Shibuya “Ring” Invasion

Trends Trends & Culture - May 7th, 2012

A cursed videotape which brings death to whoever watches it may not sound alluring, but the book of the story and later Japanese film and American remake have proved cult hits.

Many westerners will know The Ring and, indeed, a lot of them will know that it was a remake of the 1998 Japanese adaptation of Koji Suzuki’s 1991 novel. In fact, many horror fans will have watched both versions and traded stories of how scary they are and how much horror they can withstand. There is even a Korean version, The Ring Virus. Ring is still the highest grossing horror film in Japan, having taken over ¥12 billion at the box-office.

Now, another Koji Suzuki novel, S, has been made into a film, this time in 3D. The latest Ring sequel is called Sadako 3D and is directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa. Again there is a mystery video, but this time an updated look gives the film a teenage feel; the video in question is discovered by students as they flick through smartphones in class, before rumours spread throughout the school of a recorded suicide which will make anyone who views it take their own life. This horror flick might not be for the faint hearted, but it does seem to be aimed at a younger generation of fans.

The movie’s distributors came up with a smart way to promote it in Tokyo this week, which will hopefully appeal to the cool kids who hang around Tokyo’s shopping and entertainment hotspots. The 3D feel of Sadako jumping out at the viewer was acted out by performers on the streets of Shibuya on the last day of Golden Week, just ahead of the May 12 release, and caused a real stir. Zombie-like, the figures roamed around the area giving rise to everything from schoolgirl shrieks and tourist photo snaps. A truck sized figure (below) followed the Sadakos around, driving the message home.

If the stunt, which started outside the TOHO cinema, didn’t move people to watch the film, the mysterious notes handed out by the wandering ‘Sadakos’ may have caused a chill down the spine. “She” said, “I got tired of crawling out of a water well, so I decided to crawl out of a monitor,” referencing the original films and referring to the screen she appears to be escaping. “Not looking will get you cursed, but looking will get you cursed too.”

The Sadako 3D official site has some English and has trailers and more info about the film.

Sadako 3D in Tokyo