Sadako vs. Kayako (2017)


Sadako Vs KayakoStarring Mizuki Yamamoto, Tina Tamashiro, Aimi Satsukawa

Directed by Koji Shiraishi

Ali vs. Frazier, Hogan vs. Andre…that creepy drowned chick from The Ring vs. the other creepy-crawly chick from The Grudge. Heavyweight brawls, correct? Irresistible force meeting the immovable object, right? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves so quickly, shall we? Two out of three of these brawls were worth the wait (and the dough paid to watch them) – the third? Let’s just say, what coulda been, shoulda been.

The film is Sadako vs. Kayako, and for any fans of the Japanese/American Ju-on/Grudge/Ring films, this little gem has been touted for some time, and the anticipation has been fairly intense. Director Koji Shiraishi smashes both franchises together in the hopes of some residual fallout, and sadly to say, this one (for me at least) just didn’t hit the mark.

The film uses its opening to deliver a nice setup to Sadako’s continuing reign of terror… then she just sort of drops off the map – we know she’s there, hiding in the shadows… or the well… or the TV. Trust me; she’ll be around when you least expect it. As for Kayako and that eerie little cat-boy, they have their time in the spotlight as well, and we have our two leading ladies (Yamamoto and Tamashiro) shrieking and crying their way through the majority of the movie as a couple of college gals interested in the illusion of the VHS-mayhem that usually awaits.

Turns out that their professor is even more tuned in to the Sadako urban-legend, and he’s willing to trade his life for a glimpse of the black-haired silent-siren of sorts. This really acts as an extension of The Ring story with not much traveling down Kayako boulevard, and when a goofy ghost-hunter of sorts and his little blind assistant step into the fray in the hopes of having the two entities square off, then you know this flick has run directly off of the rails.

For those looking for that “impending collision” between the two dark ladies, you’d better settle in for a bit, campers – it takes quite a while to have these two uglies battling it out, and when they do, the shrapnel is more Nerf-style than full metal jacket. Not that there aren’t more than a few really fun moments in the film, but I can only see this as a gigantic missed opportunity for those wanting some slam-bang action to write home about. Both franchises’ scares have unfortunately run dry, and after a while, the sight of a lady crawling out of the TV set or some little kid meowing like a Persian in heat just isn’t the remedy for some much needed fright-time. There are even some tweaks to one character’s storyline in an attempt to ratchet up the interest, but it doesn’t add to the overall image and falls by the wayside like a forgotten chapter in a very big book.

In the end of it all, for hardcore fans of both franchises it’ll provide an amusing (if not disappointing) 90+ minutes of horror, but for those who just hung around for each installment, this is one of those movies you’ll look at and wonder, “Was that it?

If you’re game either way, Sadako vs. Kayako is now available exclusively on Shudder.

  • Film
User Rating 4 (7 votes)


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