June 4, 2013 (U.S. Blu-Ray)
Tsutomu Hanabusa (Screenplay), Kôji Suzuki - Writer (based on the novel by), Yoshinobu Fujioka - Writer (screenplay)
Satomi Ishihara as Akane Ayukawa
Kôji Seto as Takanori Ando
Yûsuke Yamamoto as Kiyoshi Kashiwada
Sadako 3D was promoted in Singapore as “The Ring 3”, and the story components support the fact that this film is indeed a teen-oriented sequel to Ringu and The Ring. This time the Japanese myth surrounding the spirit “Sadako” is the foil for this story of a girl hurled down a well who comes back to exact her revenge.
Sadako 3D was promoted in Singapore as “The Ring 3”, and the story components support the fact that this film is indeed a teen-oriented sequel to Ringu and The Ring. This time the Japanese myth surrounding the spirit “Sadako” is the foil for this story of a girl hurled down a well who comes back to exact her revenge. Those looking for a credible sequel to a beloved horror film will be sorely disappointed with this film. Those who look at this film from the point of view of a completely new film will be marginally entertained. But… those who happen to have a 3D TV in their homes will find Sadako 3D is the best 3D feature available for their in-home entertainment investment.
Sadako 3D begins with a dramatic 3D image from the bottom of a well, and as the cover opens it’s clear that an incredible 3D treat is in store. Aside from the phenomenal effects on the home 3D TV, however, the entire sequence is rather cartoonish as a young girl is dropped into the well by a smiling and laughing lunatic. Next we see a young man with wild eyes preparing for an Internet live feed, and there are four viewers sitting in front of their computers. There is a very cool effect of seeing the live feed viewers from inside their computer screens that sets the stage for the fact that this particular presentation is two-way communication.
Shortly after we see the beginning of the live feed the scene cuts to a classroom with a young girl searching frantically on her iPhone for “The Cursed Video”, something that has gone viral across the Internet, and yet that also seems to show up randomly on certain URLs only to become a “404 Not Found” shortly thereafter. It seems that whoever watches this cursed video commits suicide after viewing. When this student finally finds the video later that night and is found dead after falling from her 5th floor window, her teacher Akane (Satomi Ishihara) begins a quest to track down the meaning of the video, and discover why she seems to have the power to ward off the coming of Sadako with her hidden telekinetic powers.
As mentioned earlier, Sadako 3D is absolutely not a credible sequel to The Ring. The whole thing is a bit comic-book like and has a number of over-acting characters and semi-ridiculous plot direction and dialogue. As a film unrelated to The Ring the film is a bit cheese-ball but still entertaining and fun in a bubble gum kind of way. The story moves forward at a good pace so there is not much opportunity to get bored or complain that there isn’t anything happening. Sometimes mindless entertainment with scary themes and cool effects are enough for some Horror Freaks. The female lead is also quite stunning, which is something that I personally rarely make a big deal of – attractive women in horror are great of course, but there are lots of them and at some level the physical beauty approaches the “dime a dozen” category… but, Satomi Ishihara as the teacher Akane has a beauty that transcends nationality and cultural ideals. Let me explain that – every culture has their own version of ideal beauty, and that ideal can be unique to races, cultures, and time periods. It might sound stupid to say, but Satomi Ishihara strikes me as someone who has a universal beauty, really striking. Does this mean I have a crush on her? Anyway, about the 3D effects…
I have had a 3D TV for about a year, and my impression of the 3D features available has been lackluster at best. Sure, there are a few cool scenes, but ultimately it has been difficult to see the real value of having 3D in the home at all considering the smaller screen and ineffective transfers of 3D features to Blu-Ray. That was before Sadako 3D; This film provided the full 3D benefit from items floating 2 feet from my face to being able to see 50 feet into the screen. The 3D elements of this film are absolutely spectacular on a home system, and give the film a magical quality that, frankly, leads to a higher rating than the film would have had without such an experience attached. Audible “whoa”s and “Holy Crap”s could be heard from the movie room as this film progressed from beginning to end.
This film cannot be recommended as a follow-up film to the fantastic The Ring, and is only fractionally recommended as entertainment horror that doesn’t require any thinking at all. Sadako 3D is highly recommended, however, for those who have been searching for a justification for that 3D TV they bought. The 3D effects are amazing, and really shouldn’t be missed on the home 3D system.