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Ring (Ringu) (1998)

  Directed by: Hideo Nakata
Written by: Kôji Suzuki, Hiroshi Takahashi
Starring: Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada
Links: Ring on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Suspense/Horror/Thriller

This movie gets: 6.00 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 129th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Ring (Ringu) (1998) is also mentioned in andy-j's review of Dark Water (2005), mino's review of One Missed Call (2003), andy-j's review of The Ring (2002) and pearly's review of The Ring (2002).

"Crose! but no cigar-u" - a review by andy-j

Ring is one of the new breed of "horror" movies that aims to scare not through blood and gore, but rather through mood, atmosphere and plot. The movie is about a female journalist investigating the sudden and unexplained deaths of several teenagers (one of whom is her niece), who all died seven days after watching a video tape. After not believing that a such a thing could cause someone to die, she finds the tape and watches it for herself. But after receiving an anonymous phone call within seconds of the tape finishing, she realises that she only has seven days to unravel the mystery and save her own life.

Ring is a not a bad movie, but I don't think it quite achieved what it set out to. I think this is mostly because the storyline isn't quite as strong as it could have been. While there are a few surprises and it does keep you guessing, it doesn't really keep you on the edge of your seat. At the end of the movie I wasn't really blown away, and I attribute this to the fact that I wasn't worked up enough. I felt that Ring could have focused more on building up the "mythical" element - for example, one thing that worked really well was that if a photo of anyone who had 7 days to live was taken, the person's face would appear smudged in the picture. If they had done just a little more of this stuff (not really "jump out of your seat" scary, but more unnerving) I think I would have been more drawn in.

Ring is an interesting and rather daring film. One thing I really liked was the understated relationship between the main journalist character and her ex-husband, who try to work together to solve the mystery. The relationship added a bit of depth to the characters. However, this isn't what the movie is all about - it's more about atmosphere and fear, and in these respects, I wasn't as drawn in enough to feel that the movie hit this target.

andy-j gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 27 Nov 2002

"What did that guy say when I said 'who's that guy?'" - a review by pearly

Watching Ring taught me one thing. And that one thing is that it's difficult to get scared when you have relatively bad eyesight, and are trying to read subtitles that haven't been done very professionally. Ahh, the curse of the bad subtitle. This particular movie suffers from white-text-on-white-or-light-background syndrome. In this day and age, why the subtitle-talking-dudes can't get it together to have some kind of shadowing on their subtitles, I will never know. Thankfully, much of the movie is in darkness or dimly lit locations, so I didn't have to squint too often.

Ring is a Japanese horror film (not to be confused with The Ring (2002), the Hollywood blockbuster remake starring Naomi Watts). It's about a video whose viewers die one week after watching it. After her niece's death, a journalist watches the video and then goes on an investigation to try and find out the cause of (and a way to stop) the deaths.

Ring is scary, in a (I hate to say this) The Blair Witch Project (1999) kinda way. Up until towards the end, it relies more on dark lighting and weird visuals than on directly showing baddies chasing their victims or whatever (though it is less documentary-style).

As with most scary movies, the whole point is to get yourself worked up into a bit of a lather (the rest of the "plot" is usually irrelevant), and, as previously mentioned, I found this a little difficult under the circumstances, but I still thought Ring was a pretty interesting movie. It's a little B-grade in terms of effects and whatnot, but aren't all good horrors?

Interestingly, this movie didn't provide any moments where I was so shocked by something that had happened that I jumped fair out of my seat. Most "scary movies" these days rely on the suspenseful surprise occurance somewhat (see Scream (1996)), but Ring is different. This difference can only be a good thing.

P.S. if watching the video via watching the movie is enough to kill you, then I'm already dead. R.I.P. me.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 18 Nov 2002

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 6.00
Lowest rating: 6 (by andy-j, pearly)
Highest rating: 6 (by andy-j, pearly)
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