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In a word, no.
There are lots of folks who cringe when I say that. However, I think I'm being fair, here. I'm an ardent supporter of independent filmmaking, foreign and otherwise, but I just don't think this one is as good the American version.
First, what's been done right. This is definitely scary. It's also got a bit written in that its American counterpart doesn't. _Ringu_ steeps itself in an entire supernatural mythology that drags you in and refuses to let go. It also tends to explain things more than American horror does generally, and I approve of that. I'll also say that Sadako is no doubt one of the most disturbing things I've seen lately.
Where this film falls short, though, is atmosphere. Nakata gives us a fantastic story but he can't consistently craft an atmosphere of suspense for an hour and a half. Sure, there are some _great_ scenes. (*The* scene at the end of the movie where Ryuji happens to look over his shoulder and see the television is fantastic.) Despite this, the film is too choppy and gives the audience too many breaks in the action to be really scary throughout. Admittedly, this seems to be a unique characteristic of much of Japanese cinema. I'm aware that there are cultural differences leading to this sort of thing, but this is a difference that just doesn't translate very well for me.
The death scenes are just cheesy. Period. What is this, the 1950's? The corpses looked almost comic.
See both films if you can. If you can only see one, get _The Ring_ and pass this one up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Contains Spoiler I have to say I don't see why more people don't like this movie. All these posts saying that the film bored them to sleep, or that it wasn't really scary at all perplex the hell out of me. Ringu in my opinion was one of the most intense horror films I had seen for a long time, all thanks to a director who deserves more attention than some that are currently recieving it. What makes Ringu so intense is the combination of dark images, with one of the creepiest soundtracks in recent memory. Sure everyone can agree that the image of Sadako emerging from the television is scary, but with the inclusion of a sound like nails on a chalkboard to me everything was intensified. This is what the remake failed to understand for the most part( although this version does overdo it a bit with the creepy music, scary image shock. Sadako emerging from TV good, Reiko's picture distortion a little too much) opting for beautiful haunting images, and a good score from Hans Zimmer. Another plus is the thought of what is seen offscreen. For example when Reiko sees the Man with the Shrouded head reflected at the end of the film, or the image of Sadako in the television after the tape is first viewed, these are moments that work better than just a blur on a screen that the remake presents to the viewer. Another thing that amazes me about Ringu is that the story never loses control of itself like the remake does. Scenes like Ryuji's psychic visions, or the contents of the tape itself seem perfectly logical to the narrative. This can't really be said of the overly long video tape, the weird horse death scene, or Brian Cox's suicide in the remake. Oh and by the way the kid is less annoying in this film. The filmmakers here didn't saddle an eight year old with deep philosophical quotes that sound as corny as Maize. That just brings back to many painful Episode One memories (Are you an angel?) All is not well though. Even though it was perfectly logical the Ryuji tough guy act and Reiko scaredy cat act got on my nerves. Sure it fits with the characters and their professions, but I like the remakes use of the two characters better. Also better was the setup for the ending, which just sort of happens in this one. In the remake I liked the false pretense (Even though I already new what was to come) that Noah and Rachel were going to get back together and be a happy family with Aiden. And that moment (where it should have ended) where Rachel turns the chair around, priceless. Also disturbing was the fact that Reiko chooses to show the tape to her father to save Yoichi. Knowing who she going to show the tape to sounds mean since its her own father, even if it does set up the sequel in Ringu 2. Still a great flick, worth watching if you don't get annoyed when people in different countries actually speak in their native languages. I've heard too many complaints from people who didn't want to see it because its a foreign film.
Having been a fan of horror movies for many years (i'm only 17 but have been watching horror movies since i was 10)I had never found a film that truely scared me, until this one. Subtle with building suspense throught until a terrifying climax..........I only hope those damn americans haven't completly ruined one of my most favourite films!
This was not only one of the most tense movies I've ever seen, but the roller coaster ride to the end is so mind bending that it leaves you dreading ever to watch an unmarked tape again. The story follows a young reporter who is investigating an urban legend about a video that kills whoever watches it one week after viewing. When the tape is believed to have killed a relative and her friends the reporter goes in search of the tape itself and the story behind it. After finding the tape and watching it, she realizes that she only has one week to find the story behind it before she dies. The film is very well acted and the newly released DVD has a very clear picture; A lot better than the picture I've heard described on various websites. This movie is definitely worth watching because it is different than the American re-make. The story doesn't take as long to tell and there are several key differences that separate this movie from the American version and make it better. I don't know how this movie could receive a vote of any less than 7 from anyone who watches it. There is one last thing I would like to say... Although this movie is classified as horror, there isn't an abundance of blood and gore; It is more of a suspense/thriller/mystery than it is horror. It is definitely a must see. 10/10
After getting lots of flak about the Hollywoodized version of THE RING
audiences saw, Dreamworks makes amends by releasing the original RINGU
I didn't even think I had a choice until I went to my local video store and the clerk pointed out that they had *both* versions. Delighted, I immediately picked the original (I haven't seen the American version yet) because... well, hey, I wanted the real thing. I don't like it when Hollywood remakes perfectly good movies "for me" to supposedly "devour" better: I want to see it in its pure and unbastardized form.
