Ringu (1998) Poster

(1998)

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10/10
"Sadako? You did this?"
fdpedro21 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
In 2002, Dreamworks released a movie on American theaters called THE RING, by Gore Verbenski. It expanded to great lengths around the world. People claimed they had never been so scared while watching a movie in their entire life. Critics had mixed opinions of it, most for the better. But while the entire world was screaming to THE RING, others decided to reach out for the original version that Dreamworks decided to "hide" while THE RING was in it's theatrical run. The 1998 Japanese phenomenon RINGU (a.k.a RING.)

Based on a 1991 novel by Koji Suzuki (claimed as the Japanese Stephen King) RINGU tells the story of reporter Asakawa Reiko (Nanako Matsushima), a middle-class Japanese single mother. Her latest story is the investigation of a mysterious urban legend that circulates around high schools about a tape that kills whoever watches it seven days later. She learns that five teenagers recently died from a heart attack at the exact same time, and that they were all friends who spent a vacation on a cabin resort exactly one week before. It becomes up close and personal when she finds out one of them was her recently deceased cousin Tomoko (Yuku Takeuchi.)

Reiko eventually tracks down and watches the mysterious tape, and in one of the movie's many chilling moments, receives a strange phone call confirming that the urban legend is true, an element that reminded me of the 1992's similar CANDYMAN. She finds help from her ex-husband Ryiuji (Hirouyuki Sanada), a psychic with paranormal powers (an element obviously removed from the US version). Both Reiko and Ryiuji examine the tape carefully and realize it was shot in a nearby volcanic island. With only a few days left, they travel to the island where the dark, disturbing truth remains hidden, waiting to be discovered.

Taking liberties from the infilmable novel, director Hideo Nakata (DARK WATER, CHAOS) and screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi (DON'T LOOK UP) were able to create what is perhaps one of the most impressive horror films of recent memory, challenged maybe only by the less-subliminal AUDITION. Nakata's direction already explains what makes RINGU so unique: The absence of music, limited photography, simple camera movements, and no cheap jump scares. The fear in RINGU comes from skin-deep slow burn. If you are looking for jumps, watch the American remake instead. Which brings us to the infamous RINGU vs. THE RING internet battle: A pointless one.

The 2002 remake had more technological resources and a stronger desire to freak out the audience. Director Gore Verbenski decided not to copy the original and went for a less subliminal more artsy Dario Argento dreamy approach with a Nine Inch Nails vibe and a David Fischer love for rain. While THE RING improved on the upcoming flaws of the original, it had problems of it's own. Not wanting to change the subject, let me tell you the Japanese version is the one to see. The problem is that most people who watch the recent remake will hate RINGU, and vice-versa.

Unlike THE RING, RINGU avoids CGI shocks and cheap jump scares like a plague. You won't find any suspenseful moments, chases, or any physical struggles between the cast here. While the remake scared you with fast zooms, weird camera tricks, and inhuman freaky bursts of weird noises, RINGU scares you with it's lack of... sadism. A good example are the videotapes. The videotape seen in THE RING is a Nine Inch Nails video, in a good way, with very weird supernatural images and weird gross-out quick glimpses. The original's videotape is shorter and maybe even weirder. It shows you different but equally impressive images that belong to a David Lynch nightmare while a "scratching" noise is heard on the background. A noise that was unfortunately omitted in the remake. The Japanese tape can be either laughable or scary depending on the mentality of whoever watches it.

But what makes RINGU the phenomenon that it is today is the character of Yamura Sadako, who turns out to be pulling the strings. Not wanting to spoil the plot, I will just say that never since Hanniball Lacter has a character with such little screen time terrorized the audience as good. The American doppelganger Samara was badly used in the remake. While what made Sadako scary was that she was pure evil, the remake's screenwriter Ehren Kruger tried to turn her into a Batman-like repressed character that you are supposed to feel sorry for. This terribly reduces the impact of "the scene". Which leads me to "the scene" itself. If you ask anyone who watched either version what "the scene" is, they will probably know. Let me tell you that "the scene" is done much better in this version. I will go as far as saying "the scene" is hands down one of the scariest moments in cinematographic history, very close to the shower scene and the climax of DON'T LOOK NOW. The remake tried to hard with it's own "scene", adding CGI effects, quick cuts, and many other gross-out elements that the original didn't need.

