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Film / Sadako vs. Kayako

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The most terrifying ghosts are about to be unleashed!

Sadako vs. Kayako (貞子 vs. 伽椰子) is a 2016 Japanese supernatural horror film directed by Kōji Shiraishi. It is a crossover of the Ju-on and the Ring series of horror films. The film was first teased as an April Fools' joke on April 1, 2015, but was later confirmed on December 10, 2015 to be a real production. It was released on June 18, 2016 in Japan, with a streaming only western release on the service Shudder in 2017.

Two college students buy a second hand video recorder, discovering a copy of Sadako Yamamura's videotape inside. They watch it one after the other and are cursed by the girl from the well. Elsewhere, a high school student moves into a new suburban neighbourhood and becomes wary of the haunted house across the road. Curiosity gets the better of her and she ventures inside, only to face the wrath of Kayako and Toshio Saeki. Wanting to escape their curses, the girls turn to a medium and his blind assistant for help. The best course of action - to twice curse them with each other's curses, and pit Sadako and Kayako against one another.

Sadako vs Kayako contains examples of the following tropes:

  • All Your Powers Combined: Sadako and Kayako merge to form a superbeing at the end.
  • Alternate Continuity: The film is set in a universe independent of the original film franchises. The content of the cursed video is different, it kills you earlier (two days instead of seven) and it apparently can't be negated by copying and showing it to someone else, though nobody in the film does that since any information about the tape has been lost to history. Meanwhile, the interior of the Saeki house is unlike anything from both continuities in Ju-on and, unlike the reboot, it still stands, albeit abandoned. Not to mention that the ghosts are played by all-new actors/actresses.
  • Antagonist Title: Both Sadako and Kayako are the villains of their franchises.
  • Asshole Victim: Considering how she manages to selfishly screw a lot of people in a short time, no tears are dropped when Natsumi is finally claimed by Sadako.
    • To a minor degree, Morishige. His involvement in trying to exorcise Natsumi is merely because he is obsessed with the cursed tape legend and wants to force Sadako into being seen. he ends up being killed by the possesed medium before he can see her.
    • There's also the bully kids who force a fourth one into Kayako's house. After the leader gets pelted with a rock by their victim, they all enter after him and are killed by Toshio. Sadly, the bullied kid also ends up being killed.
  • Ax-Crazy: Natsumi, certain that she'll never be cured of the curse, makes sure that everyone suffers her fate. By fate means that she uploads the cursed video to the internet long enough for it to be archived, dooming thousands of people in the process.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: At the end of the film, when Sadako and Kayako fuse into Sadakaya, one of the gestalt onryō's breasts can be seen, though there are no details present.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Yuri acts as one to Suzuka during the short time they are together, calming her as they are nearing their deaths. She later offers herself in place of Suzuka to be the lure for the last resort to stop Sadako and Kayako.
  • Blind Seer: Tamao is technically blind and can't see with her eyes, but she's more than able to see via psychic vision, and try to help our heroes stop Sadako and Kayako, trying to pit them together and off them amidst their brawl.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: We don't see what happens when Sadakaya and Toshio catch up to Suzuka and Tamao, respectively, but it's most likely not pretty.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Sadako's eyes are solid black, and cause those who gaze into them to die.
  • Broad Strokes: How Sadako kills you incorporates elements from the original Ring and Sadako 3D series. Normally, watching the cursed tape sets a virus that enchants you to commit suicide, like in the latter series. If for whatever reason you manage to avoid it, Sadako personally appears and reveals her eyes to insta-kill you, like in the former series.
  • Brown Note: Sadako's gaze is so deadly that it can even incapacitate Kayako.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Yuri seems to have an innate goal of saving people, even if it's senseless or unwanted. Natsumi actually calls her out for this.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The old VCR that Yuri and Natsumi buy to copy the wedding tape just so happens to include the cursed tape inside.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Sadako vs. Kayako.
