The vengeful spirits of the Ring and Grudge series face off.The vengeful spirits of the Ring and Grudge series face off.The vengeful spirits of the Ring and Grudge series face off.The vengeful spirits of the Ring and Grudge series face off.The vengeful spirits of the Ring and Grudge series face off.
Regardless, given the chance to sit down and watch "Sadako vs. Kayako", I of course did jump at it. This is a Japanese horror movie after all, so it is right up my alley.
The movie does start out by raising a good point about the curse of Sadako almost coming to an end as the video (VHS) format is obsolete. That was a nice touch of detail from writers Takashi Shimizu and Kôji Suzuki.
"Sadako vs Kayako" has some very interesting sound work, and it really helped to build the atmosphere and mood of the movie. There is a lot of atmospheric sounds put into the movie when Sadako and Kayako are on the screen, and also when something creepy is about to happen or actually happening on the screen. I must admit that I was rather impressed with the sound department and the work they mustered in this movie.
There are some pretty interesting visuals in the movie as well, and director Kôji Shiraishi really managed to use these visuals so well in the movie to establish scares and atmosphere.
As for the acting in the movie, well I can't claim to be familiar with anyone on the cast list, but I will say that the cast ensemble did great jobs with their given roles and characters. And it was nice to see this many new faces in a movie.
There was a good pace to the movie, and the dialogue was good and seemed quite natural. And the character development was also good throughout the course of the movie, because it made the characters stand out from one another and not just be generic and pointless characters. Do take into consideration that the character gallery is rather extensive, and there is a lot of people to keep track of, some more important to the story than others, of course. So keep vigilant and attentive to the story, or you might miss something important.
While the design and layout of the Kayako house was rather interesting, I think it was a shame that it was kept so dark all the time, because a lot of details were being missed and obscured by the darkness. Sure, it sets mood, but would have been nicer to have had a bit more of proper lighting.
Actually a good portion of the movie is filmed in a relatively dark setting. Sure, it adds to the atmosphere, but it becomes annoying after a while, especially because it is so much more nice to actually see everything that is going on clearly in a movie. Especially since you did pay money to watch this.
One thing that puzzle me is why there is no consistency from movie to movie as in what you see on Sadako's cursed VHS tape. It keeps changing from movie to movie. That really makes no sense to me.
As a seasoned horror veteran, I can't claim to find a Japanese woman in a white dress with her long black hair covering her entire face as being particularly scary. Nor can I claim to find a milky white boy with funky hair who sounds like a cat as being scary either. But hey, they are iconic characters of the two Japanese franchises. I guess you have to be Asian in order to find this particularly scary. And also the thing with long black hair showing up out of nowhere in places it shouldn't or couldn't be is not scary either, it is just downright weird.
For an actual showdown between Sadako and Kayako, then you actually have to wait a very, very long time throughout the movie, and that is even before someone just suggests pitching the two evil entities against one another. It is not before the last 15 minutes of the movie that the actual pitching of the two iconic entities take place. And the showdown was not really as satisfying as it should have been, especially since it took almost the entire movie leading up to it.
"Sadako vs. Kayako" is an entertaining enough movie for what it turned out to be. But I can't really claim to find that this was a movie that was particularly necessary for either of the franchises. This wasn't a scary movie, not even by a long shot. It was an interesting enough ride up to the last 15 minutes, which culminated in a less than satisfactory manner.
My rating for "Sadako vs. Kayako" lands on a mediocre 5 out of 10 stars, because this wasn't an outstanding movie in any way, nor was it a particularly necessary movie or a necessary crossover between two franchises.
- Jun 15, 2017