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Ring 0: Birthday More at IMDbPro »Ringu 0: Bâsudei (original title)

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40 out of 40 people found the following review useful:


Author: Gafke from United States
14 August 2004

In Ring O, which takes place 30 years before the events of Ringu, we are introduced to Sadako Yamamura, a painfully shy young girl who is literally torn in two by her mysterious heritage. Sadako, haunted by frightening visions of ghosts and bloody omens of the future, is a tense and silent girl with an ethereal beauty. She has found happiness in a local drama troupe, despite the fact that few of her fellow actors like her - Sadako is too quiet, a little creepy, and always seems to have something "standing behind her" - something that no one can quite see. The cast of an upcoming play all begin to have similar dreams in which an old house, a forest by the sea and a crumbling well all make an appearance. When the star of the play dies unexpectedly, and Sadako is given her role, suspicion mounts. Odd occurrences plague the set, a news reporter with a secret agenda begins to investigate Sadako and Sadako herself falls in love with a handsome sound engineer named Toyama, the only one who believes that Sadako is innocent. But if she is, then what is causing the poltergeist activity in the theater? What is the source of the strange, eerie sound that everyone can hear? And whose voice said "You will die" on a recording made at the time of a young woman's death?

This is a strong entry in the Ringu series, more of a psychological drama than anything else. Sadako, like Carrie White, is a girl with no self-esteem, wandering through the film in dumpy clothes with her hair in her face. She is truly a good, sweet girl who is simply pushed too far at last. There are some creepy moments scattered through the film featuring grainy dream sequences, stricken corpses and a very creepy shot of Sadako's insane mother during a flashback. There's also a great climax featuring Sadako as we all remember her - hair in her face and clad in a long white dress - literally jumping into view and then creeping up on her two victims in a scene that was clearly shot backwards and then run forwards, giving her movements a hideous jerkiness. Yukie Nakama is very good as Sadako, giving us a tragic heroine who is good and pure and possesses the power to heal the sick. Your sympathy will lie with Sadako, even as her dark past is revealed. The good Sadako suffers unbearably and you will suffer with her, right up to the chilling, but inevitable, ending.

This is a must see for Ring fans. Very highly recommended.

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26 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful and haunting

Author: Scott Murray (Django-21) from Scotland
20 October 2002

After the disappointment of a still decent "Ring 2", "Ring 0 : Birthday" is a return to form. Yukie Nakamo does a wonderful job of portraying the tragic final days of Sadako's attempt at a normal life. The sweet, innocent side of her was never suspected when I first glimpsed the malevolent presence of Sadako in the first installment. Yukie is very moving in her portrayal and evokes sympathy and empathy for the character. Similarily, Daisuke Ban gives a opens up the character of Dr Ikuma from the glimpses we've seen in previous installments. Here we see a tortured and resigned man who genuinely loves Sadako as a daughter, but can't escape from the knowledge of how dangerous she is and the steps he may have to take to prevent her harming others.

Despite the main love story and drama of Sadako's attempt at a normal life, there are still plenty of creepy moments and supernatural happenings. The scenes with the school teacher relating her experiences of teaching a young Sadako are genuinely intriguing and eerie. Indeed the story of the kids swimming in the sea and Sadako's prediction of their fate, is truly gripping, despite nothing actually being shown. The excitng scenes in the woods and cabin show how deadly Sadako can be when her evil side has control. The weird appearance and way of walking from the first "Ring" is seen again here and there's some great bonesnapping moments when Sadako hunts down her final prey. These scenes and the conclusion give "Ring 0 : Birthday" the standout sequences that "Ring 2" never quite managed to sustain from the original film.

