Ringu (1998)

Directed by: Hideo Nakata

Written by: Hiroshi Takahashi


Nanako Matsushima .... Reiko Asakawa
Hiroyuki Sanada .... Ryji Takayama
Yutaka Matsushige .... Yoshino

Release Dates: Theatrical: January 31, 1998 (Japan); Sitges Film Festival: October 12, 1999; Helsinki International Film Festival: September 27, 2000; Oslo International Film Festival: November 19, 2000; Uppsala Horror Film Festival: April 28, 2001; Warsaw Film Festival: October 10, 2002; Cinemanila Film Festival: August 20, 2003 (Phillipines)

*Images courtesy at: www.outnow.ch




A couple of girls named Tomoko ishi (Yko Takeuchi) and Masami (Hitomi Sat) decides to hang out at a cabin and have watched a videotape that apparently puts a curse on you while watching it and having a week to live. Tomoko suddenly dies of what seemed like a heart failure and Masami died at the exact same time and Tomoko's cousin Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) who is a reperter investigates the tape and after watching it herself strange things start to happen around her so she teams up with her ex-husband Ryji Takayama (Hiroyuki Sanada) to try and stop the death clock that begun ticking as their son Yoshino (Yutaka Matsushige) watched the tape himself as he claimed that Tomoko's ghost told him to do so.
They go to a volcanic island where they discover that the video has a connection to a psychic who died 30 years ago, and her child Sadako...


There's a nice beginning which involves two teenagers Tomoko Ôishi and Masami hanging out and having fun with one of them telling the other about a videotape that is supposedly cursed and people die from it with a good serious and fearsome expression on Masami's face and then breaking down and laughing. Then there's a great reaction on the two of them when the phone rings and then they both slowly go to the phone and are hesistant to pick it up which looked impressive.
A nice moment with Reiko Asakawa watching the video tape and then a shot on her looking at the clock and nervous about what's going to happen to her.
We spot many good scene's between Reiko and
Ryûji Takayama trying to discover what's on the tape as well as doing some research on it in which all of this was strongly done.
Many good camera takes on Yoshino walking up a staircase and then going into a dark room with him staring all around which leaves a chill down your spine.
A nice shot on Tomoko lying in her bed and spotting something sleeping next to her and calling to her as well which looked very eerie. Next there's a good moment with Yoshino watching the tape on TV and then Tomoko screaming and freaking out at him along with a good shot on Yoshino staring at her expressionless.
There's a great shot on both Reiko and Ryûji touching some cement top of a well of some sort and then him acting paranoid which was good. Plus a good camera shot looking up on them from the bottom of the well while they remove the lid with struggling shots on him climbing down a rope and digging up buckets of water along with good sobbing by Reiko. There's also a good moment with her down in the water and shots on her digging up some hair in the water when she tries to find something. There's also a good shot on a head of some sort rising up which looked spooky.
There's a moment with
Ryûji after a tape is being played and the phone ringing along with the evil force coming out of the TV and crawling on the floor with good close up shots on her hands as well as her hair covering her face and creeping up towards him which looked greatly done.
Bottom line is that before there was The Ring this was created and I have to admit that this one had a bit more of some dark horror than in the US version which is a good thing. Also it shows each day on what the main cast were doing in order to survive after watching what they saw on the VHS tape.
Alot of the storyline was similar in the US version but it had alot more class and there were at times some different twists too since there's no point in remaking the whole storyline now is there?
It's exciting to watch and wonder what's going to happen as well as many tense moments too. However, the story is a bit too long and it sometimes drags.
There's alot of mysterious moments which involves the little boy as well as discovering where the tape came from and the spirit of the evil child where there's mentioning the tape is not from their world which leaves a great impression too. Plus the phone is guaranteed to make you jump that it's so loud when it's ringing which was very necessary too. Check this one out for yourself as you may get something out of it. That is if you like Japanese horror films since this one was almost similar to One Missed Call.

The acting is spoken in Japanese so it's tough to tell at times how these people talents are but I will say for sure that the lead actress Nanako Matsushima (Reiko Asakawa) showed great powerful emotions with her crying as well as getting intense and scared too. Plus she showed some great anxious expressions too. She was no doubt agreat character actress seeing her perform in this film.
Hiroyuki Sanata
(Ryûji Takayama) as the ex-husband in this film seemed to do well with his serious attitude as well as showing some descent aggressions and a nice tough willed attitude too. A great reaction by him in a certain scene after a tape is being played and the phone ringing showing a good terrifying expression on his face. He looked right for the role so I have no criticism at all with his part in the film.
Child actor Yutaka Matsushige (Yoshino) as the son showing a nice emotionless behavior and really came across very mysterious. He brought alot to his role in the film just behaving that way and knew how to act unusual during the plot of the film which was another bonus due to his talents.

There's perfect bonging sounds with dark metal scrapings for the real gloomy moments along with alot of terrific suspenseful violin music too. We also hear the typical thumping and echey noises too all brought together by Kenji Kawai