the ring vs the grudge

Since the early days of horror movies, audiences have always taken great pleasure in watching our most iconic monsters battle it out. In 1943, Frankenstein fought the Wolf Man in the appropriately titled Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. The two most famous giant beasts of all time threw down in 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla. The kings of the ’80s slashers turned their bladed weapons on each other in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. In 2004, intergalactic supremacy was (kind of, sort of) decided in Alien vs. Predator.

And just when you thought every potential horror match-up had already come and gone, Sadako vs. Kayako arrives to remind us that cinematic monsters will never stop crossing over into each other’s movies so they can fight each other. If that title doesn’t ring a bell, just know that this film is essentially The Ring vs The Grudge, pitting one evil stringy-haired Japanese ghost against another. This isn’t a joke – there’s a trailer and everything.

If it took you a moment to believe that this movie actually exists, you’re in good company. Sadako vs. Kayako was originally teased as an April Fool’s joke last year, but the film ultimately turned into a real thing. It has actual actors and employed a real crew and everything.

Although the American remakes of The Ring and The Grudge were both enormous hits, their sequels received justifiably tepid reactions from audiences and critics, killing both franchises in their tracks (a third Ring movie has been delayed countless times now and the third Grudge went straight to video). However, the Japanese originals showcased stronger legs. 1998’s Ring inspired two direct sequels and four spin-offs. Meanwhile, the Ju-On/The Grudge series is now eight films strong. And that’s before you count both series’ associated novels and comics and television shows and short films.

In other words, this trailer probably isn’t for you – it’s for the serious Japanese horror fans who have already invested far too much time into these characters. But how could you not want to watch it?

Although that trailer doesn’t have subtitles, everything seems clear enough –  Sadako is once again summoned by that cursed video tape and she crosses paths with the vengeful Kayako. They don’t get along. Cue supernatural fisticuffs. The official synopsis doesn’t offer too much more:

Japanese horror icons and vengeful spirits Sadako and Kayako will fight in the ultimate battle for supremacy.

Sadako vs. Kayako is directed by K?ji Shiraishi and will be released in Japan on June 18, 2016. A wider release is inevitable – there’s no way horror fans of all stripes won’t be interested in checking this out.

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