But RINGU is not without it's flaws. Either the fact that I am not Asian, or maybe that I am not familiar with psychics, but the whole Ryiuji character left me wishing for more. Maybe the subtitle translation didn't make it clear enough, but I couldn't connect to that way he always had an answer to everything. Not that Sanada's performance is lacking. He steals the scene and carries out most of the movie. Remember Bruce Lee in GREEN HORNET? Maybe not, but that is Ryiuji here. And Matsushima is equally good, although she is given less to do than her American counterpart Naomi Watts. I will give credit to the US remake by eliminating the psychic subplot. I won't forgive the fact that Ryuji's American counterpart is a pointless and boring sidekick which is what ironically gives Watts her chance to shine.

RINGU is still a superior horrifying experience that you will not easily forget. Forget the sequels (RING 2), forget the spin-offs (RASEN), the rip-offs (FEARDOTCOM), or remakes (RING VIRUS and THE RING). It all rounds up to here. Be sure to watch Nakata's equally good DARK WATER, which is already getting a remake on early works. Oh, the humanity...

*phone rings*

(4.5/5)
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10/10
In a word terrifying
Sephie11 December 2004
**CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS**

Ringu is an unassuming little movie that my boyfriend and I rented from the local DVD store knowing little about it other than it had inspired a recent Hollywood remake.

The first thing which accosts you when watching this film, is it's lo-fi documentary-style reality. Ringu has the look and feel production wise of a TV movie, but this only adds to the objective of it, to terrify.

The story unfolds of an everyday Japanese single mother, the backdrop is nothing unusual but this is required as the bizarre begins to unravel before the eyes of the watcher. The woman has a child whom appears to be a strange little boy, and in many ways he parents her in her hectic schedule. Her ex husband is an amiable fellow, though he has an annoying quality to any female whom observes him which one assumes is the reason for the couple's politely handled split.

The story takes a turn for the more macabre when a videotape emerges which is shrouded in urban myth. The short synopsis is you watch the tape and die within seven days of doing so. A group of teenagers inexplicably die, one of which is the niece of our leading lady. Being the plucky reporter that she is, she begins to investigate the eerie tape initially by watching it herself and embroiling her ex in this grim fairytale by seeking his counsel, on technical matters relating to the tape itself. The two find themselves in a race against time to discover the secret of the tape when their son watches a copy that was made.

The bogeyman of this psychologically rattling outing, is Sada- a child or a demon?, perhaps a freak of nature? No answer is given and the viewer is left to their own conclusion and speculation. This reliance upon the viewers observational conclusion is what makes Ringu a truly adult horror movie above all others, we are not told what to think or moralised. Ringu simply displays the evidence on the nature of Sada, and leaves you to suppose whether she is a tortured victim cast from society, or simply a demon and nothing more.

If the objective of any horror movie is to scare, then Ringu succeeds with flying colours. Everything about this movie is genuinely disturbing and unsettling. From the mythology of the tale to the ghastly contorted faces of the corpses that Sada, the demon of the story leaves in her wake.

The grainy gritty production plays and builds upon anybody who dares to watch. The bittersweet relationship between the two leads encourages us to care about them and their plight. The story piques the curious child in all of us, and dares us to look when we should not, and tamper with things that are beyond our understanding.

The absolutely heart ripping and bone chilling climax to this movie is unmissable. You will not be able to stop watching, but be wishing that you could rip out your eyes simultaneously!

This movie is a quiet and unpretentious if imaginative little piece from Japan, which displays something that Hollywood has lacked in the horror genre in many years. The director has a true innate gift for knowing exactly what it is that we can not put our finger on that horrifies the human mind. This film is very Japanese, and I cannot imagine it doing well when converted to Hollywood form.

Ringu is a movie made to be watched on your TV at home, exactly the way I did renting the DVD from your local store. This plays upon the very nature of the story. The TV is something we all think of as safe, it's in all our homes, and it is exactly this that adds such an overtone of terror to this particular film

As an additional note, my boyfriend was flicking through the extra features on the DVD and came across the cursed video clip, and proceeded to watch it. I couldn't, I left the room. This fact serves as the best conclusion that I can muster as to the brilliance of Ringu. It is not to be missed, but do not watch it alone!