I liked watching RINGU and found it quietly unsettling. I have the feeling that this is the sort of movie that is going to eventually work its way under my skin within the next few days because it's taking me a while to sort out emotionally what I experienced after watching it.
The only difficulty I had watching it has nothing to do with the movie, which is really well done; it only had something to do with me. I suppose it's because I'm an artist and I've always thought oriental decorations and style beautiful, but I have had the opportunity to watch so few live-action Japanese movies that when I do, I tend to be so enchanted by all the things that are common to oriental culture but otherwise seem pretty and unique to my western eyes... things like paper doors, Japanese writing, lanterns, cushions on the floor and the like... that I keep going "Wow, that looks so cool" to the point of getting somewhat distracted from the main story at hand. That was the case here, as I loved the way this movie was filmed and was so busy enjoying all the decorations and such of everyday modern Japanese life that I kept smiling with the feeling of a happily travelling tourist. I had to keep mentally slapping myself to remember that I was watching a spooky story. ;) But that certainly isn't the film's fault.
And so it is, and a very uniquely oriental one at that. The way the images and tale are handled, it's not just creepy. It's also sad, angry, hurt and hreatbreaking as well. I found one particular scene involving our heroine (please forgive me, I just can't remember the proper spelling of her name at the moment) deep in a well to be both unsettling and incredibly touching and compassionate at the same time, the sort of thing you just don't normally see coming from Hollywood these days.
I wouldn't really call this a "horror" movie, I'd use the term "psychological puzzle thriller". I'm not sure if I would watch it again since the surprise has been spoiled... but then again, I just might. After all, I got the pants scared off me by THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and now I love rewatching it because I loved "playing games" mentally with its content. So that just might be the case here, too.
I don't know if I want to watch the US version, I'm afraid it might spoil it for me. If I do, I'll comment on it. But for now, I just want to bask in this special little accomplishment.
this film was unbelievably brilliant. i was so so very terrified the first time i watched it i had to turn it off half way through. i managed to get through the whole film eventually and i was totally blown away, everything about the film was perfect, without a doubt the scariest film i've ever seen. sadly i was unfortunate enough to see the dire remake, and that made realise more just how brilliant this film really is. the plot is brilliant and perfectly done throughout. theres this tape and seven days after you watch it you die. well fair enough its as simple as that, people watch the tape people die more people watch the tape they try and figure out whats really going on and try learn how to stop it a simple enough plot played out perfectly. i can't sing praises high enough for the greatness that this film reaches, i highly recommend it to everyone everywhere you will absolutely cack yourself!!!!!
Arguably the greatest horror movie to come out of Japan in the last 5 years,
the ring is spooky, dark and thrilling.
This is much better than the toned down American remake of the same name.
I hope to see the sequels that are out soon. I wholeheartedly recommend this great little film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
And the search continues for a film so terrifying it makes me want to sleep
with the light on.
I recently received Ring along with The Eye. The latter has already been reviewed here and I don't really want to compare the two despite both being recent Eastern contemporary horror films. However for me, I found The Eye to be a more thought provoking, better made, and ultimately scarier film. And that's what horror films are all about, right kids?
LOTS OF SPOILERS OF VARIOUS SIZES NO DOUBT FORTHCOMING!
The story has been well documented so if you want a recap go look at the plot summary on the main page. Or rather, don't, and give yourself a chance to see a spoiler free film. I wanted this to be THE horror, the one that makes me shake uncontrollably when watching it and ends up affecting me for ages afterward. Sadly it wasn't, it just didn't scare me or put me on edge enough. The soundtrack was used rather nicely to build tension and suspense, but that tension and suspense kept ebbing away rather than continually building. There were very few big moments throughout, which isn't really a bad thing, but... For instance, at the climax where Sadako claims Ryuji, it was easily the scariest moment in the film, but I think it would've made more of an impact if we were given the chance to see Sadako or feel her presence more beforehand. It just seemed that for all the build up leading to it, more should have been done with it.
The acting was competent throughout, but no-one really stood out. There were no prizes for acting here. I have one complaint though. At the end where Asakawa discovers what the cure is for the curse and is driving off to save her son, she seems to be remembering in her mind the voice of a girl who is basically telling us the cure and what Asakawa is doing. However, the voice seems to be from the same girl she was interviewing about the tape at the start of the film, so if that was the case, she would've already knew what to do to lift the curse and save Ryuji in the process! Minor quibble I guess, but the voiceover shouldn't have been there, we should have discovered that information another way. But anyway.
It was a good film, a different kind of horror with a nice edge throughout but I was expecting more.
Well sorry guys but this movie isn't scary, The Shining is scary, The
Chainsaw Massacre is scary, The exorcist is scary... but here it's
nothing but suggested things (or is it only a gag?) with poor actors
who are playing there role with nothing but a taste for to much.
The video itself is well done.
I heard a lot about this horror film before watching it. For those who haven't seen it I'd say "watch it but don't expect too much". Maybe this works better to get into the "skin" of it. This movie was presented to me by friends as a masterpiece and as the ultimate horror movie. You'll be disappointed if you expect this. The concept is nice, it goes on exactly where you think it's over, some nice scenes too and an overall good atmosphere (you get the feeling of some good 70's horror films), but I think the plot -especially in the beginning- has some gaps and is going on somewhat fast. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it so i won't be specific. As a conclusion I would say it is worth your attention. 7/10
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