Premiering today on AMC’s horror streaming service Shudder is Kôji Shiraishi’s Sadako Vs Kayako, a heavyweight battle between two Japanese genre icons. Yes, you heard me right – premiering. Shudder has slowly been building a catalog of new releases – from Mattie Do’s Laotian hautner Dearest Sister to Nathan Ambrosioni’s found-footage Therapy (made by a teenager!) – but Shiraishi’s foreign import may be the platform’s biggest catch to date. Shudder was lucky enough to roll out the blood-red carpet at TIFF for the film’s first festival showing (after exclusively torturing overseas audiences), where I braved a midnight screening for some undead chick-fight wackiness.
My review says it all, but here’s what you can expect:
Those with a palate for J-Horror will be more in-tune with Shiraishi’s darkly humorous ghost story, as two of the meanest undead ladies in all of cinema collide for a joyride through laugh-along horror fun – intentional, or not.
In the vein of Freddy Vs. Jason, the film pits Ringu‘s Sadako Yamamura against Ju-on‘s Kayako Saeki (The Ring versus The Grudge, fellow Americans) as two infamous curses meld into one ghastly nightmare. It’s not scream-a-minute scary, but still packs an unsettling punch during some ominous moments of possession horror. Think more along the lines of a self-aware midnight movie that fully embraces a battle of utmost evilness, but plays more to campy, fun-loving crowds. I mean, both a killer video tape and a death house exist in the same world – why not treat such an insane concept with due insanity?
Thanks to the good people at Shudder, we have an exclusive clip from Sadako Vs Kayako to share with you all! Above, you’ll witness what happens when you mess with the big girls of J-horror. You can seek all the ritualistic help you want – which the film’s horrified main characters do – but it’s of no use. Instead, more innocent victims find themselves caught in unholy cross-hairs, going full chiropractor-from-hell. Check out the clip above to see what I’m talking about.
If you dig much more of the same head-turning insanity, be sure to check out Sadako Vs Kayako on Shudder now. Wait – you don’t have a Shudder subscription yet?! Read my article about the best horror resource on the web, and then dive right in my fellow creatures of the night! You won’t regret it.