Monday, 22 October 2012

Sadako 3D Review (The Ring 3D)

Sadako 3D

96 min - Horror - 12 May 2012 (Japan)

Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Writers: Kôji Suzuki (novel) & Yoshinobu Fujioka (screenplay)
Stars: Satomi Ishihara, Kôji Seto and Tsutomu Takahash

Firstly let me get this out of the way, I didn't get to see this film in 3D. I'm not really a fan of 3D. But Sadako 3D really needs to be seen in 3D if you get the option! I will touch on that more later.

Sadako 3D is in The Ring series of films, although many probably won't acknowledge it with the original trilogy. Sadako 3D is directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa and is based on the novel 'S' by the creator of Ring, Koji Suzuki. There a few similarities and many, many differences.
Akane is a high school teacher who hears a rumor from her students that there is actual footage on the Internet of someone's suicide. The footage is said to drive anyone who sees it to also commit suicide. Akane does not believe the rumor at first, but when one of her female students dies after viewing the footage, she and her boyfriend Takanori are fatefully drawn into the horror that has been created by the man who appears in the suicide footage, Kashiwada. Kashiwada's intention is to create chaos in the world by bringing back Sadako and the power of her curse. Now Akane has to fight against Sadako and Kashiwada to save the lives of herself and Takanori.
... I'm really scared.

Sadako 3D is a completely different style of Horror flick from the previous Ring films. The story telling is different, the style is different, the pacing is different and the scares are very different.
While the original Ringu films were scary in a slow suspenseful way, like most Japanese horrors. Sadako 3D tends to lean more towards the Hollywood style surprise scares. And it is full of them! I will honestly say this film made me jump on quite a few occasions.

Can you remember the ending to the original Ringu film? Of course you can, it's one of the most iconic horror endings and images of all time. Sadako 3D tends to run with that and over use it by having Sadako come out of every screen possible, phone/laptop/TVs. Nothing is safe. Even the giant plasma screens you see around the busy streets of Tokyo aren't safe from Sadako and her long hair and gruesome hands.

This is were the film would look good in 3D. It's really shot for 3D with lots of hands stretching out straight to touch you and objects flying directly towards you. Seeing it in 3D could really add to the scares! A gimmick, yes. But if used correctly it can be a clever gimmick.

However, this outing is also extremly flawed. It doesn't have the same atmospheric feel as the other Ring films. It's more aimed at the teenage audience with their "idols/popstar" cast. Even Sadako looks like some kind of Japanese popstar when you see her as a normal girl. Watching the trailer, it never gives you the chills once that pop song kicks in! However this has obviously worked in terms of the box office, Sakdako 3D has done very well with 1,500,000,000 Yen ($19,228,500 USD), more than half of the box office was made up of teenagers, and a sequel has been announced for Summer 2013.

The other big flaw is after Sadako comes out of the screen and is in the real world. Without ruining it for anyone, they have changed her look drastically. And it kills the momentum of the film. After this point, any credit or scariness Sadako 3D had is pretty much gone. The creepy Sadako we all remember is gone, and is replaced with something that just looks stupid!

So, see Sadako 3D if you enjoy horrors. But don't expect a classic. And don't expect it to live up to the other Ringu films in the series, because it doesn't. However, I think this will still entertain most J-Horror fans, flaws and all.


Trailer below, with English subtitles:


Now for some light hearted fun. Japan might not do horrors like they used to... But something they do brilliantly is promotion for films! Check out some of these photos of live promotions going around Tokyo for Sadako 3D.


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