IMDb > Sadako 3D (2012)
Sadako 3D
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Overview

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3.9/10   701 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Kôji Suzuki (based on the novel by)
Yoshinobu Fujioka (screenplay) ...
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View company contact information for Sadako 3D on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 May 2012 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
The spiteful ghost of Sadako, a murdered woman whose body was thrown down a well, reaches Internet searching for a host in order to live once again. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A missed opportunity See more (22 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Satomi Ishihara ... Akane Ayukawa
Kôji Seto ... Takanori Ando
Tsutomu Takahashi
Shôta Sometani
Hikari Takara
Yûsuke Yamamoto ... Kiyoshi Kashiwada
Ryôsei Tayama
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ai Hashimoto ... Sadako
Shunsuke Itô

Directed by
Tsutomu Hanabusa 
 
Writing credits
Kôji Suzuki (based on the novel by)

Yoshinobu Fujioka (screenplay) &
Tsutomu Hanabusa (screenplay)

Produced by
Shin'ichirô Inoue .... executive producer
Takeshi Kobayashi .... producer
Atsuyuki Shimoda .... producer
 
Original Music by
Kenji Kawai 
 
Cinematography by
Nobushige Fujimoto 
 
Production Design by
Yasuaki Harada 
 
Art Direction by
Yasuaki Harada 
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Yuji Wada .... gaffer
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ringu 5" - USA (informal alternative title)
"Sadako" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Based on Koji Suzuki's 2012 novel "S".See more »
Movie Connections:
Follows Ring 0: Birthday (2000)See more »

FAQ

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
A missed opportunity, 28 May 2013
Author: Jordan from London, UK

The Ringu franchise gets a 21st century update in this fourth instalment of the classic horror series. Coming over a decade after Ring 0, Sadako 3D was a real chance to kickstart the ailing series and give renewed life to Koji Suzuki's classic story. Sadly, although the film starts well and manages to update key elements of the Sadako folklore, it is ultimately let down by a bizarre finale and its completely pointless use of 3D. We are left to wonder whether Sadako should have perhaps stayed down the well.

The film begins with the suicide of a disgraced artist, broadcast via webcam to a handful of people on a video sharing website. Although the video is promptly deleted, it soon becomes notorious throughout Japan as "the cursed video" after rumours emerge that all who watch it take their own lives shortly thereafter. The legend is particularly popular among teenagers, who scour the net 24/7 trying to find a working link among the '404 not found' error pages.

The film's protagonist, Akane, is a high school teacher drawn into the legend after one of her students apparently commits suicide while watching the clip. As more and more of her class expose themselves to the danger, Akane learns of a connection between the suicidal artist and the notorious Sadako legend from a decade earlier. Could Sadako be behind this latest cursed video? If so, what does she want this time? And how can she be stopped?

For fans of American horror, Sadako 3D is to Ringu what Scream 4 was to Scream: a reimagining of the original story, transferred to a modern setting with modern technology, and with characters who are aware of the previous films' events. Where Scream 4 failed was in trying to merge the original premise – of teenagers being isolated and stalked in a small town – with the modern setting, never really answering the question of how a 21st century teenager can ever be 'isolated' in an era of smartphones and mobile internet. By contrast, the writers of Sadako 3D recognise that the original film's premise would seem dated today, and use advances in technology to their advantage.

For starters, Sadako no longer needs a television set to wreak her revenge: the creepy long-haired girl appears from smartphones, laptops and even electronic advertising boards. It's a useful ploy that means characters are never really safe wherever they are, and it works well. What also succeeds is the uncertainty of the 'cursed video': instead of a tape that characters either watch (and be damned, exactly seven days later) or don't watch (and be safe), the video is an online stream that moves about the internet, appearing at random on computers or smartphones that have previously searched for it. This means you are never really sure when (or if) a character will be next, giving a breath of fresh air to what could have been considered, by now, a tired concept.

All of that, though, is completely undermined by the final act, where the director (for some inexplicable reason) decides to crossover a decent paranormal ghost story with a creature feature – with predictably terrible results. Without spoiling the full details in this review, nuances from the Sadako legend are reduced to Silent Hill-like zombie creatures, almost leaving the viewer unsure if they're still watching the same film. Of course, genre crossovers are popular in Asian cinema and can be done successfully (see, e.g., Spellbound), but this just fails miserably. Things do get back on track somewhat for the ultimate finale, which satisfies to a point, but the damage has already been done by that stage.

Mention must also be made of the 3D effects. Although often a gimmick at the best of times, the extra dimension serves no purpose whatsoever here, being restricted to shots of Sadako's hand emerging from screens of various sizes – and that's about it. Moreover, since most of the (modest) budget appears to have been spent on the 3D apparatus, the film looks decidedly low-budget when watched in 2D, with some truly laughable CGI effects. I appreciate that the 3D 'gimmick' may have been required to get this film made at all, but I do wonder whether the final act would have strayed so far from the Ringu folklore had the director not being able to cheat his way out of proper storytelling with the cheap, gimmicky effect.

Ultimately, then, we are left with the feeling of what could have been. With its decent overall premise and its intelligent use of technology to update the original story, this could have been the refreshing reboot needed to kickstart the Ringu franchise. As it is, Sadako 3D is a mere curiosity; worth a watch (for the first hour at least) if you enjoy the original films, but more likely (in the final act) to alienate existing fans than win over new ones.

5 out of 10 – disappointing.

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