Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

EVEN FOREIGN FILM MAKERS ARE RECYCLING IDEAS AND REBOOTING MOVIES... IN 3D!



Sadako 3D (2012) Japan

In 1998 there came to Japan a new kind of horror called Ringu - watching TV was no longer safe 'cause if you watched a certain VHS tape, seven days later you would die. Horribly. With an expression of abject terror on your face. The story was kind of sketchy, but basically a little girl was thrown into a well, her mother committed suicide, and the curse was born (the East is big on curses) that spreads to anyone foolish enough to watch this tape made, somehow, by the little girl's spirit. Um, okay.


How'd you like to follow THIS all the way to work?
It of course was quickly copied here in the States (we don't have much in the way of original ideas either) as The Ring (2002) which, while not as creepy translated into an American story, still grabbed enough cash to make sequels. There are three Ringu movies in Japan, and three here in the States, the last being in 3D.


...and every chiropractor in Japan becomes filthy rich...
So the horror genre is going through a kind of dry spell... what to do, what to do. Of course! Ringu was done with VHS tapes and TV's - we'll update the story by having Sadako (the cursed girl) appear in a whole new 3D experience where she comes out of smart phones and laptop computers. Yay! A movie (with sequels to come of course - due August 30 in fact). And here we go:

We see a young man carrying a girl with long black hair dressed in a white gown and throwing her into a well besides a decrepit mall. At the bottom we also see there are quite a few girls down there, all with long black hair and white gowns. Even watching in 2D there were several scenes obviously set up for 3D which were still pretty cool - not worth the extra ticket price and headache however.

After a couple of strange suicides (Hello Eastern neighbors - you seem to have a serious problem with your young people committing suicide an awful lot. Either you need better counseling programs or you need to STOP MAKING MOVIES SHOWING KIDS KILL THEMSELVES EVERY TIME THEY GET UPSET) a video is discovered and deleted off the internet of a disgruntled online artist committing suicide. 

For those who play it, he says 'It's showtime.' (the lamest and most used phrase in movies I swear) and the person watching hears a girl's voice say 'you're not the one' and boom, you're dead. We get an older and younger detective. They make the older one so clueless that when the younger tells him the artist killed himself because he got 'burned' the older one says 'They set him on fire?' Duh. I mean c'mon, that wasn't even funny much less plausible. Oh but young ones it's gonna get more complicated.

And that's this movie's main problem. If they had skipped the whole trying to weave the Ring trilogy into this new story they would have had a better (and cleaner) story. I mean, this artist is pissed and he wants the whole world to die. And he's going to do that one hysterical Japanese girl at a time? 

Wouldn't the easier thing to do be to send one of those global emails 'plEase to be Finding thaT you have inheriTed the sum of umpTEEN million dollars from A gentleman WHO had no desendats and wIShes you to inherit. please to be CLIcking the link below... you get the idea. Wouldn't that reach a whole hell of a lot more people than one screaming Japanese chick at a time? Massive problem with this movie that you can't quite get over because even if you DID see all three Ringu or Ring movies you still get lost.

When a teacher's students start getting affected and one suicides, the teacher - umm let me break in here for a second. What is with devices and signs in Japan being in English? I'm not prejudiced or anything, but when anyone tries to find the 'cursed file' they get a 404 error message - all in English. How do they know what that means? They use a search engine that's in English except for the 'search' button.


Never mind. Anyway, one teacher is concerned about the strange attitudes of her students and after one kills herself she discovers they are in search of this 'cursed' file. She happens to be present as one is 'attacked' - see, in this movie you see the 404 message and then get killed as soon as you're alone. But Akane (our teacher) prevents the death of the next one to be attacked. 

The spirit grabs Akane and says 'You are the one.' Akane then screams and the computer glass blows completely out (but not cutting either teacher or student - 3D CGI at work there). This makes the schoolgirl scared to death of her teacher. Massive duh. Uh, thanks for saving me but STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME! Nice.


So we get backstory. Akane has been chosen by Sadako because, like her, Akane has telekinetic powers. It seems that when Akane was a little girl, a psycho showed up at her elementary school with a box cutter (not those heavy metal jobbies (my word), but one of those small craft work cutters that you can get at the dollar store. He swipes the throat of the teacher who was trying to save the kids. Akane then screams, blowing out every window, knocking all the kids down and dispatching the drooling, cross eyed idiot. 