  • Curse: Sadako kills whoever watches her videotape, while Kayako and Toshio kill whoever enters their house. Keizo tries to get the curses to cancel each other out by having the two onryō destroy each other, but it backfires horrifically.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: One of the criticisms levelled against the film is how short and one-sided the titular fight is. Sadako sucks Toshio into the TV immediately, throttles Kayako and gouges out one of her eyes with her hair, and then explodes Kayako's head by forcibly making eye contact. Kayako, conversely, is only able to attack Sadako by pouncing on her — which results in the above throttling, eye-gouging, and head-exploding scene — and by crushing the cursed video cassette, which only pisses Sadako off. Of course, Kayako simply reforms every time Sadako rips her apart, meaning that the fight doesn’t really get anywhere.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Kayako. Toshio, too, though he's more on the adorable side (he's 9, mind you). Sadako too, to some.
  • Death Glare: A literal one; it's how Sadako kills her victims in the films. She makes Kayako's head explode when they make eye contact. It doesn't stick and she just reforms.
  • Death of a Child: Other than Toshio, who died in the backstory, Kayako does not discriminate against those she kills. A chunk of the film explores how four kids go missing inside the Saeki house, and how they die are shown in explicit detail. Tamao also presumably bites the dust at the end, courtesy of Toshio.
  • Downer Ending: Both curses can't be stopped. Interfering will kill you. Trying to pit them against one another will cause them to fuse instead. All of them happen by the film's end.
  • The Dragon: Toshio to Kayako, like in the original series. He's responsible for most of the haunting people experience when they enter the cursed house, while Kayako lays low until the killing. When the two ghost ladies are battling at the climax, Sadako even makes a point to take out Toshio first so he can't assist his mother.
  • Eldritch Abomination: When Sadako and Kayako fuse, they turn into a terrifyingly huge ball of black hair and energy with scattered body parts all over the place. The hair is able to instantly kill Keizo when he is slashed by it.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Sadako and Kayako both end up possessing Yuri and become a new curse.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: All the major characters die or become cursed by the end. Natsumi in the meantime manages to kill more than 6,000 people in her despair.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Invoked, in an attempt to deal with both of the curses, the protagonists decide to turn them against one another.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Yuri simply sheds a Single Tear as she sees Sadako/Kayako fall on top of her.
  • Fanboy: Morishige is a shameless Sadako fanboy. He'll pay and do anything to see the cursed video, even if it costs him his life. In fact, he flat-out states to the miko who conducts exorcism on Natsumi that he doesn't care if Sadako claims him, as all he wants is to see her in person. Sadly, Sadako denies his wish.
  • Final Girl: Subverted. Just when you think that Suzuka survives the onslaught, Sadako/Kayako breaks out of the well by possessing Yuri and presumably kills her.
  • Fish out of Water: Suzuka has only recently moved to the neighborhood and obviously has some difficulty adjusting to her new life. It's also why she never knows about the legend of the cursed Saeki house.
  • From Bad to Worse: Suzuka and Yuri lead both Sadako and Kayako from the Saeki house to Sadako's Well, to trap and end both of the curses. Instead the curses combine, which means that every house where Sadako's tape has been and will be played now carries Kayako's curse as well.
  • Fusion Dance: In the film's finale, Sadako and Kayako fuse into a single onryō called Sadakaya and possess Yuri.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Yuri is cursed by Sadako and Suzuka is cursed by Kayako. Keizo decides the best way to permanently get rid of both curses is to pit them against each other by double cursing both with the other's curse.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Yuri offers to watch the tape with the intention of removing the curse from Natsumi. Later, she offers herself to be the lure trapping Sadako and Kayako inside the well. Unfortunately, they only end up making her their new host.
    • Suzuka's mother gives Suzuka time to flee as Kayako corners and kills her.
  • I Don't Want to Die: In contrast to Yuri's calm acceptance of her fate, Natsumi freaks out hard when faced with the prospect of death. Enough for her to expose thousands of other people to the video, dooming them to Sadako's curse.
  • Invincible Boogeymen: Sadako and Kayako are both known to be this so the whole idea to have them face off is an attempt at defying it brought upon by desperation. It not only doesn't work but it has made things a whole lot worse. On a global scale.
  • It's All About Me: Natsumi thinks that if she doesn't deserve to live, then neither does everyone else.
