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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Fans of Japanese horror will like it

Author: Alexey Vartanyan
15 July 2016

Not bad at all. Fans of Japanese horror should be satisfied. To say the truth, I didn't expect anything good. The latest movies about Kayako were so-so, and the latest movies about Sadako were even worse. I thought the Japanese had lost their fantasy, the theme had been completely explored. And here is this promise – Sadako vs Kayako. Must be a silly trash. I was pleasantly surprised. The Japanese produced a serious well-built film. Of course, I don't mean that it's like the original "Ringu". From the point of view of the style it's more like "The Grudge" franchise – a horror with frequent scary scenes. Apart from it, as it often happens in Japanese films, there are some interesting original ideas, the main heroines are cute (I mean the girls that get cursed, not the onryos (this type of Japanese ghosts)). The fight between Kayako and Sadako is also good. Only it's too short. Minuses. First of all, there are "minuses" – I mean things that narrow-minded people dislike in Japanese movies. It has one static atmosphere, perhaps slowly or evenly paced. I so understand that some people find it boring, as other Japanese films are often criticised for it. Also some moments can seem strange to a western viewer. So I think that those who don't typically like Japanese horror movies, would not like this one. If to add some objective criticism, there is little new in the film. It doesn't repeat one to one moments from the previous films, and yet the onryos do the same familiar tricks. I wonder if there will be a sequel. The film has an unexpected ending, which may lead to new and interesting beginning.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A sporadic mix of surprisingly decent thrill and unintentionally comedic burst.

Author: quincytheodore from Indonesia
10 August 2016

What may sound like something from internet prank proves to be a better enjoyment than just random sequel or its ridiculously sounding premise. Both franchises are passed their prime with each latest entry performing abysmally. While it does possesses an array of issues, the good timing on some scenes and better characters make "Sadako vs Kayako" a more compelling horror than their own separate haunting.

The movie works by putting two curses simultaneously. Sadako has slightly more portion as the Cursed Video is highlighted more, especially in the beginning. As one curse progresses the Kayako or Haunted Hause is slowly tossed into the mix. Characters from Cursed Video are far more memorable than perhaps its latest two or three entries combined. Yuri as the lead and the two enigmatic exorcists make for an interesting cast.

Suzuka is a more standalone character as she struggles with the Haunted House primarily by herself, the supporting characters from her side are fleeting at best. However, Suzuka still has a good presence, especially when the curses collide. These personalities have a slight edge compared to typical Japanese horror protagonists, ranging from the signature clothes, hairdo o realistic or optimistic nature, which might not seem extraordinary, but this goes a long way on setting the dynamic.

Sadly, the initial corniness happens in several instances. It can be sudden twist on certain scene or choppy progression, either way this might ruin the mood already set by curse development. There are two or three scenes that are might take audience on really dark places, but these are not original by any means, and other than those, the rest are shaky on the horror.

On the few that actually work, it compresses the classic attraction of the franchises, brief they may be. For a movie originated from a strange concept, "Sadako vs Kayako" has more in store than just internet meme or sensational title, it delivers a better cast and scare than combination of both franchises' latest titles, but it's still marred by hectic and sloppy delivery to be a fully functioning horror.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Spectral Showdown

Author: raven-64-833785 from Miami
29 September 2016

Demons in Japanese culture, may take human form. Or semi-human form if they prefer. One such demon, Kayako, inhabits a house and attacks those who enter it. The demon Sadako curses and appears to those who happen to see her frightening video clip. Two young women, one of whom is cursed by Sadako, figure that the only way to survive is to pit the two demons against each other. A spectral showdown ensues.

While it is a creative concept and it is an intriguing glimpse at Japanese horror culture, there is not much depth here. There are few twists and even less in terms of dialogue. For a foreign horror film, I expected more shocking behavior, yet it seems to be made for a PG-13 crowd. Little bawdiness and less blood spilled. Seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Movie was great and exciting

Author: zerosky-19759
17 September 2016

Great movie with lots of excitement and thriller View sadako vs kayako

It was obvious the director favored sadako as she mostly won the battle with kayako and the scenes for kayako were too short and limited to the house alone. Still a great movie but would have preferred equal fight capabilities.

ith Japan's two most famous fright franchises having squeezed sequels or remakes dry and needing to be spliced together like a human centipede, the result can only be the J-horror to end all J-horrors. Director-writer Koji Shiraishi ("Carved: The Split Mouth Girl") knows that self-parody is the only way to go with "Sadako vs. Kayako," contriving a goofy way to make the vengeful spirits from "Ringu" (a.k.a. The Ring) and "Ju-on: The Grudge" cross paths for a twisty- crawly smack-down. Ingenious marketing has created buzz since the two characters made a side-splitting ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game in Hokkaido. The film boasts long, jerky festival legs and will be a jamboree for audiences when it screens at Toronto's Midnight Madness section. Shudder, AMC Digital Networks' streaming service, holds North American rights.