10/10
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9/10
Unsettling
Gafke12 March 2004
Everyone knows the story by now: there's a videotape which, when played, reveals a discordant string of disturbing images including a circle of sky seen from below and a man looking down from above, the word "Eruption" written over and over again and moving of its own accord across the page, a hooded figure pointing at some unseen accused, a woman brushing her hair before a mirror and, last but not least, a well standing alone on a neglected patch of land. The video ends and the phone rings...but there is only an eerie silence on the other end. In seven days, the viewer of the video is dead, their heart having suddenly come to a stop for no apparent reason. One such victim is a seventeen year old girl, and it is up to her aunt, hotshot newspaper reporter Reiko, to solve the mystery of the strange video.

Like the American remake "The Ring," Ringu is not a perfect film. It leaves more than a couple of unanswered questions and may move too slowly in some parts to hold the attention of horror film fans who are used to a bloody slaughter scene every seven minutes. But for fans of good, spooky, old fashioned ghost stories, "Ringu" has a lot to recommend it.

One of the things I appreciated the most about this movie is the complete and utter lack of gore. There's not a drop of blood to be found in this film, which makes the sight of so many dead bodies, their faces frozen in hideous screams of horror, all the more effective. The character of Sadako also has more of an impact than the child from the remake. Sadako never speaks, her face is never seen (but for one hideous, floating eye) and her presence is solid, unlike her static-y American sister. Sadako's emergence from the TV screen in the films final moments is worth waiting through the rest of the movie to see; it is a truly creepy moment which looks to have been filmed backwards as Sadako creeps with jerky, inhuman movements across the floor and up, swiveling to face her victim. That scene haunted me (no pun intended) for two full nights of broken sleep...mostly because Sadako seemed so terribly human, as sad as she was frightening. You pity her before you see her merciless side, and this throws the balance way out of whack.

Unsettling, to say the least.

This is a film about dread, about knowing that something dark and terrible is waiting for you and not knowing how to stop it. You can only wait and hope for the best...but the wait itself is the real horror, and the unseen unknown is the most frightening monster of all.
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7/10
Tepid Techno-horror.
nycritic17 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The late 90s saw a resurgence of well-crafted horror movies that have to this day virtually reinvented the genre. The Eye, Pulse, Audition, to name a few, are truly disturbing films that create horror out of objects or elements which are the farthest from the genre: a medical surgery to reestablish sight, the Internet, videotaping.

With Ringu, Japan came into its own with a legitimate tale of horror which implies that the act of watching can actually kill you, and that evil can and will replicate itself through elements of our own technology as a means of feeding itself and thus, spreading itself out like a web. This is the secret within the film, and the theme which later on defines it (and the Ringu series).

Ringu is not an excellent film. Far from it. But it does manage to instill a decent amount of atmosphere and eerie moments within its narrative (although there were scenes which, like the book, caused unintentional laughs, such as when the bodies of the two teens who first saw the video were taken out of the car and we are informed they were "making out"; and Ryuji's sudden revelation that he too has psychic powers) without resorting to cheesy special effects. Spooky, but not terrifying.
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10/10
A joy (or rather, terror) to watch!
armageddon_10129 May 2001
Forget the fact it's subtitled - that only adds to the effect. The director's use of angles, sudden appearances of characters in the frame, wonderfully puzzling flashback and periods of absolute silence combine to form THE best horror film I've seen in years. Forget Blair Witch, this is a true horror story - it could happen to anyone. The Japanese location may make the story more remote, but also makes it more mysterious. The story would work in another locale, say, the Deep South, US, but there's just something about "Ring" which works due to its defiance to comply with cliche. Just when you think you've got the film nailed down and swaggeringly predict the next events, you're proven totally wrong and dealt the double joy and horror of a perfectly timed shock revelation or two. No spoilers about the ending, needless to say, you will not see this one coming...
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Have to disagree with Mike, the original is better.
dottyflowers3 December 2004
I have to disagree with the comment above from Mike Washen. Indeed, the storyline of both movies is similar for the first part of the movie (no complaints so far), but the second part of the originals movie is more believable IMHO. The original has only one real special effect but this does not mean that the movie isn't scary. Especially due to this lack of special effects a better thrill is created al throughout the movie. One sees just enough to get scared. The originals story builds up a tad more slowly which gives a better story overall. If you are going for special effects, take the remake. If you like to see all 4 movies and like a scary experience overall take the original.
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The Ring couldn't stand up!
ibstratus20035 August 2004
I watched The Ring before Ringu and was sorry that I did. Everybody thinks that the US always does things better. This is one example of how wrong those people are. Now, don't get me wrong, The Ring was a good flick. I enjoyed it very much, BUT, it really fell short of the original. So much was lost in the translation and in remaking it. If you have never seen The Ring, do yourself a favor and see Ringu first. It really shows how the Japanese can make good horror. The story is based on a novel written by Koji Suzuki entitled "Ringu". If you get the chance, you can pick this up over at Amazon, it's a very good read and shows you how the story was meant to be told. The Japanese film was a better adaptation of the movie. I give Ringu 8.5/10
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Ringu and The Ring
worldsofdarkblue6 July 2006
Unlike some reviewers here, I'm happy to have seen Hollywood's 'The Ring' first. Now that I've seen both I would have to say that 'Ringu' is the better film (marginally).

