Sadako 3D: A Review

To close out the saga of Sadako, the most iconic figure in Asian horror, the finale is delivered in 3D via a film directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa wherein S. goes full techie, taking over computer monitors and giant sized LCD screens to wreak havok on her victims with her long dark tresses.

Online artist Seiji Kashiwada (Yusuke Yamamodo) vows to get revenge on the peers who shunned him on the internet by trying to bring back Sadako. To do this, he uses the video of his death which he proliferates online to help the ghost find a suitable host for her resurrection. As more people who view the cursed video die, Sadako finally finds ‘the one,’ school teacher Akane Akuyawa (Satome Ishihara), whose kinetic abilities prove to be a perfect match for Sadako’s talents.

The last film in the franchise differs greatly from the previous installments mainly because Sadako’s M.O. changes drastically. Whereas before, there is sort of a lead time between watching the video before the curse finally catches up with the viewer, this time, the murders are instant and more aggressive — perhaps because the purpose is different as well. And while  Sadako used to operate alone, she now has a posse of deformed mini mes that disperse into moths once attacked. Go figure.

For a horror, this installment is not creepy at all, unlike previous Ring movies. Maybe it is because of the 3D element that filmmakers have become more conscious about pulling off the CGI rather than keeping the overall feel of the film on the dark side, which actually contributed to its success in the past. It did not help much that the pace is also dragging, with the action kicking in only towards the final minutes of the movie. There were also attempts to inject drama into the story but drama doesn’t normally fly with hard core horror franchises like the Ring. Back to the point, if only filmmakers had moved the last 20 minutes of the film sooner into the movie, it would have made for a much more thrilling conclusion to the saga.

As it stands, the horror is lukewarm at best, the story has no relationship to the franchise at all, and only served to take away part of Sadako’s awesomeness with a cheesy run off the mill sequel that does not intend to close the saga but rather churn out the possibility of another sequel to get more mileage out of the successful franchise. All in all, fairly disappointing. Still, its good enough for a couple of scares.