#31in31 2019 – “Sadako vs Kayako”

“Obviously I’m not okay!”

Story: Let’s get ready to rumble! In this corner Sadako, aka The Cursed Video killer from Ringu! In the other, Kayako the revenge killer from Ju On! In between, two young girls who found that damn tape. *ding ding*

Scares: Lots of chills.

Splat factor: Barely anything. A pool of blood, and a few dead cursed folks.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Nah… But you can stay tuned for a post credits tidbit.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Based on the Grudge (Ju On) and Ring  (Ringu) series.

Trick or Treat?: I actually had a really good time watching this mashup. I know, I expected meh. But vs is fun. You don’t need to know – or have watched – any of the individual series films, but they’ll help set the mood.

The idea of fighting fire with fire is a great idea for genre film fun, just peep Freddy vs Jason, Godzilla vs Anyone, and all the other films that put two heavyweights together. So it is here. The plot is bare bones; one girl has watched Sadako’s deadly tape, and another has wandered into Kayako’s house. Both girls are doomed…maybe?

The cast is game for this curse throw down, especially Masanobu Andô as the apathetic medium Kyozo. He’s a mix of the coolest boy in school and the most powerful spiritualist ever. He injects a dry humor to the proceedings just when we need a break from the almost nonstop scary.

Things get a bit weird at the end – uh, I say this with kindness because these are my family’s people – but c’mon, it’s Japanese cinema. Weird it their stock in trade. That, and Toshiro Mifune. It’s the kind of crazy creepy climax that only these two ladies could come up with. And while it’s relatively brief, it’s what we came to see. I couldn’t tear my eyes away.

#ProTip – don’t watch this dubbed. Suck it up and go with the subtitles. (Props to my people who would do this immediately without my recommendation.) You’ll want the extra bit of hysteria and fear that comes through with the actors authentic vocals. Enjoy.

Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.

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