  • The Load: Suzuka, oh so much. Yuri at least had reason to believe that watching the tape would cure her friend. Suzuka knows full well about the curse, and is even warned several times from multiple people not to go into the house, and if she did she would die. However, she does it anyway and is promptly cursed. What pushes her further into this, is when faced with danger, she completely freezes and requires others to save her. In once instance it gets her parents killed. Her mother even performs a heroic sacrifice to throw her away from Kayako, but she still refuses to move, she only escapes because Keizo pulls her from the house.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: Sadako vs. Kayako in the poster above.
  • Mutual Kill: The intention of pitting Sadako and Kayako against one another is for this to happen.
  • No-Sell: No, you can't use any kind of Loophole Abuse, such as killing yourself in advance, if Sadako has set the time when you die. She'll kill those trying to steal her kill. Even if said person is you, as Morishige finds out badly.
  • One Curse Limit: Invoked by the protagonists: if someone is cursed by two onryō at the same time, it will cause the two to battle one another, hopefully to a Mutual Kill. In the end this is technically true, as Sadako and Kayako merge into one.
  • Prehensile Hair: Both Sadako and Kayako have this ability, Kayako doing it first in her second theatrical film and Sadako following suit in Sadako 3D. There's a screenshot where Sadako uses her hair to choke Kayako , as well as a scene where Sadako drags Toshio into the TV with her hair.
  • Prophet Eyes: When Sadako possesses people, their eyes turn milky white.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Sadako's main MO in this film is to release a virus into people who watch the cursed video which induces them to kill themselves in two days. Later, she also offs the miko who try to exorcise Natsumi by forcing them to snap their own necks.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Natsumi, after she reveals to Yuri what she has done with Morishige's copy of the tape.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Maybe not so apparent as ghosts (because let's face it, they both just want to kill people) but in life, Sadako was quiet and sad while Kayako was enthusiastic and cheerful. Sadako as a ghost is also more fueled by a cold hatred of the world while Kayako is fueled by rage of what her husband did to her and her son. Then there's their modus operandi, as Sadako gives those she curses two days of respite before she kills them, while Kayako wastes no time in hunting people who step inside her house. The advertisements even play up these respective colours with the characters.
  • Single Tear: Yuri, as she faces her death at the hands of Sadako/Kayako.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: The two most famous cinematic examples; Sadako and Kayako.
  • The Stinger: Yuri, who is now a fusion of Sadako and Kayako, is shown in new footage of the cursed video.
  • Takes One to Kill One: The reason the protagonists decide to pit the two onryō against one another: according to Keizo the only way to permenantly stop the curse of an evil spirit is to turn it against another evil spirit and let them destroy one another. It doesn't go that way.
  • Taking You with Me: Realizing she can't escape her fate, Natsumi thought she might as well commit mass genocide to make sure to drag others with her to death by uploading the cursed video on the internet for those unlucky viewers to watch.
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe, the cursed tape has been lost to history because time has changed and no one uses the VCR anymore. Of course, it promptly appears to the protagonists when the plot calls it.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Japan's two most famous cinematic onryō in a showdown to the death.
  • Urban Legends: While the cursed video and house are made for the film, the Japanese urban legends that Morishige recounts as part of his lecture are rooted in real life, including the Kuchisake-onna, Aka Manto, and Hanako-san of the Toilet.
  • Versus Title: Featuring Japanese horror's two most iconic characters.
  • Wham Line: "And just now, while you're taking a shower, I uploaded it to the internet. Realizing the danger, I deleted it right away, but many people have downloaded it, and it's already on the internet. Everyone will be killed by the curse." — Natsumi.
  • Wham Shot: Following the above wham line, Natsumi shows Yuri the video, revealing that it's been watched 6,048 times. And it's just from one account of one hosting site.
  • Your Head Asplode: Sadako explodes Kayako's head by making eye contact with her. Kayako reforms and resumes the fight.


Video Example(s):


Sadako vs. Kayako

Sadako and Kayako fight each other for the right to kill their charge.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilVersusEvil

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