Some of the plot points do bear a resemblance to "Carrie" but the film handles them in a different way. The story, although slow paced is always enthralling (a hallmark of the "Ring" series to date) and it seems poor Sadako never really had a chance from what awaited her. Aligned against her are: an inability to control the dark powers of her alter ego, a creepy director who learns of her secret and wishes to use her, a reporter with a grudge and a suspicious and unfriendly acting troupe who never seem to have made any real attempt at welcoming the shy, withdrawn girl into their fold. Mob paranoia and fear contribute to Sadako's fate and make her the malevolent presence she is today. As the film reaches it's conclusion, you can't help but wish that things could end differently for the unfortunate lovers but anyone who's seen the previous installments, knows that there's only one place this prequel can end. The last few minutes of the film are heartbreaking and the film's end credit song beautifully encapsulates the finality of Sadako's backstory.

Don't expect too many absolute answers here though. "Ring 0 : Birthday" maintains the mystery and ambiguity of the first two films and once again, imagination is a required element from the viewer. If you enjoyed the previous films and want to see more of Sadako, this film will give you quite a thrill ride. Whether it's poignant doomed love story, another part of the Ring puzzle or an eerie and haunting Japanese ghost story, "Ring 0 : Birthday" is a winner on every level.

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

WONDERFUL prequel to the master of horror movies

Author: Luisa Hughes ( from Chattanooga, Tennessee
7 February 2002

Wow... I don't know whether to love Sadako or fear her. "Ring 0" completes the trilogy and makes it into an epic. We delve into the complicated and frightening (yet very tragic) character that is Sadako Yamamura. Like "Ring 2", this film continues the enrichment of the Ring mythos. We watch the frightening, tragic story of Sadako unfold before our eyes. We discover a more human Sadako... one that feels love and compassion in spite of her peculiarities, and we are once again frightened as we were in the previous movies. In a way, the terror is more effective here than in "Ring 2" even in light of a movie that feels more like a tear-jerking drama at times than like a horror film. This is a must-see for fans of the first two movies. Watch it. You won't be sorry.. even if some of the introduced story elements seem a little strange. They are carried out beautifully! Sadako herself is beautiful and enchanting.

I'll conclude with one final statement: If you thought a staggering, ghostly Sadako was intimidating, wait until you see her when she's alive and kicking, and more powerful than she ever was as an ethereal presence. Now she has the ability to kill at will rather than with a cursed videotape!

Hmm.. do I sound like I'm contradicting myself about Sadako? I'm not going to explain myself. Just watch the movie and see for yourselves!

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Good prequel to round out the Japanese Ring series

Author: evilmatt-3 from Woodland Hills, CA
26 September 2003

Combining elements of drama and horror, Ring 0 is a very worthy installation of the indie horror franchise. This film really starts, though, as a drama, telling us the story of Sadako in a very linear fashion (which, deliciously, has become the more difficult and confusing path to take, since we already know the end of the story). We see Sadako as a human (!) who is not scary or evil at all but actually seems rather pleasant and almost painfully shy. A while later in the film, we see that Sadako is actually warring desperately with herself . . . and is losing. Her eventual slide into the monstrosity of the first and second Ring films is a sight to behold (and, hardcore fans will note, is echoed by a similar fall of Ando Mitsuo in the less popular Rasen).

The social overtones of this film are also outstanding and a fine addition to the series. Whereas the first two films are more exercises in combining psychological terror with techno-horror, Ring 0 takes a more Romero-esque approach to the social aspect of Sadako's transformation, meditating on the cruelty of her peers and the burning need for revenge of one journalist that brings the whole tragedy crashing down.

Incidentally, although it takes some time, this film WILL scare the hell out of you at the end. Just wait for it.

