Friday, January 10, 2014

Movie Review: Sadako 3D - 2012

Ringu goes 3D. And CGI. And Aliens.

IMDBIt's been quite a long time since Hideo Nakata's last Ringu installment, which was "Ring 2" from the year 2005. And which wasn't good, though not as bad as "Spiral - The Ring 2". Just to inject some more confusion, there is another movie called "Ringu 2" which was made by Nakata since "Spiral - The Ring 2" wasn't accepted by audiences. It seems that one must have studied rocket science to understand the Japanese versioning of movies since there is an even bigger mess when it comes to the "Ju-on" franchise.

Anyway, there wasn't that much left of Ringu to be ruined, hence the reviews claiming that Tsutomu Hanabusa's "Sadako 3D" ruined it are clearly exaggerating. Still, Ringu is regarded the flagship of J-horror, as is proven by exhibit A, the t-shirt I purchased for last Halloween:

Exhibit A: Ringu T-Shirt

So I was looking forward to "Sadako 3D", though I had a bad feeling about the "3D". I can see how 3D works for action based movies like "Final Destination", but for atmospheric, creepy horror it must be a distraction. And so it is for "Sadako". Every scene has been arranged to show off the three dimensions. Every effect is like glass shards in the foreground, background, everywhere, hands coming out of the screen, and so forth. There are scenes where people are talking, but they are pushed to the background just so one can see another person in the foreground. It doesn't make sense, but hey, the depth! It's like the movie is constantly yelling at you "Look at me, I'm 3D!". I yell back: "I know, but I don't care, and I'm watching in 2D anyway!".

As for the plot, there's nothing to write home about. An annoying young artist wants to bring Sadako back to life, and part of his plan is an Internet video of his that kills its viewers. It's quite simple, but "Sadako" wants to make sure that really, really everyone understands the plot, so it lets the protagonists explain it again and again. There is a police detective who appears to be there just for that purpose, to have the plot explained to him or to explain it to others.

What is not explained though is the occurrence of multiple creatures that all look like a mix of Sadako and a monster from the "Alien" franchise. And then, as if 3D wasn't enough, there is an overuse of computer graphics. The problem with CGI is that it is always sterile and thus ruins any sense of creepiness. But that's what you get for attacking people through video technology, Sadako! Eventually, technology strikes back and demolishes you!

Rating: 3 out of 10 dimensions I could have done without.