Horror Movie Review: Ringu (1998)

Based on Koji Suzuki’s novel by the same name, this movie started a new trend of remakes of asian horrors, and also opened up for the popularity of asian horror on a world wide market. In a world wide market that relied heavily of gore and showing the scares, a movie where the unseeable was even more horrifying, really scared people a lot more than exploding heads and zombies had done for decades. It also made us fear our televisions and VHS movies for seven days after we saw them.

Reiko Asakawa is a reporter looking into a rumour of a cursed video, and as she travels around to interview people, her niece dies mysteriously at the same day as her friends that all had been rumored to have watched the video. As she starts looking into it for her sister, and at the same time coping with her life as a single, divorced mother, she starts finding out more than she should, and a curse that might have stopped with her niece, is unleashed once more as she finds the cursed tape in a cabin reception in Izu.

An eerie video with hints to the person behind it, and the horror that follows it as a phone call, and the knowledge that she has only 7 days to figure out how to stop the curse from consuming her like all the others. With the help of her estranged Ex-husband, they have to solve the messages of the tape before the curse takes them, and also their young son, that watched it by accident.

As I have read the book, I know that it is really, really different from the movies, and it sadly seems the american remake followed the japanese movie more than trying to do anything else with the book. I won’t spoil the movie, or the book too much, but the book did have a different lead, and a lot of different things according to the back story of everyones favorite little Sadako. The american remake is not the worst, but the second one was so horrible I have until now just wiped it off my mind. There is also two sequals to the japanese one. The second one is ok, and the last one, Ringu birthday, is actually closer to making me cry than to make me afraid. There is also a more unknown sequal, named Ransen, and a new one from 2012 in 3D, just named Sadako 3D that was horrible besides one horrifying idea for a monster.

If you are a fan of the book, there is actually a korean version of the Ring, that follows the book a little closer than the japanese movies, and if you look, I bet you can find it, it is called the Ring virus in english.

So, treat yourself to this asian horror movie, where the scares are not the use of blood, or overly horrible serial killers out to kill you, but the ancient human fear of the unknown. We do not know what is lurking in the darkness, we do not know who is on the other side of that phone, or what is coming closer and closer from the well each time the movie is shown. All we know, is that it will come for us, and no matter what, we will not be ready. Remember then, that when your television suddenly turns on again, do not unplugg it, because then it will only be more terrifying when it still turns on before you, and a woman with long black hair, and a long white dress looks back at you.

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