The Japan News/ Asia News Network
June 27, 2016
Sadako and Kayako, two notoriously vengeful ghosts from the popular horror movies "The Ring" and "Ju-on," take each other on in "Sadako vs Kayako," which opened in cinemas across Japan last week.
"The film is almost like an attraction at an amusement park. It offers you two different kinds of fear through two different characters," said actress Mizuki Yamamoto, who plays the film's heroine, Yuri.
Eighteen years after its release, the horror in "The Ring" (1998) remains fresh and intense. In that film, people who watch a videotape showing Sadako die within a week. The climactic scene depicts Sadako crawling her way out of a TV screen in a white dress with long dark hair.
"I think many people think of Sadako first when referring to Japanese ghosts," Yamamoto said. She said she came to feel sorry for the character after closely watching the film several times.
In "Sadako vs Kayako," Yuri purchases an old video player that has the cursed videotape inside it. After watching the content out of mere curiosity with a friend, Yuri receives a silent call on her smartphone.
Yamamoto says she was impressed how the film cleverly rewrote the terror elements by updating its technological aspects. The telephone was changed to a smartphone and it was the internet that spread Sadako's image. "I thought, 'So that's how you did it,'" she said.
Yuri seeks the help of a medium to break Sadako's curse. His advice is to bring in another powerful ghost and make them fight against each other, eliminating them both in the end. His choice is Kayako from the "Ju-on" series. Kayako is still living in her house of horrors and showing her power, dragging curious visitors up to the attic. She has her eye on a high school student, played by Tina Tamashiro.
Yamamoto humbly said the protagonists of the film are Sadako and Kayako. "I was there to make them shine," she added.
But the 24-year-old up-and-coming actress learned a lot during the shooting of her first horror film. "I never knew that expressing shock through your breathing and movements required such physical strength. I'm pleased I was able to achieve that," Yamamoto said.
Horror film fans were debating on the internet before the film's release whether Sadako or Kayako would win out in the end.
"I don't think there are that many actors who would have the chance to appear in both 'Ring' and 'Ju-on' films," Yamamoto said. "I'm really lucky to be involved in two great Japanese horror films."
Visit sadakovskayako.jp for more information.