape is played and the story begins.
Because I’ve watched both versions of each movie, I knew what could possibly happen, but I would never have predicted where this movie took me. Sadako vs. Kayako was great because it clung to the natural presence of their predecessors. From Kayako’s spine-chilling croak, to Sadako’s creepy, hunched over walk, it brought all of what made the first movies fantastic. There were no jump scares, but lots it was extremely haunting, thanks to all the effects. Neither side lost their roots, making the new characters special to me.
I found myself attached to Yuri, but even she didn’t respond the way normal folks would- and I lived in Japan for a year and a half. The bodies piled up, yet no police were called and Yuri kept her cool the entire time. She was the one you kept your eyes on, and I think that was intentional. The ones who assisted in finding a solution weren’t very likable either, but they kept the story interesting. I wasn’t disappointed.
Once the action really kicked off, you barely needed to read the subtitles! Sadako vs. Kayako turned out to be a fun movie, and I think it deserves a ton of attention. The movie trailer gives no justice to story. I do believe I’ll add this one to my movie library.
Sadako vs. Kayako
Directed by Kōji Shiraishi
Screenplay by Takashi Shimizu and Koji Suauki
Produced by Kadokawa Pictures
June 18, 2016
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