But instead of being grateful all those little brats instead treat her like a freak and so she would have (of course) thrown herself off the roof - except for one boy, Takanori. He thanks her and tells her she's special. They end up married. So Sadako was a nasty kid who messed people up with her powers - which is why they threw her into the well while still alive in the first place, and Akane saved people with hers - which is why they treated her like a freak. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

And so the setup: This disturbed idiot of an 'online artist', hating the world, wants to resurrect 'S' (what he calls her and the name of the book this is based on) to kill absolutely everybody. Sound plan. Not. After tossing countless girls down the well (to give 'S' a body) but all being rejected, he realizes she needs to find one and so somehow conjures her up by writing her name on the wall a billion times (Bart Simpson he is not) and committing suicide in front of a computer camera by letting her kill him - I guess. I was getting a bit hazy by this time. When the police check out the guy's apartment (his name was Kashiwada if that matters) things look - fake. The landlady offers the opinion (no one asked her) that 'everything is artificial'.

The wallpaper looks like a ton of moths. The review says they were butterflies but they looked like moths to me - all white with flat wings. There's also a ton of black butterflies - about the only reference I could find as far as Japanese interpretation of butterflies is that they can represent good and bad souls. Duh. After the young cop sees the video and kills himself, the older cop touches the wall and all those butterflies come off the wall revealing the billions of 'Sadako' names written there plus a big picture of... something.


So Akane confides in Takanori and they run afoul of the hair and the arms reaching out of every screen (but at least this time the hair is clean and dry - no slime). A really cool delivery truck that had an LCD screen cover the whole side of it suddenly changes from a music video to the ooky girl and she grabs Takanori and sucks him into the screen. Nuts.


WTH?
And now we get to the little twist - the new form of Sadako and her, uh, minions? There were more than a few girls thrown down that well, and they all come out. The CGI on this was pretty obvious but still... each girl is now some kind of, uh - well the hubby and I discussed it and they either were going for a kind of grasshopper or praying mantis look as each girl's legs were about eight feet long and bent - weird. 

It was pretty cool actually CGI or not and I kind of would have liked to see that in 3D but... meh. Why did they look like that? You should know better than to ask smart questions about stupid movie moves by now. Haven't you been paying attention to my blog? It is what it is.

Fleeing the girl bugs, Akane goes into a derelict mall and finds, on a chair (how she happened to run into that is a hole but...) a smartphone with Takanori trapped inside. Huh, just like millions of young people he's become a smartphone zombie. Duh.


Sadako's obviously had a very long shower...
Buggy Sadakos show up by the dozens and so Akane uses her secret weapon (besides conveniently finding a sharp metal pole to impale individual Sadakos on the floor next to wherever she's crouching) of screaming to convert all those buggies to black butterflies. The 'true' Sadako then appears (this time clean, dry, with hair down to her feet), holding Takanori (Wait, wasn't he in the phone?) by the throat with a knife. In exchange for his life, Akane offers hers and Sadako, uh, melts into her I guess. 

She then suffers a major case of attack by a huge Cousin Itt and is so covered in hair and becomes so heavy she goes through the floor, landing with the ever-growing hair killing her. Wait, what? Isn't she supposed to be Sadako now? Why would she now be killed? What was the whole point anyway?

In one of those rare 'happy ending' type scenarios (which we know is not 'cause there's a sequel already), Takanori, free of both the phone and Sadako manages to comb Cousin Itt back (just kidding, he just kind of digs through all the hair) and pulls out Akane. Our last scene is the two of them embracing, probably just taking a breather until they've got to do the damn sequel. What happened to Akane being possessed by Sadako? I dunno, go to Japan and ask them. Roll credits please.

Oh dammit. There's been a really bad habit lately of movie makers who want to force you to actually watch the damn credits I guess 'cause a few run then all of a sudden...

Just outside the building beside the well, Kashiwada's landlord moves away and says again, 'Everything in this world is artificial.' Why? Dunno. Now roll the credits PLEASE...

Crap. More credits go by and then we see...

Kashiwada's video begins again - except his words are different. This time he he looks up and says, 'Now. Here we go again.' and the screen goes red and out comes the hand.... THE END DAMMIT ALL!!!

Will I see the sequel? Meh.