Very, very good. See it.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Great Prequel

Author: Michael Clough from Melbourne Australia
16 June 2003

A great prequel to the Ringu series. In this film we see the human side of Sadako before her death & the cruel attitude of others towards her. By the end of the film you feel sorry for Sadako & not her victims. I enjoyed this more than the original film, in many ways this film follows a more traditional story structure than the original.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Best story of the series

Author: Danny_G13 from Glasgow, Scotland
15 July 2003

When Ring conquered the far east in 1998, then began to spread to the west, audiences were shocked at the nature of new horror. No longer was blood, guts and gore the content used to scare viewers, but sheer unadulterated terror caused by a whole new approach of psychological tension and a surreal dreamlike fear. It spawned a decent sequel which didn't *quite* live up the original due to convolucence of the plot and slight contrivance. But for the 3rd movie in the series (I ignore the Korean 'Ring Virus') they went back to basics, and told a simple story. Ring 0 is a prequel. Yes, not everything is cleared up, but for sheer story telling and quality of drama Ring 0 is the best in the series. It doesn't quite contain the same level of fear as Ring, but that's on purpose to portray Sadako (Who could well be one of the most enduring 'villains' in movie history) as a vulnerable girl - to convey her upbringing and troubled existance. And on this level the movie works extremely well, and the viewer identifies with her. But it just wouldn't be Ring without a scare or 2, and the ending, while not *quite* as terrifying as Ring's ending (Due to the fact we are now getting familiar with Ring's 'tricks') is still extremely chilling and will scare you. Overall, excellent movie and thoroughly recommended.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:


Author: richard cavellero from NJ, U.S.A.
1 November 2003

Ring0 is haunting and beautiful. It's definatly the most seriously dramatic and passionate of the ring films. Saadako is represented as a person here with a dark side. But also a wanting side that wants to be forgiven and accepted and most importantly loved for her uncontrollable actions. Their are strong performances and the a vivid and secret spouting storyline that makes you look at each film completely different. In an age of mindless sequels Ring 0 is a perfect film. It balances horror with beauty and love with hate. The film is as much a tear jerker as a screamer. And the true story of what happened will stay with you!

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The reason behind Sadako's vengeance

Author: Lady Targaryen from Brazil
24 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sadako is a shy girl who becomes a student of a drama club. The director likes her and think she is very talented girl, but other actors and actresses are jealous of her and find her strange, Toyama being the only exception. The lead actress of the play of the drama club suddenly dies, and the director chooses Sadako to be in her place. Many mysterious deaths starts to occur, at the same time, we have a reporter who knows the truth about Sadako's secrets and who is going to makes her life even harder, specially when everybody starts to be suspicious that Sadako was the responsible for all the deaths.

''Ringu 0: Bâsudei ''is the prequel to the horror film Ringu. Here, we can see all the reasons why Sadako became the bizarre spirit crazy for vengeance. The only problem is that the movie doesn't explain many things that will happen in the next movies( like the cursed videotape) or other things, like Sadako's twin sister (who doesn't see to have any logic at all in her existence).

In my opinion it is very weak as a horror movie, and staying only with the first''Ring'' would be a better choice for the series.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Almost as good as the first ringu!

Author: green_pigs_blood ( from Newcastle, Australia
18 August 2004

I can't work out why people didn't enjoy this movie, i thought it was one of the best movies i have ever seen. Compared the the other Ring (Ringu) movies it is not as scary but kind of upsetting, and like the other Ring movies has a great *i have to see more* kinda ending. I actually felt sorry for Sadako in this movie, the same way i felt sorry for Carrie White in Carrie. Also this movie, unlike Ring 2, has a completely new storyline to it, i also thought Yukie Nakama who played Sadako was totally awesome, her acting was just brilliant. The acting from the whole cast was just fantastic. So please try to see this movie, its well worth it, almost as good as the first Ringu!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: kosmasp
18 May 2007

After the original Ringu, there were many people who tried to ride the horror wave. Not much unlike the known Hollywood tradition, the Japanese film industry made many horror movies in the same vein, as is this prequel to the original Ringu.

This is one of the better movies to come out of the many copy-cats that followed the success of Ringu. It does tell you the story of the girl that lead her to become what she is (or was) in the Ringu movie, when you saw her. So if you've watched Ringu, you do know where this movie is going. Still it is more than interesting and engaging to see the journey of her! I don't know how it would feel if you'd watch this movie before Ringu, but one thing is for sure, if you like Ringu, you should watch this one too! It stays true to the original premise!

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