Shiraishi, a B-horror-making machine, has a knack for deadpan spoofs, as seen in "Shirome" — a clever mockumentary that nails the infantile tone of celebrity reality TV and idol bands, and "Paranormal Phenomenon," a send-up of "Paranormal Activity" and the whole found- footage genre. Both "Ringu" and "Ju-on" have spawned so many sequels and knockoffs that the premise no longer shocks, and Shiraishi has the sense of humor to trigger laughter from the familiar, such as Sadako and Kayako's contorted gaits, influenced by kabuki and butoh.

The problem with reviving Sadako in the digital age is that videos are now a rarer species than ghouls (let alone Pokemon monsters). But the film has found a solution by having college student Yuri (Mizuki Yamamoto) buy a VHS player from a second-hand shop to help classmate Natsumi (Aimi Satsukawa) transfer her parents' wedding video onto DVD. The girls find a videotape inside the player, with clumps of hair poking out. Still, Natsumi watches the video and gets the obligatory ringtone of doom, telling her she's got two days to live.

Sadako and Kayoko participate in a bizarre first-pitch ceremony at the ballgame

Yuri consults her anthropology professor Morishige (Masahiro Komoto), who has written a book on urban legends. His elated reaction reveals he's been (literally) dying to meet Sadako. He eagerly asks Natsumi to pass him the video, then enlists the help of a weird Shinto priestess, Horyu. The resulting exorcism is pure farce, with Horyu soliciting donations for the temple even in the throes of a possession, while Morishage gushes with fanboy excitement. Shiraishi also gets comic mileage from Sadako's Rapunzel-like hair, which turns up just about everywhere in gross-out scenarios.

The shenanigans are intercut with an adjacent, blander plot that involves high-school student Suzuka (Tina Tamashiro, "Chasuke's Journey"), who moves into a nondescript neighborhood with her parents. The house next door, whose gates are sealed by yellow duct tape, and which bears the sign "Entry Forbidden," piques her curiosity. She learns that it was the infamous home of Takeo Saeki, who murdered his wife Kayako (Rina Endo) and son Toshio (Rintaro Shibamoto). She becomes troubled by strange vibes, especially after a boy who's forced by school bullies to enter the house as a dare, goes missing. The haunted house sucks intruders into every available storage space, which isn't near as funny as it sounds, and doesn't lampoon the "Ju- on" template very well. Toshio, the ghost boy with heavy mascara, prances around, but his apparition is neither as creepy nor, in this film, as gag-worthy as Sadako.

The parallel tales remain unrelated until a linking device finally arrives in the form of Kyozo (Masanobu Ando), an onmyoji (shaman), and his pint-sized sidekick — blind psychic Tamao (Maiko Kikuchi). Summoned by Horyu at the eleventh hour, the duo sense the house calling to Suzuka, and a plan is devised to cancel out all the protagonists' curses in one fell swoop. How Shiraishi contrives to bring the two grumpy fiends under one roof certainly takes some warped imagination, and the resulting rumble is supremely silly yet undeniably fun.

The cast carries off the cheeky tone, and never takes itself seriously. Usually, J-horror is inundated with idols mugging fear with whiny voices and gormless stares, but Yamamoto, Satsukawa and Tamashiro display self-control and even a bit of welcome meanness. Ando, one- time soulful teen star of "Kids Return" (1996), hams it up big time. Endo's Kayako, who never makes a full appearance until the end, does so with grotesque aplomb.

Tech credits are adequate in an average budget. Playing along with the retro feel, the visual effects remain low key till the finale, which boasts glossy-looking CGI.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Team Sadako!

Author: Horror Icon from Australia
14 November 2016

Being a massive fan of the 'Ring' series, this was a must watch. I found out about it when my Japanese friend and I were googling pictures of J-Horror, and this front cover came up. Recognising Sadako, I asked my friend what the title was (as I was unable to read the kanji). She said it was the name of two ladies. Later, I did some research to find the other name was 'Kayako', so I gave the movie a watch.

Overall, it was actually quite entertaining. The new interpretation of the cursed video was excellent, and the design of Kayako's house was well done. The two exorcists were also well- portrayed (particularly Kyozo who was played by the same guy who portrayed Kiriyama in 'Battle Royale'. Really wish he was in more movies - an exceptional actor who always does unique and interesting portrayals of his characters).

