Synopsis: If you liked The Ring, you’ll love Ringu, the original international box office hit that started it all!

A mysterious video has been linked to a number of deaths, and when an inquisitive journalist finds the tape and views it herself, she sets in motion a chain of events that puts her own life in danger.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience!

Ringu 8.0

Strangely, I have very little to say about this film. When I first saw it, many years ago, I was thrilled with it – I’d have given it an 8.5. Then I saw it with a friend and I suppose I’d have given it an 8.0. Now I saw it again (on Hallowe’en!, no less!) and I’d give it a 7.5. So I rounded it off for this comment.

Somehow, it just didn’t hit me like it did the first two times.

I’d like to blame the ambiance at the time of viewing, but I’m not really sure if that’s the cause. I only know that I wasn’t sucked into the story like I had been before; whereas I was completely engrossed and found the mood to be perfectly eerie, this time I watched it like it was an X-Files episode – it was fun, but I was fairly detached.

There are a few minor things that I can say, however, for the sake of making this entry somewhat informative and/or entertaining:

-the acting is fairly solid, if a little on the hammy side at times (the male protagonist, in particular, is slightly over the top).
-the story is woven together in a lean, meat-and-potatoes way that outclasses its more convoluted American counterpart, ‘The Ring’.
-it’s a scarier film than the tepid remake.
-the Asian relation with the undead is very different from North America’s; we find spirits and death scary, whereas they frequently consider these things to be part of of the cycle of life and tend to honour it. I found that interesting to see here.

My only real beef with the film is the basic premise, which is technology-based. I know that, in Japanese horror films and television, they have no issue whatsoever with mixing high-tech and scares – there are quite a few examples of this. But it feels weird from a North American perspective. The fact they use VHS tapes as their totem of terror probably doesn’t help, because that’s so outdated now

Anyway, whether you like it or not, you have to give all the credit/blame/responsibility to ‘Ringu’ and the massive success of its remake for the bevy of Japanese horror films that have made it to Hollywood in recent years: ‘Dark Water’, ‘The Eye’, ‘The Grudge’ , ‘One Missed Call’, ‘Pulse’, ‘Shutter’, …etc. And there’s bound to be more to come

So, even if you can’t find the time or desire to see this classic, at least pay it the respect that it deserves; it hasm after all, been extremely influencial

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