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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sadako (2019) 『貞子』 - Fantasia 2019 Movie Review



The Movie: Sadako 『貞子』

The Director: Hideo Nakata

The Cast: Elaiza Ikeda, Himeka Himejima, Ren Kiriyama, Hiroya Shimizu, Rie Tomosaka, Takashi Tsukamoto

The Story: A group of people must find out how to stop the newborn deadly curse, which has born and gone viral after a Youtuber accidentally captured a vengeful ghost on camera.


The Review:
With the original film's director back on board, the franchise takes a significant turn back to its roots and away from the campiness that had invaded the narrative. The story is slow, dark, and very creepy but unfortunately lacking in jump scares or the type of intense build ups you would hope for from a movie that has a pedigree for being one of the scariest to ever come out of Japan.

The focus this time around is on a psychologist named Mayu Akikawa, played  by Elaiza Ikeda, and a young mute girl who has recently been brought in to the hospital after she was found alone on the streets and having been a victim of an apartment building fire. Ikeda is solid as the primary protagonist and the narrative basically flows through her along with the girl and Mayu's brother, an aspiring youtube star who has a run in with Sadako during his attempt at creating a viral video by going to the burnt out apartment building.

While not very frightening, the story is actually really entertaining and fills in a lot of the history of who Sadako is and ho she came to be, I mean scary little demon girls don't just pop out of nowhere, right? The color pallet Nakata uses for the film is very muted and mostly gray but not total black and white all of which adds to the dread and cold vibe that comes standard with the Sadako movies.

The return of director Hideo Nakata to the franchise pays off in a big way as it just feels more like what the franchise should be which is dark and creepy although a few more jump scares would have really been a welcome addition. Still happy with the end result and here's hoping this isn't the end.


Sadako is an official selection of the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival.


To see more reviews, interviews and festival coverage please go to:

TwoOhSix at Fantasia 2019


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