The Hollywood version was quite an unsettling experience in it's own right and having seen it first I rather expected 'Ringu' would be a 'ruined' experience as I was already familiar with the overall story and, of course, THE scene. After all, when the scene finally occurs in 'The Ring' the unexpectedness of it very much increases the shock of it. I hadn't been truly frightened by a scene from a horror movie for a very long time so I was unequivocally impressed.

So when I got around to watching 'Ringu' my expectation was low. I assumed that the absence of surprise would diminish the experience greatly but, as it turns out, the difference in the styles (and some of the substance as well) was adequate enough to scare me all over again even though I thought I knew what to expect. Somehow I doubt that this would have been the case if I'd watched these movies in reverse order. I believe 'The Ring' would have been less enjoyable as it likely would have suffered from comparison.

The familiarity actually served as a primer for watching the original. I've found that reading subtitles often detracts from the complete enjoyment of a film as one's appreciation of the visual content usually suffers from the distraction. In this case though, I found it to be less of a problem. Of course it certainly doesn't hurt to have the ability to rewind and in instances where I was unable to finish reading the dialogue completely you can be sure that I made use of it.

The first difference that struck me was the teens found in the car. Like the girl in the closet in 'The Ring' their faces are frozen into grotesque masks, but the more terrifying aspect is that they have been 'gotten to' outside of their homes and all at the same time. This really drives home the realization that there may be no way to escape this thing. Safety in numbers? Nope. Don't go home? Nope, won't help.

'Ringu' is somewhat more detailed in providing background than is 'The Ring'. The demonic child is shown in a scene that was omitted from the copied version and it adds a little something extra to our understanding of this terrifying entity. Also, I found that the valiant attempt to lift the curse by trying to 'free' the spirit from the well was more intense and claustrophobic (not to mention yuckier) than the American film.

But what is it exactly that is so disquieting about both versions? Well, to begin with, the seemingly unrelated, disjointed and positively eerie imagery that is seen on the mysterious videotape really gets under the skin. The first time we see these we are troubled by the strangeness of them and thoroughly perplexed as to their meaning. We come to realize that a seed of uneasiness has been planted within us. The direction is masterful at nourishing this seed not only by showing short repeats of these images, but also by giving us incremental hints of what is still to come. We are briefly shown the well. Briefly again, the beginning of emergence. Briefly again, it's almost out. More and more I found myself getting cold shivers at each progression. The uneasiness is becoming dread.

But there's something else that frightens apart from the film's construction. Is it the ultimate realization that this thing will not be placated no matter the heroic and well-intentioned efforts of the film's principal leads? Yes, that's an acutely chilling slant to be sure. But ultimately, I feel that the most disturbing element is that, were we to find ourselves in this position, we would be faced with a terrible choice - face the horror ourselves or deliberately inflict it on another. Escape it and you condemn your own soul. Now that's some scary sh*t
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An excellent atmospheric horror movie
mc1200029 January 2001
The storyline is based around an Urban legend that involves a piece of footage that causes the eventual death of anyone having watched it. A female news reporter, Reiko Asakawa , investigates this case after her niece is the latest victim of the alleged curse. From here on, the film follows the female lead's search for clues as she races against time to find salvation. Caught up in the events is former husband, Ryuji Takayama , who possesses latent psychic abilities which come in handy later on as things start to spring to light. The film is made in typical Japanese horror genre style that plays on the mind as well as including sudden shock effects. Fans of urban legend type horror will take delight in this offering from director Nakata Hideo and whilst the film does lack substance somewhat, it makes up in suspense and mystery. You are also made to sit on the edge of your seat by the film's soundtrack which is disturbingly quiet, subtle and sinister. The atmosphere is the key part of the film that makes it a horror masterpiece. The story is cleverly written to move at a rate which keeps the audience interested and finally end in a twist that sets itself up for a sequel.
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Its pretty Good but come on...
Topher6554 November 2002
While I realize that it might simply be that I am an american with no knowledge of the japanese language beyond "Mushi, Mushi" and "Arigato" but I simply did not think this movie is as good as it is hyped up to be. In fact, (oh god save me) I enjoyed the American version of the movie more so than this one. Perhaps it was due to cultural differences that I simply couldn't 'get' this movie but I'm somehow don't think so.

