Weekly Shudder (temp name) will be an ongoing series of blogs/reviews of movies that are part of the online streaming service, Shudder, library.
I’ve had the Shudder service for about a year, maybe a little more, and I love how the library has grown. There is such a wide variety of selections in the sub genres of horror that whatever you like is bound to be on Shudder. For my first review, I decided to take a look at the Shudder exclusive release (for North America) of SADAKO VS KAYAKO, written and directed by Koji Shiraishi. This movie is a cross promotion of the RINGU series and the JU-ON: THE GRUDGE series of horror films, somewhat similar to our own FREDDY VS JASON film.
The movie follows the same basic premise as the standalone RINGU and GRUDGE movies. Two girls unwittingly watch the video tape and are cursed by Sadako. Meanwhile a high school student, Suzuka, who has moved into a house, with her family, next to THE GRUDGE house and is being lured to enter the cursed residence via visions sent by Kayako.
SADAKO VS KAYAKO focuses on the RINGU side of the story, as there is more material to that curse to mine as the two cursed girls’ frantically look for help, while Suzuka has no idea she’s in any danger or what the house next to hers represents.
The two stories eventually converge to give viewers the fight promised in the title of the movie…kind of. I won’t reveal the resolution, but if you’re looking for a battle a la Freddy and Jason, then bring your expectations down. Having noted that; however, the movie is enjoyable and has a story that fans of RINGU or THE RING will enjoy, especially after the terrible American sequel RINGS came out recently.
The story adds elements to both franchises without breaking the rules set before in previous movies. If the producers wish, SADAKO VS KAYAKO also sets up a potential recharge of both franchises going forward. Whether they follow this route or not, I’m very interested in what comes next for these franchises.