The biggest let-down of the movie was the ending. Worthwhile watching though.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A huge disappointment and not worth your time

Author: Daviddv0601
15 August 2016

So I finally got a chance to go and see this movie. I just want to say that I have always loved the Ring franchise, even the American version, and the Grudge franchise. I was so excited to hear that they were making a crossover 'versus' movie involving Kayako and Sadako. Unfortunately, this movie killed my hype and I have been very disappointed.

The plot is actually very simple and exactly what the title says. A young Japanese woman watches the tape of Sadako and has a few days left to live. In order to prevent herself from dying, she takes the tape to the house of Kayako's. On the day Sadako is released from the tape, the two vengeful spirits will face off.

In case you don't know who they both are, Sadako is from the Ring franchise. She is a cursed spirit who haunts a video tape and kills anybody who watches it in seven days, which is how long she was in the well and how long she survived for. Kayako is a deadly spirit who was in love with this guy and was murdered by her husband, who, in a fit of anger and sorrow, got her neck snapped and only allows her to growl. Her son also got killed by drowning by his own father for witnessing the murder and the two now haunt the house and kills whoever enters it.

My thoughts on the movie was that it was bad writing and the script was awful. I only give it two points for the great effects and 1 point for the crossover idea. My suggestion, watch it when you have absolutely nothing else better to do.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I'll never understand the appeal.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
10 January 2017

Schoolgirl Natsumi (Aimi Satsukawa) asks her friend Yuri (Mizuki Yamamoto) if she can transfer her parents' wedding video onto DVD; in order to do so, the girls buy an old VHS player in which they discover an old tape that turns out to be a fabled cursed video that, once watched, invokes deadly long haired spook Sadako (Elly Nanami), who materialises to kill her victims two days later.

After their initial attempts to break the curse fail, Natsumi and Yuri's only hope lies with spiritual medium Kyozo (Masanobu Andô) and his young assistant Tamao (Maiko Kikuchi), who decide to pit Sadako against grudge spirits Kayako (Runa Endo) and Toshio (Rintaro Shibamoto) in a battle for the girls' souls. Meanwhile, schoolgirl Suzuka (Tina Tamashiro) also finds herself cursed when she enters the haunted home of Kayako and her son Toshio — can Suzuka's life also be saved as a result of the supernatural battle?

Films featuring onryō (vengeful Japanese spooks) really do very little for me: I thought that Ringu (Ring) was mediocre and found The Grudge (Ju-on) incredibly boring. Director Kôji Shiraishi tries to inject a little life into the tired genre with this mash-up of these well known franchises, but all he succeeds in making is a film that, rather predictably, falls somewhere between mediocre and incredibly boring.

Following lots of talk and some not-at-all-scary scenes in which the spooks make brief appearances, the titular fight between the ghosts finally ensues, and it's extremely underwhelming, like two women having a pathetic cat-fight, with little kid Toshio sticking up for his mum. If you're an avid fan of Japanese ghost movies, you might get a kick out of seeing these legendary spirits scratch and claw at each other, but I'll never understand the appeal.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This is only my opinion..

Author: Cedric Koh Wen Wei
23 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is overloaded with cheap thrills,clichés ,had some bad dialogue and the ending was so silly. One really weird and crazy scene of the movie is when the two ghosts(this is a massive spoiler) merge together and start attacking the protagonist.The characters make all sorts of dumb decisions.A few scenes make you sigh as you know where they are going. The fight scene made the whole audience members laugh.But,the atmosphere was well done. The special effects were pretty good.

Some of the scares were over-the-top and comical. In one scene, both of a woman's legs vanish without a trace,leaving her with two bloody stumps. That scene made many people burst into laughter.

I felt a little bored at all the cheap thrills in the middle of the movie and was tempted to leave. Overall, it is a mediocre movie.

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Wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but still disappointed

Author: Worldstone
1 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's like the same old two original movies, just each of them cut down run-time, tone down the scares a bit, and a cheap plot device with a clichéd blind psychic girl sidekick to force them together for a disappointing 2 minute faceoff.

I'm proud to say I like Ju-On and Ringu, and I have always since middle school, but both of them suffer the exact same thing, terrible characters and stories overshadowed by decent scares. This movie is no exception. Actually, scratch a small part of that, there was ONE character that I was interested in, and that was Professor Morishige. His obsession with wanting to meet Sadako stroke my curiosity but we didn't find out anything because he got killed off halfway through.