"Ringu" simply did not draw me in and make me really believe in what the characters were doing. Like many Japanese movies, I simply could not accept that the character would really do what they were doing; it just didn't make sense to me that these people would go running around Japan trying to discover the mystery of the 'video' based on some people dying. The american version seemed to give characters some extra motivation to go in search of the truth, with unexplained supernatural events, scary dreams, etc. Perhaps its a testament to Japanese work ethic or American laziness but I just thought there wasn't enough to back up the characters actions.

I realize it might somehow be hip to say that you enjoy foreign films more than their domestic counterparts and insult the Hollywood 'money machine' and decry the end of american cinema but I simply can't do it with this movie. The ultimate and final test to determine whether a horror movie is good is of course whether or not you are scared. And I can say that the american version of "The Ring" made me ruin a perfectly good pair of underpants whereas the Japanese version made me jump maybe twice and laugh once.

The main problem this poses is which movie do you see first because seeing either film will ruin the ending of the other. And so not to take anything away from "Ringu" (which is, in and of itself a great movie), I can honestly tell you that you should see the American version first... and bring an extra pair of underpants.
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10/10
Absolutely Terrifying
relwes3 February 2005
This is a superb horror film. There's something about this film which gets under your skin, into your nervous system, and then it turns out the lights and creeps maliciously into your brain. The film has few jump-out-of-your-seat moments, and minimal violence, but as the plot develops the atmosphere becomes almost unbearably sinister and unpleasant. The climax of this film is one of the most frightening scenes in the history of cinema, and is guaranteed to turn your bones to jelly and leave you a quivering dribbling psychological mess.

Forget the pointless Hollywood remake, go and see this film today! There are no cheap tricks here, no melodrama, just poker-faced top performances from the cast, and some genuinely unsettling dark ideas which will bubble away in your subconscious for years to come.
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Just plain creepy – really unnerving film
bob the moo22 July 2002
Rumours abound about a video tape that, once you watch it you have a week before you die. When a relative dies in a way that suggests she saw the video, journalist Reiko tracks down the tape and recklessly watches it. She finds she is under the curse and shows it to her ex-husband to get his help. When her son watches the tape Reiko and Ryuji race against time to discover the meaning behind the curse to be able to lift it.

I came to this only knowing the hype and the barest bits of the story. I knew it was meant to be scary and I wasn't disappointed. The plot is good in it's one word description but there are a few holes in it and something's aren't well explained. However it is a good story to follow as it is a form of a ghost hunt as they try to unravel the mystery. The whole thing has an air of uneasiness about it.

The film has some very scary moments – especially the ending which I won't even hint at. However for the most part it is just plain creepy – which is even worse. There's no blood or gore – just a real sense of being uncomfortable. The director has seen teen horrors before so he teases us – he has shots of people with doors just over their shoulder, or the TV lingering in the rear of the shot – knowing that we are conditioned to expect something to jump out – but then nothing does. Instead the scares come slowly and blatantly really not being shocking but just making your skin crawl.

The acting is superb all round although Sanada is a little stony at times but he gets better. The real star is the director who uses music and sound effects to get the eerie effect but also uses images that are weird to just creep out the whole film. I hope Hollywood directors learn what can be done with subtly rather than multimillion pound monsters or effects.

