What do you mean, "Who is Dirge Durell?" He is not only a published writer on the website Yokoso Japan Association (links here and here), but most importantly Durell is the newest member of our team here at Dreadful Reviews! He favours Asian horror films and the like but you will also find him discussing a wide variety of topics from within the horror genre. So give Durell a big welcome, because we are very excited to have him! This month you will recieve not only an exclusive review of the Japanese horror movie Sadako vs. Kayako (2016) but you will also see a breakdown review of every episode of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things (2016)! Thanks Durell for your contributions, and we are excited to welcome you to our horror family. - Channy Dreadful
How are you all doing this day, whenever you read this? Hahaha. Oh, really? How interesting. Okay, enough. It's my turn to take hold of your mind's voice. I will be doing a review about (you really don't need me to say it, but I will) Sadako vs. Kayako.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, I will explain. These two names belong to the world's most iconic Japanese ghost woman. Sadako is from the ever so classic series, The Ring (or Ringu for you hardcore fans). Kayako is from the other infamous horror movie series, The Grudge (Ju-on). If you are still not sure what I am writing about, please do me (and yourself) a favor and watch at least one Ring and Grudge movie. I'd be fine if you watched the American ones, but only because it would give you a basic understanding of background.
I don't walk to talk too much about the story. Partly because I would spoil the fun, partly because it is very basic. I will gloss over some early parts. It starts with how Sadako’s curse works. Watch the tape, die two days later. The way they explain Kayako is with one of the main characters' classmates telling her about the curse. Enter the house, die shortly after. Let's focus a little more on the girls themselves.
Sadako is creepy with her presence. Her walk is strange and unsettling. She doesn't attack with force but with mind-games. Appearing behind someone and vanishing is a specialty. Black locks of hair is her other one. Making them appear at times when characters are alone.
I cannot talk about Kayako without talking about her partner-in-crime (and also son) Toshio. Toshio is the king of jump-scares, so every time they are inside the Grudge house, expect it. As for when Kayako makes her appearances, she makes her you feel fear again. She achieves this with her strange sound and the way she enters a scene. Crawling down the stairs on all fours, leading with her hands, characters freeze where they are.
If you go into this movie expecting a bloodbath, you will be disappointed. That is not what these curses are about. Despite their appearance, they both are fairly clean ladies. Sadako just needs to stop leaving her hair everywhere. Don't get me wrong, there is blood spilled in this movie. It makes up for it by killing four children. (Possibly five, but we are not 100% sure.)
The way they introduce our combatants is a good way. With it taking place in modern times, the curse video tape has to find a way to be introduced. They way they do this is by having a girl want to send her parents their old wedding video as a digital copy for their wedding anniversary. Smart play and I really do think that was the best way. For the Grudge house, they have four kids explore it. Well, not really explore it -- three of them are making one go in for either punishment for something he did, or just plain bullying. I suspect the latter. So the one goes inside and is greeted by Toshio. He then eggs the other three inside by opening the front door and hitting the leader with a rock. This leads to the aforementioned four kids' deaths.
Despite an ending that I think had a set-up for another way it could have played out, an ending I think would have been cool, I have reached my final verdict.
I give this 8 Japanese Curse Waifus out of 10. Bravo.
Please see this movie if you love both of the franchises.