Sadako v Kayako Review
Synopsis:The vengeful spirits of the Ring and Grudge series face off.
Sadako v Kayako (2016) is a 1h 38-min Japanese supernatural horror film that I was anticipating to see. Director Koji Shiraishi (Grotesque (2009), Noroi: The Curse (2005), A Slit-Mouthed Woman (2007), Occult (2009)) did a fantastic job bringing us this tongue-in-cheek movie that was anything but traditional. He grounded the storyline within the context of the film which works wonderfully until the end where it was a little weak. There was not much depth to the story, but it was nevertheless intriguing to see a glimpse of Japanese horror culture.
Yuri Kurahashi (Mizuki Yamamoto - The Kirishima Thing (2012), Black Butler (2014), I Am a Monk (2015)) and Natsumi Ueno are Japanese university students that met with an adventure after purchasing a second-hand video player. Yuri and Natsumi (Aimi Satsukawa - Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! (2007), The Samurai I Loved (2005), Shinobido (2012), The End of Puberty (2011)) needs to transfer her Natsumi parents’ wedding video to DVD because video players are almost nonexistent. The duo saw an old videotape, which we all know that they had to play it because they were too curious to see what is on it. Yuri got distracted with her cell phone and left Natsumi alone with the video cassette playing.
Sadako Yamamura’s ghost appears on the video only to start haunting and cursing Natsumi. Yuri and Natsumi began investigating the ghost and discovered that the previous owners of the video player were brutally murdered. The duo asks their professor, Shinichi Morishige (Masahiro Komoto - Memories of Matsuko (2006), Linda Linda Linda (2005), Mura no shashinshuu (2004), Bayside Shakedown 2 (2003)) who is a paranormal investigator for help. Shinichi was more than happy to help because he has been looking for a copy of Sadako’s tape.
We are also introduced to high school student Suzuka Takagi (Tina Tamashiro - Chasuke’s Journey (2015), P & J.K. (2017), Sakurada Reset Part I (2017)) who moves into a Tokyo suburban neighborhood. She moved into a home that is on the same street that is famous for murders and disappearances but the strange thing is that she now lives next to a place that Kayako calls home and she is drawn to it for some odd reason. She did that craziest thing ever after several boys enter the house only to be killed by the ghost of Kayako Saeki and her son Toshio. Suzuka entered the house and was cursed but what happens to her parents is ten times worse. Suzuka and Yuri’s storyline collides leading to an intense supernatural feast as Kayako and Sadako duke it out.
Shiraishi somewhat humorous addition to the movie worked well but Sadako v Kayako did not end that way I thought it would. The final act was underwhelming because it felt as though the director did not think about the ending of the film too much and was not sure of how to end the movie. Overall, Kayako was not as fun to watch as Sadako which was funnier and interesting which brought about a sense of unevenness between Kayako and Sadako.
About Sadako v Kayako (2016)
Total Avg. Votes: 10
Writers: Takashi Shimizu, Kôji Suzuki
Director: Kôji Shiraishi