I have said before that Fire Walk With Me was one of the creepiest films I've seen. And that was for the same reason, just making me feel uncomfortable and unnerved. Here this little gem takes that to a whole new level.
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9/10
Why Hollywood Industry Insists in Spoiling Excellent Screenplays?
Claudio Carvalho3 August 2003
The journalist Reiko Asakawa (the gorgeous Nanako Matsushima) resolves to investigate the death of four teenagers who watched a videotape that might kill the viewer seven days after watching the film. The viewer would receive a telephone call and seven days later would die. She herself finds the videotape, watches the strange movie and becomes afraid of being killed. She prepares a copy for her ex-husband, who decides to help Reiko in her investigation, specially because their son has also watched the film.

This movie is great, with characters well-defined, excellent cast and direction and a screenplay focused on the story and not in special effects. An original horror movie, with a tight plot. Why Americans insist in spoiling excellent movies? It is amazing the quantity of (expensive) remakes of marvelous foreign movies that Hollywood spoils. Once I heard that American people would not like to read subtitles, but I refuse to believe in such non-sense. The American remake 'The Ring' is not a bad movie, and Naomi Watts is a great actress. But why the remake? The modifications introduced by the American screen writer and director changed a simple and terrifying plot into an expensive, complicated and non-resolved story. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Ring - O Chamado" ("Ring - The Call")
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6/10
Not bad
Vinklo LaFiulino27 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If you have NOT seen "The Ring" (American) then I urge you to see this one first. Not because this version is "better"--actually, the American version is superior in my opinion. In fact, I gave "Ring" the score I did ONLY because of the originality and suspense of the plot line and the quality of (most) of the acting. The execution of the plot line, however, was completely and utterly ruined right in the middle. Right when the ex-husband OMG SUDDENLY HAS AMAZING PSYCHIC POWERS and KNOWS ALL. Can you say, "lazy scriptwriting leads to completely anti-climactic deus ex machina?" I knew you could. I think it also lacked in subconscious imagery to play up the creepiness and sense of dread. Some fans call this "realism" but for crying out loud, this is a ghost story and there is no realism in ghost stories! I will say, though, that the use of ancient legend and certain real historical elements lent it a very "shivery" flavor and that worked well with the plot.

It's definitely worth watching though.
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9/10
Supremely creepy Japanese horror
Red-Barracuda21 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Ring was such a sensation on release that it led to a cycle of Japanese horror films. This Japanese invasion became known as J-Horror and they had quite an impact. Ring is a perfect example of why these movies were so effective. The cultural difference between the West and Japan meant that these films seemed somewhat unpredictable; some of the horror concepts and imagery were genuinely unsettling. We in the West could never have conceived of these ideas, they grew organically from Japanese culture. The unknown is often the scariest thing of all and the success of J-Horror is a perfect illustration of this.

The basic idea of Ring is a clever combination of the traditional Japanese ghost story with modern Japanese technology. In it, a strange videotape curses anyone who views it, resulting in a terrifying death exactly a week later. It's an extremely creepy film that is truly unnerving at times. The pacing is very deliberate as we are taken through to the unforgettable final act. It's all about mood and atmosphere. It's quite economic with its shocks, relying more on mystery and growing tension. The key to the puzzle lies in the enigmatic weird video at the heart of the story. This bizarre short film leads the protagonists on a journey to discover the sinister secrets that underpin it. Strange details surround those who view the tape, such as the fact that their images in photographs become disturbingly warped. It's a highly effective central idea for a horror film.

The visual presentation is very good, with some excellent cinematography. The sound design also works extremely well with the imagery on screen, adding to the ominous tone perfectly. On top of this there is good characterisation, which helps a great deal in giving the story an effective psychological edge. The husband and wife team are well played and believable; this makes their urgency in solving the mystery all the more pertinent. But nothing, I repeat nothing, can prepare a viewer adequately for Ring's one moment of true genius. Everybody who is reading this must surely know what I am about to refer to. I mean, of course, the moment when Sadako crawls out of the television screen. This must go down in the history of horror cinema as one of the most audacious and terrifying moments ever conceived. It's quite brilliant in concept and execution. The film may have been relatively subtle up to this point but after this scene perceptions of Ring suddenly and jarringly change. It's worth watching the movie for this scene alone.

It was remade in America to much lesser effect as The Ring in 2002.
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10/10
The Scariest Film of all time!
MightyAlz14 August 2004
Has anyone rented out the Exorcist or the Wicker Man after being told how unbelievably scary they are, only to be disappointed by the Exorcist and completely disappointed by the totally un-scary Wicker Man?