All in all, I was somewhat excited for this movie because before it's existence I've always asked myself the same question. "What would happen if you watch that cursed videotape in that vile house of death?". Well my question finally got answered, and it was "lame disappointment".

Check it out if you're a fan of Ringu and/or Ju-On, but it's nothing spectacular.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sadako vs. Kayako is gloriously good!

Author: axelleos2000
17 December 2016

Sadako vs. Kayako is glorious! Let me tell you why.

I've been a huge fan of both Ringu and Ju-On since I first saw them. They terrified me in a way American horror films didn't. Ringu & Ju-On weren't just any other horror film. They were unique and at the end of both, truly terrifying. Also, both films were primarily responsible for the rise and popularity of J-horror, and to this day, Ringu & Ju-On remain iconic and well-known in the horror universe. The success of both films sparked the J-horror craze which resulted in Hollywood remaking films for Western audiences. Some really good, and some really bad. *cough cough Pulse (2006) cough cough* And while J-horror hasn't really surged since, Sadako vs. Kayako has been the latest Japanese film which has really caught some global attention.

First announced as a joke, the concept of Ringu and Ju-On having a crossover really took off, and it ended up happening. Although if I'm honest, both franchises had been doing poorly in their recent attempts at reviving their series. (I'm looking at you Sadako 3D....flop!) So when the crossover film was officially announced, it seemed like a last attempt, or even desperate one, to milk the franchises to their grave. I admit, I was excited, but truly doubtful on how it would work...

The film was announced by a teaser, and it was quite effective in its obscure and minimal advertising. The quick and eerie video hinted at the ultimate showdown by showing footage of the Saeki house ("Grudge" house) and some shots of a TV with Sadako's well on it. In the second teaser, it officially confirms and presents the two names of the queens of Japanese horror, Sadako Yamamura and Kayako Saeki, confirming their ghostly confrontation. Sadako vs. Kayako! I was hyped up from the teaser and could not wait to watch. In the following months, the advertising and marketing for this film was crazy. Later on I ended up watching it at a horror film festival months later and I recently bought the Blu-ray.

Was it worth it, you ask? Absolutely.

Here's why: The Director for Sadako vs. Kayako is Kōji Shiraishi. He is best known for Noroi: The Curse (2005), Carved (2007), and Grotesque (2009). When I first found out about him being Director, I thought he was an interesting choice to direct the film.

I'm happy to say he definitely didn't disappoint.

Similar to Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Sadako vs. Kayako is a film primarily made for the fans, but also for the rest of the world to remember the iconic ghosts and the 2 most popular horror films of Japan -- Ringu and Ju-On.

Before I ramble any further, let me comment on the actual film. I had a great time seeing Sadako vs. Kayako. One thing the film brilliantly did was bring the ghosts back to their classic and original form. They haven't looked better! For example, the original actress who played Kayako Saeki (Takako Fuji) was outstanding in her role, and the films without her were honestly the weakest of the franchise...(The Grudge 3, Ju-On: Beginning of the End, & Ju-On: The Final). In TG3, they made Kayako look like a white plastic mannequin (never showing her as the terrifying blood-covered ghost), and in the later reboots, she was replaced with an older woman who was decent, at best. Anyway, Rina Endo, who plays Kayako in this version is truly terrifying and bares an almost identical look to her in the original. It was great to see Kayako come back! Oh, and let me just say Toshio is scary... He has never been this savage! The film cleverly interweaves both Ringu and Ju-On by having this crazy "exorcist" come up with a wild idea and attempt to save some cursed girls by getting them "double-cursed". This would allow for them to be cursed by Sadako and Kayako's curse, causing both ghosts to confront and fight for their victims. The movie brings back classic scares from the originals and even mixes comedy and action.

Ultimately, Sadako vs. Kayako is glorious. With a concept so wild, and something that seemed like it would never have been made, Sadako vs. Kayako is truly unique, daring, but above all -- entertaining. It is not just horror, it is a genre-twisting film. It is a film that is expected to fail, but triumphs instead. Depending on your perspective, Sadako vs. Kayako is a farewell to J-horror or a new revival of J-horror.

I will admit, this film is not perfect. The plot is a bit loose and to some, the fight scene was underwhelming. (But honestly, if they extended the fight scene, it would be less horror and more action.) In my opinion, this film delivered. It doesn't touch the originals, but it reminded us of why those films were amazing. This film brought back classic Sadako and Kayako, it had high production values and it showed them going head-to-head with a truly unexpected ending.

Do yourself a favor and watch this film!

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