Welcome to Occult Woods (2022). Japan. 123 min
Here we have the penultimate outrage from Koji Shiraishi, a fan of Brian De Palma and Kiarostami, Carpenter and Gakuryu Ishii (the Granddaddy of Japanese Cyberpunk) who one fine day in 2016 dared to film Sadako vs. Kayako. Now he recounts the amazing but far from sad story of a film director overwhelmed by the weight of his (only) masterpiece, venerated by geeks the world over, who offer him ideas for a sequel. The story of how he, his assistant, an armed volunteer, a blonde, smoking demigod, a girl who will have her head cut off and someone else end up in an empty building where a sect is awaiting the dawn of the Great Cosmic Force, for which there is no possible explanation. But then, why should there be?
Sadako DX (2022). Japan. 100 min
Life would be an endless wasteland unless every now and then Sadako turned up, the onriyo, or vengeful spirit, that back in the 1990s spread its curse via a VHS tape. And so, when all of a sudden the director of Ataru: The First Love & the Last Kill (2013) offers up Sadako DX and we hear in the screenplay “sudden deaths. A new virus. A virus. Suicides right across the country”, a comforting chill runs down our spine. And if we make it all worse, then the rest gets better, because this time you won't die 7 days after watching it, but in... 24 hours! Interesting. With a visionary coming up live against a scientifically minded girl. She doesn't believe in ghosts. Without knowing that at the altar of their dead father, her little sister is watching the VHS tape...