Movie Review: Sadako vs Kayako (2016)

Directed by Japanese horror film mainstay Koji Shiraishi, Sadako vs. Kayako is a 2016 horror movie, featuring the antagonists (if they can be called that) of The Ring and Ju-On (The Grudge) in a terrifying crossover. Schoolgirls Yuri (Mizuki Yamamoto) and Natsumi (Aimi Satsukawa) accidentally come into contact with a cursed video tape, and their Professor Morishige (Masahiro Komoto), a teacher who specialises in urban legends, attempts to help Yuri and Natsumi find a way to break the tape’s curse. At the same time across town Suzuka has recently moved into a house across the street from a notoriously haunted house.

+ the story is a rather slow build, which gives us time in both ‘universes’; that is, we learn the details of the tape, and we learn the details of the Ju-On curse. It was refreshing to have the time to build up both parts of the title (having said that, there is significantly more build up for Sadako/Ring than Kayako/Ju-On)
+ there are a few good scares, mostly on the Kayako side of things. It is Toshio, aka that creepy af cat boy, who gives the most jump scares, but Kayako herself crawling down the scares is still terrifying

sadakovskayako_2.png
Nope. Nope nope nope.

– the title is very misleading. There is some ‘versus’ action, but not really in the way the title would make you think. I can’t make any comparisons to Freddy vs Jason or Alien vs Predator in that regard
– I was very unsatisfied with a middle-ish of the movie change of pace; I feel like lots of things were being set up only to completely ignore them in order to move the plot along. Unfortunately, the new plot elements were not as interesting as what the first part was building towards
– one or two scenes were almost laugh-out-loud funny, and I don’t think that was the effect

> I never really found The Ring to be overly scary- the ‘coming out of the TV’ thing was always sort of cheesy in my opinion. Ju-On, and the American Grudge remakes, scared the pants off of me. It’s the image of Kayako crawling down the stairs that gives me the heebie jeebies.

Should you see this film: Put simply, no. I expected something more akin to Freddy vs Jason, but it turned out to be more of a half-reboot half-sequel for both films. If there is a sequel, hopefully it will be more interesting, because this was not worth seeing.

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