This time, that creepy, crawling girl with the stringy black hair known as Sadako (Ai Hashimoto) comes not through TV sets, but computer and smartphone screens. The cursed VHS tape is now a cursed video clip of a live suicide, and anyone who views it immediately kills himself or herself.
Well, anyone except pretty, young schoolteacher Akane (Satomi Ishihara), because when frightened, she can yell loud enough to break the aforementioned screens.
If we're down to plot points like that, then clearly we have a J-horror franchise that has returned to the well (pun intended) too many times, and yet I enjoyed watching this latest, not-greatest chapter — more often than not, anyway. Director/co-writer Tsutomu Hanabusa hardly breaks new ground, but delivers enough of the familiar, frightful elements fans have come to expect that they should be partially sated.
Well Go USA's Blu-ray release includes both the 3-D and 2-D versions of the film. While the 3-D is hardly necessary for one's enjoyment, Hanabusa makes the most of it. —Rod Lott