Sadako vs. Kayako Movie Review

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By: Willden Doherty (@Willden)

The Ring and The Grudge have become two of the most iconic franchises in Japanese horror and both films have had numerous sequels in Japan. The original films were both remade for America and each had their own sequels. The concept of having two iconic characters facing each other is not a new one. In America, we had Freddy vs. Jason, which did well enough financially and set up a sequel that never happened. Does the idea of two spirits fighting each other work within this similar concept? Well unfortunately, not in this film.

With this type of film, it becomes difficult to balance two movies in one. Usually, one of the stories gets the short end of the stick and this film is no exception. The main story is about Sadako and revising the rules of how she works as a character. There are two best friends who encounter the infamous tape and have to figure out a way to escape Sadako’s curse. It’s the basic plot of any Ring film. A second story involves a girl and her curse with the Grudge house. Most of the first half of the movies sets up the Sadako side of things. The spirit of Kayako doesn’t even appear until halfway through the film. The Grudge storyline seems completely rushed after spending so much time with the Ring storyline. There are two characters who appear late in the film who know about both spirits. Sadako seems to be the main threat as the protagonists plan to use Kayako as a weapon. They decide to let Kayako destroy Sadako by bringing the tape to the house.

When the confrontation happens, it ultimately becomes disappointing. There are a couple of nice little moments, but the confrontation is very brief. They are more getting in each other’s way of claiming their victims and neither can destroy the other. The end result is to have one of the main protagonists sacrificing herself to both spirits. She lures them both into a well so they get covered and traps them both forever. The scene takes a twist with both spirits combining into one being. The concept is really dumb and seeing them combine into a crappy CGI blob is even worse. The long buildup of the film is not worth the payoff.

If you are a fan of either franchise, I would advise against seeing this film. It ultimately tarnishes both characters. The concept may have been goofy, but it had the potential for something way better than this. These two spirits deserved to have a much longer confrontation and to end both of their stories this way is a shame.


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