Sadako v Kayako (2016)

Sadako v Kayako aka Sadako vs. Kayako
Director: Kôji Shiraishi
Writer: Kôji Shiraishi
Based on/sequel to: Ringu and Ju-on
Cast: Mizuki Yamamoto, Tina Tamashiro, Aimi Satsukawa, Misato Tanaka, Masahiro Kômoto, Masanobu Andô
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Students Yuri (Mizuki Yamamoto) and Natsumi (Aimi Satsukawa) find an old VCR in a thrift store. Since they’re trying to copy a VHS to DVD, they happily take it home, only to find a weird video tape inside. Natsumi watches it, but then they both find out that it’s cursed. So they contact Morishige (Masahiro Kômoto), a professor on Urban Legends. He’s excited, as he’s sure that it’s the tape that conjures Sadako. But things spiral out of control and the only way to manage Sadako is to try and cancel out her powers by pitting her against another vengeful spirit: Kayako.

I thought that Sadako vs. Kayako would be a fun schlockfest, but it was mostly exhausting and doesn’t deliver on its own premise. It’s basically two remakes rolled into one and both are very much inferior to the originals.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of either of the original films (the American The Ring scared me so much when I saw it 15 years ago, I actually never watched Ringu) and I don’t think I ever saw the sequels. So I went into this without many expectations. But what I did expect was that it would be a funny film. How could I expect anything else with that premise? Much to my surprise, they tried to make it scary, which was their first big mistake.

The second big mistake was that they didn’t actually deliver on the promise to have Sadako and Kayako really facing off. The two of them have about 5 minutes shared screen time, maybe? And little of that is spent fighting. You really shouldn’t name your film Sadaka v Kayako, when there’s no actual v to be had.

It also really doesn’t bode well for your film when you have to have a magical dude showing up in the middle of it to have him explain your (not all that complicated) plot to the audience because things are that much all over the place.

I would have said that the film was a total waste of time if it wasn’t for Suzuka (Tina Tamashiro) who was cuteness personified and made the second part of the film a little more bearable. But not enough to make the film actually worth seeing.

Summarizing: Skip it.

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