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Sadako Vs Kayako

Sadako Vs. Kayakosadakovskayako
Released: 2016
Directed by: Koji Shiraishi

I don’t know why we love to take cultural titans and pit them against each other so much. What is it about characters who are able to dominate their genre so well that makes us want to watch them compete for our attention? From Batman V Superman to Freddy Vs. Jason, and all of the Godzilla Vs Monster-of-the-Day films, this has long been a tradition of film making. This time, it was the chance for some of our favorite Japanese ghost ladies to take the spotlight.

Sadako Vs Kayako is as much of a mess as you’d expect it to be, and you’ll love it all the more for that.

Sadako Vs Kayako begins its story with friends Yuri and Natsumi; after attending a class discussing urban legends, including one involving a cursed video tape, Yuri finds herself roped into helping Natsumi with a VHS transferring project she’s working on. When they go to purchase a VHS player from the store, they find it already has a tape inside. Curious, they decide to give it a watch, and soon wish that they hadn’t.

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Noroi: The Curse

Noroi: The Cursenoroithecurse
Released: 2005
Director: Kôji Shiraishi

There are few films that use the much-maligned found footage approach in a way that feels fresh, effective, and truly scary. There are even fewer films that I’m willing to give a full five stars to, because they were just that terrifying and enjoyable to watch. Noroi: The Curse is a film that somehow manages to meet both criteria, and is delightfully creepy along the way.

The words “found footage” have, in recent years, become synonymous with “poor quality,” usually drawing to mind shaky camera work, nonstop screaming by amateur actors, and long, drawn-out sequences in which nothing happens whatsoever. In many ways, the reputation is deserved – which is why it’s such a nice surprise when you’re able to find something that bucks the trend and proves why found footage was ever considered scary to begin with.

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