PREVIEW : SADAKO 3D
The long awaited return of Japan’s most iconic vengeful ghost finally hits Japanese screens this month with Sadako 3D, the first entry in the Ringu saga since Norio Tsuruta’s Ringu 0, more a decade ago, in 2000.
As a series concerned since the beginning with the possible technological vessels of the supernatural, Sadako 3D promises a new type of haunting, perhaps even a frenetic (and hopefully as apocalyptic) revision of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Kairo: Sadako for the digital age. The VHS tape and the telephone were introduced in Ringu as the main portals for evil and remained at the forefront of the series. Hideo Nakata (who sadly isn’t involved in this entry, the property having switched hands from Toho to Kadokawa) quickly expanded to photography and even forensic reconstruction in Ringu 2 and beyond, this core concept of technology as a portal to the netherworld quickly becoming one of the main characteristics of J-horror at large.
When a series of shady suicides occur in a high school, teacher Akana Aikawa (Satomi Ishihara) quickly uncovers the link behind all of these mysterious deaths: a video, which the students have been spreading at the lightning speed of a computer button. Sadako’s revival can begin…
Written and directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa, Sadako 3D seeks to modernize the series’ appeal by locating (for the first time, weirdly enough) this new iteration of the curse to the realm of the digital almost entirely, embracing (and hopefully commenting on) the power of social media and portable means of communication (missing internet pages and smartphones flooding the eerie blue-tinged trailer) as a new way for Sadako to travel and hopefully expanding her reach and widening her horrific bag of tricks. Furthermore, the use of 3D looks uncannily appropriate for a film in which a ghost uses the screen as portal: no one, not even the audience, will be safe with this one.
Keep your eyes open & your screens turned off as Sadako 3D reaches Canada later this year.
(Ariel Esteban Cayer)