Well then, rent out Ring. If you can sit through this film without a feeling of eeriness and not crack up at the final scene, then you must be some form of superhuman.

Everything about this film is excellent. You are uneased by the surreal imagery on the infamous video tape and the atmosphere produced by the film getting your nerves ready for the final insomnia inducing final scene.

Other Recommendations: Dark Water, Ring 2.
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Worth the wait for one scene alone...
Ravingbully8 June 2004
After hearing so much about this movie I finally was able to buy a copy...and I was NOT disappointed. What a horror rush! I watched while I was alone one night and had to turn on all the lights in the house when the movie was over...and I am a horror movie nut from way back; I'm not an easy scare. Sadako is one frightening character. I'm in complete agreement with those who say this film actually is better on the small screen: it is an intimate film and being closer to the screen actually adds to the intensity.

I won't rehash the storyline since so many others have already done so. I will just say that there is one scene in this movie that will imprint on your brain for the rest of your life. The whole film is wonderful...a great exercise in tension and anxiety.
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10/10
The Greatest Horror Film Ever Made!
knightofswords31 May 2003
Hideo Nakata's 'Ring' is a masterpiece of the genre. Without a doubt, this is the scariest film ever made. It also marks the only time in my entire life when, upon finishing the film, I rewound the tape and WATCHED IT AGAIN without moving a muscle! This was partially because of how much I loved it, and mostly because I couldn't have slept anyway!

Watch this along with 'Ring 2' and 'Ring 0' before seeing the crappy american version, as the remake contains elements (and scenes) from those two films as well.

I also feel that anyone who likes the american remake more than the japanese original should not be allowed to have opinions about anything. Not politics, religion, movies, restaraunts, parking spaces..... NOTHING! Shun these idiots like lepers. Or just pity them...
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1/10
It just doesn't hold up.
zombiefan8922 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If you were wondering what the difference between Ringu and The Ring is, I 'll try to sum it up for you. You remember that TV series adaption of Stephen King's "IT"? Ringu is a lot like that. There is a lot of reflection scares and horror-mystery elements, but it has such a weak pay off. With the American version, you get significantly better scares and death scenes. I would have been okay with the classic "scream then cut to next scene", but the black and white-invert color thing, too? Any respect or immersion I had was ANNIHILATED by those scenes! I laughed at the death scenes! Those scenes made Ringu is a complete and utter failure of a horror movie! I would still recommend watching it if only to see the original Japanese version, but that's only justification I could give. To be honest, I didn't find the American version all that good either. A tape that takes 7 days to kill you is just not that threatening to me. Now if Sadako were "Final Destination"-ing people near immediately after they viewed the tape, THAT would have been glorious!
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you don't see the ring. you hear it. dummy.
jessejace30 August 2004
This movie proves that people from different cultures are freaked out by different things. When they remade this movie in the US, they made a couple parts more scary (the weird corpses are definitely scarier in the US version...gave me

nightmares, they did. "I saw her face." BLAAAAAAHHHH). But they also took

all the mystery out of Sadako, giving Samara lines like "It never stops" (she's scarier as a mute, you fools!) and for that, I'll never forgive them. In fact, I'll probably burn down their homes while cursing their mothers.

Ringu's requisite "weird little kid" character is much better than the grotesque Aidan in The Ring. That Aidan's eyeballs are trying to escape the confines of his skull in every scene. No thanks, I'd much rather see a film where kids don't behave like adults (much less adults with morbid ocular disorders). So in that respect the original is superior.

Nanako Matsushima is great, and I praise this film for launching her popularity and allowing her to do the cute green tea commercials I've been seeing lately in Tokyo.
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10/10
Unlike any western horror
MrVibrating25 October 2005
Ringu (undubbed of course) was the scariest horror movie I've seen for very long. While "The Excorsist" was entertaining and nice, and "the Shining" was both hilarious (Jack Nicholsson) and effective, no horror movie I've ever seen has been as unsettling as Ringu.

Nothing much happens compared to a western horror piece, where the director often spends a lot of time explaining and making things dumber for the broad audience, and squeezing in as much scary stuff as he can within the time frame. Ringu let's you think and make assumptions yourself, and doesn't assault your eyes with jump-scenes. Even though I had a rough picture of the plot, it was very tense and I was on the edge of my seat all the way to the climax.

