The Reviewinator: Sadako 3D (2012)

sadako3dposter“Have you heard about this videotape that kills you when you watch it? You start to play it… and it’s like somebody’s nightmare. Then suddenly, this woman comes on. Smiling at you, right? Seeing you… through the screen. Then when it’s over, your phone rings. Someone knows you watched it. And what they say is, ‘You will die in seven days’. And exactly seven days later…”

…you sign up for Amazon Instant Video so you can watch that movie instead of this one. Sadako 3D is a sad attempt at reviving a classic franchise. There was a time when Hollywood was snatching up the remake rights to every Japanese horror movie featuring a long-haired villainess. Why were they doing this? Because those movies were something most people hadn’t seen before. But then something happened. We got sick of them, quickly. Interest waned, and everyone moved on. Or at least they should have.

Sadako 3D is a pseudo-sequel/reboot of the infamous Ringu franchise which started the Japanese horror craze in the early 2000’s. None of the original cast or crew return for this entry, meaning it has a different look, a different writing style, a completely different feel, and the only thing keeping you watching is the nostalgia. Instead of the “cursed VHS”, this time it’s a “cursed Internet video” that’s going viral, although it’s getting harder and harder to find. But those who do find it commit involuntary suicide right after watching it. No seven-day waiting period this time. The story is about how Sadako (the evil long-haired ghost) is trying to get herself reborn, so she “creates” this video to try to find the perfect human with which to re-birth herself. The only one who can’t die from this video, is “the one”. Everyone else is as good as dead.

The character of Sadako is mostly CG this time around. When I say “mostly”, I mean about 80%. The other 20% is a real actress. But the CG is so ’90s-direct-to-video that whenever it IS the actress, THAT’S the effect that looks out of place. They should have gone either full-CG or full live-action for this character. Making the actress be the “last resort” option is the most backwards way to do special effects that I can think of.

Did I mention this movie’s in 3D? It’s pretty awful, even in 2D. Every scene made for 3D has the worst fake background you’ve ever seen. It’s usually a slow-mo fall off a high ledge, or Sadako busting out of a TV or monitor. The point is, when something’s going to be in 3D, you see it coming a mile away. And you don’t need that kind of distraction in a horror movie, especially when it’s a (pseudo-)sequel to one of the most infamous horror movies of all-time.

Regardless of the 3D, this movie fails across the board. Acting, writing, directing, lighting (oh the lighting!). This is not a horror movie. This is a Wayans Brothers spoof masquerading as a serious movie. And I know there’s already a Sadako 2 3D infecting minds and probably causing mass-suicides too. But instead of subjecting myself to more of this would-be-student-film-if-they-only-had-a-skilled-instructor, I think I’ll just throw my head into my TV so Sadako can’t get me anymore.

1 out of 5

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