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Review Sadako vs. Kayako (2016): The curses of Ringu and Ju-On facing off. What can possibly go wrong?

genre: horror

My expectations for this film weren't that high to begin with. Reviews weren't too positive. But when it comes to certain genres that is something I need to find out myself. Especially when it comes to horror. Sometimes even the worst horror films have something special to offer. Sadako vs. Kayako is no different.

Although you do need to realize that this film is hardly scary. There are some nice and creepy moments. But they pale in comparison to what you have seen in the original movies. One question that undoubtedly will haunt you is how have they put these iconic franchises together? The concept is pretty crazy and quite ambitious for sure. And I have to admit that its done in a clever way. It's simple, obvious and therefore brilliant. However it happens far too late in the film leaving very little time to enjoy the clash between the two famous ghosts. But why did it take so long for them to get to the point? If I had to guess it is because they wanted to breathe in new life into these franchises and introduce new people to the films. So for the most part it is assumed you don't know about these curses and they basically show you the essentials of what they entail. Mind you they leave out a lot of the lore and background which messes up a lot of the fun. It's those creepy details that make these curses so effective. It can be argued that director Kôji Shiraishi does expect you to be familiar with these films since he hardly gives his audience the time to digest all of what is happening on the screen. However for fans of these franchises apart from a few new elements nothing new is brought to the table. Most of the time it feels like scenes are dragging since we already know what is going on. I was waiting for the main event to start already and it took them one hour and twenty minutes to get there. That would have been fine if the film had a duration of two hours. But that's not the case. We are talking about ninety-eight minutes. Which leaves 18 minutes for Sadako and Kayako to get their groove on and what happens? Almost half of that time is spent on the victims. Plus the ghosts aren't shown as the super evil entities we know they can be. Kayako almost is a joke. I won't reveal what happens next but it is stupid and awesome at the same time. If the sequel is coming then it is going to be interesting for sure. 

But no matter how awesome it is and probably is going to be, it also is very stupid. This film doesn't deliver on what the title promises. There is very little battle to speak of. The outcome of that fight is preposterous to say the least because it's so random and illogical that it will make your head spin. I know that I should not be speaking of logic when it comes to horror films. Still let me remind you that even the most far fetched horror flicks should abide by their own rules they have set. This film literally throws everything out of the window just so that they can deliver that twist you could not see coming. No of course not since it doesn't make sense whatsoever. Granted this whole film is a bizarre project since more likely it will anger the fans than that it will please them. But I like the concept of universes merging. It has a lot of potential when done right. There are some small redeeming factors because of the concept but unfortunately not enough to make it worth your while. I would not have mind at all if they would have gone all old school and genuinely were trying to scare you.  Because it has been a long time I have seen a proper Ring or Ju-On film. Unfortunately the innovation aspects detract from the dread and terror considerably. Still I do have to point out that I prefer the ghosts of this movie over the one in Rings. Even in their handicapped state they are far more impressive than Samara ever could be.

Overall Sadako vs. Kayako doesn't deliver on what it promises. And as is I can't recommend this. But there are some elements that were fun and entertaining especially in relation to the sequel if it is coming. If it is going to be made then this will be worth it since the outcome of this film does have all the potential for ultimate horror goodness. 

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