The climax was nearly unbearable to watch, not only because it was scary, but because the mood had built up to that one scene. It was masterful. The actors where good even though I cannot really compare since I don't watch a lot of Japanese movies.

The movie is worth seeing, but not if you've seen "the Ring" first. Sorry, but this movie is spoiled for you if that's the case. To all others, I recommend this movie. It's scarier than any other movies that has come out since then.

10/10.
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8/10
Great Japanese horror film
Seth29 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Ringu A great Japanese horror film about a cursed video with random images on it that is linked to the death of several teenagers. When her niece turns into the tape's latest victim a journalist makes it her mission to find a way to lift the curse.

Now for comparing Ringu to The Ring.

The Ring was an overall good movie, but it didn't really leave me with a sense of paranoia like Ringu did. There are many differences between Ringu and The Ring. A lot of scenes that where in the American version, such as the part where the father electrocutes himself in the bathtub or the scene with the horse, that weren't in this version.

Highlight: The climax when we get to see the girl's eye.

8/10
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10/10
One of my favourite movies ever!
arabesuku13 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is fantastic. I can't say too much about it because it would not do it any justice! There would be no point! What I will say is that this movie is, without a doubt, one of the best horror movies in history and one of the horror icons. No doubt it has inspired a LOT of other movies - think 'the Grudge', 'FearDotCom', 'The Ring', 'Kairo' (very brief part where ghost with long hair over her face attacks Junco in the red-taped room), 'Phone', 'The Ghost'/'Dead Friend', 'Dark Water'... the list goes on! The ghostly girl with hair over her face may have become a bit of a cliché, but Sadako was there first! What's so great about 'Ringu'? Could it be the great actors? Or the suspense and shock around every corner? Could it be the thrill of the race against time to save yourself from Sadako? I think it's all these and more.

If you don't see 'Ringu', then you're DEFINITELY missing out. This film is a landmark in horror. The sequels are good if you've seen this one first - this one is the main story, the sequels provide extra information. Actually, the seconds more informative and the third more dramatic than scary! But 'Ringu' is chilling to the bone. And Sadako is GRUESOME. Those nails. That walk. THE EYE! I love this movie so much, I have even made my IMDb name related to it and made my own LiveJournal based on Sadako! Or am I just over-obsessed? :-P
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8/10
Great film that rekindles your interest in horror
zingbot7 April 2006
I must admit that I made the mistake of watching the US "Ring" before this, the original Japanese version. The US version is OK and indeed better than most modern horror films, but Ringu is superior and of course the impact of the famous ending is lessened slightly. This is the film that rekindled my interest in horror films after feeling for many years there were no new ideas or quality any more. As everyone knows Ringu follows the story of a cursed tape, once watched you receive a phone call that tells you of your impending doom. The tension of the film is the key to the impending terror, and it has a really cloying, dark feeling throughout. As is the case with most Asian horrors, especially the earlier films of the recent batch, the director does not make the plot too obvious to the viewer. You have to watch closely and decide a few things for yourself. I must admit I really enjoy this aspect of Asian films, you have to work at it, as opposed to the usual spoon-fed Hollywood story lines. There are some major differences between Ringu and Ring, the father is psychic, which makes sense, there are less jumps and telegraphed shocks, but the same dank, dirty atmosphere is there in both films. It is not a perfect film. It obviously lacks the budget of Ring and there are patches when nothing much happens which is difficult for an audience fed on constant periodic shocks. Asian cinema has a different pace, there are points of quiet, leading to out of the blue shocks. This actually increases the tension of the film, leading up to one of the most terrifying climaxes possible. Once you have seen the ending you will wish you hadn't, as you cannot watch it fresh again. A great film that is perfect for TV viewing, excellent acting throughout, with possibly the best ending of any horror film.
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10/10
Ringu rocks
elunia_9429 March 2006
Yeah,I have watched ringu and all rings.I think they are great,especially because the grotesque thing comes out of the television.Sadako is true main killer in thing movie.A journalist Reiko Asakawa,divorced,with a six years old son named Yoichi.Reiko's niece had died in a terrible death of sudden heart failure.Her friend Masami witnesses her death.Now Reiko watches the tape and she has seven days left.With her ex-husband's help,Ryuji Takayama.Now it's a great mystery,but is she willing to take every risk..well yes.And putting her son in danger when he watches it...like I said..it's a great mystery.Great movie I say.
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