In the long history of cinematic horror, there have been quite a few movies centered on pitting two fearsome fiends against each other in a battle of the murderous titans. A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger has squared off with Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees. King Kong has fought it out with Godzilla. The Alien has attempted to lay waste to the Predator. Frankenstein’s monster has even brawled with the Wolf Man. Now, horror fans are preparing to check out the latest monster rumble: Japan’s Sadako vs. Kayako.
Written and directed by Kōji Shiraishi, Sadako vs. Kayako began life as an online April Fool’s joke, before gathering enough positive interest to motivate the creation of an actual film. The titular characters are the lead villains of popular J-horror franchises The Ring and The Grudge, which have, of course, both been adapted into English-language fright franchises by Hollywood. Sadako’s name was changed to Samara for the stateside version, while Kayako retained her original name when translated over to the states.
AMC Networks-owned horror streaming service Shudder obtained the exclusive U.S. premiere rights to Sadako vs. Kayako last year, and in an effort to promote their newly available acquisition, has opted to release the first five minutes of the movie online for free. Check out the full clip above, and behold the wonderful weirdness of it all.
One wonders if the U.S. might ever get its own version of a Ring vs. Grudge showdown, especially considering that the Ring franchise is about to return to theaters in a big way with the oft-delayed sequel Rings. While it remains to be seen how well audiences react to Rings, if the sequel performs well, it would stand to reason that distributing studio Paramount Pictures would be interested in commissioning some type of follow-up effort. One possible stumbling block in the way of an American Ring vs. Grudge movie happening is that the two franchises are controlled by competing companies, as the Sony-owned Columbia Pictures distributes the Grudge series.
For those intrigued enough by the above footage to want to give the full Sadako vs. Kayako film a watch, as mentioned above, Shudder is the only outlet on which to legally do so for now. A subscription to Shudder costs $4.99 per month, although new subscribers are eligible for a free trial, which could theoretically be used to watch Sadako and Kayako attempt to lay the ghostly smackdown on each other.
Sadako vs. Kayako is available to stream now on Shudder.