Sadako vs. Kayako
Let’s go back to the year 1998 and the release of “Ringu”, a movie that would revolutionize horror cinema and would bring a new aesthetic to American cinema for years to come. The movie, loosely based on a novel of the same name, tells the story of a cursed videotape containing the essence of an evil young woman named Sadako. On the tail end of Ringu comes another Japanese Horror film, Ju-On: The Grudge. This film tells the story of a vengeful ghost linked to a cursed home. Both films left an indelible mark on horror cinema so it really was only a matter of time until someone saw a cash grab in pitting the two monsters against one another. I guess you could say it was a “grudge” match in the “Ring”! HAHAHA!!!
Shut up, that was funny.
The curses for both characters are modified for this film, reducing the days for Sadako’s appearance to only two days and otherwiside diminishing both Kayako and her son, Toshio, to bit supporting parts as a pair of cursed girls try to pool their resources and force the two ghosts to do battle. The final hope is that the two spirits will destroy one another.
Ultimately, the film doesn’t succeed nearly as much as the iconic images from the source materials. Sadako is somewhat reduced by showing a little too much and her spooking movements are somewhat overly exaggerated and look a little silly. Kayako is just as frightening as usual with her death croak, but the amount of cgi used to create her crawl felt a little overproduced. The movies lighting is a little dark at times, but this isn’t a surprise when you watch enough J-Horror.
With that said, the film isn’t a total waste of time. It’s a fun popcorn b-picture with enough scary moments to keep the heart pumping. Some of the characters, like the casually dismissive psychi and his blind assistant, are amusing in a Japanese Anime-trope way.
4.5 out of 10 and a very low priority rental.