The cult section of the literary world

Day 4: Ringu (1998)

By Sam Reeve

Today I bring you Ringu, the film directed by Hideo Nakata which inspired the American remake The Ring. Ringu was actually based on a novel of the same name written by Koji Suzuki. The film’s male lead Hiroyuki Sanada may be familiar to North American audiences for his roles in The Last Samurai, Sunshine, and LOST.

Now I haven’t seen the American one since it first came out, so my memory of it is a little fuzzy, but the plot for both seems mostly the same, but with enough differences that you don’t feel like you’ve watched the same movie twice.

The movie starts off with two teenage girls discussing the rumours surrounding a cursed video that, after watching it, kills you seven days later. One of them had actually watched it exactly a week prior, and you can guess what happens to her a few scenes later.

A female reporter (pictured above) has been interviewing people regarding the popularity of the rumours, who also just so happens to be the aunt of the girl who dies at the beginning of the film. She follows leads, ends up getting a hold of the movie, watches it and freaks out.

The rest of the film is her and her ex-husband (to whom she also showed the video) trying to solve the mystery and lift the curse, all while the clock counts down to their possible demise.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: I don’t remember the American one being particularly bad, but this is definitely better. Ringu really is quite creepy, and unlike the remake, it has far less violence and special effects, which works really well.

The acting is good, as is the story, and I really preferred the characters in this one compared to the remake. The way the lead characters’ son is portrayed is also a million times more effective in my opinion. I thought the American actor who played the son was creepy as hell, which honestly made me not care so much if something happened to him. Though the little Japanese boy in Ringu was a little weird in that he could communicate with ghosts, he was cute as fucking hell and a much more realistic child.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK: There’s not too much I can say, honestly. See it!

Ringu has also spawned a couple of sequels and a prequel, none of which I’ve seen and which don’t sound as appealing as this one. If any of you have seen them, feel free to let us know in a comment below how they were.

Below I’ve posted the full movie that can be watched on Youtube with English subtitles. Enjoy!

 

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