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Overall Rating
4.13

Awesome: 36.76%
Worth A Look50%
Average: 7.35%
Pretty Bad: 1.47%
Total Crap: 4.41%

4 reviews, 44 user ratings



Ringu
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by Rob Gonsalves

"A cursed video dooms viewers to death within seven days. Sound familiar?"
4 stars

DreamWorks remade it in 2002, and 'Feardotcom' ripped it off. So is Hideo Nakata's original 1998 'Ringu' as creepy as it's been cracked up to be?

Oh, sure. Absolutely some moments of maximum creep here, as when reporter Reiko (Nanako Matsushima) first views the allegedly killer tape (a collection of baffling Lynchian images crossed with the grainy freak-out ambiance of The Blair Witch Project), or when Reiko enters a room and catches someone else watching the tape, or whenever the phone rings (after the tape is over, a phone call confirms that you'll die in a week), or Reiko's climactic discovery down a well, or especially the appearance of the film's ghost in the flesh, as it were -- it appears to have been filmed backwards, and its resultant off-kilter motions are just, well, creepy.

I can't know for sure whether M. Night Shyamalan would've had access to an import tape of Ringu when he was filming The Sixth Sense, but the scene of Reiko's little boy (Katsumi Muramatsu) fearfully ascending a flight of stairs and entering a possibly haunted room has strong intimations of Haley Joel Osment's similar dread-ridden explorations (not to mention the theme of a murdered girl trying to contact the living to seek justice -- yet another way Feardotcom swiped from this).

Is Ringu a horror masterpiece that American horror fans should go out of their way to own? I wouldn't go that far. It's a very good film, combining supernatural dread and police-procedural stuff (the scenes wherein Reiko and her ex-husband deconstruct the tape frame by frame in search of clues are worthy of -- and likely inspired by -- vintage De Palma). Except for the tape itself, Hideo Nakata's direction cannot be said to be bold or even stylish; it's quite meat-and-potatoes (which can be refreshing), and it relies more on its ingenious premise than on shocks or gore (which can be very refreshing). Essentially it's an old-school chiller with a new technological twist -- and the twist is not so much the video medium as the revelation of how to view the tape and survive.

I was compelled, often creeped out on behalf of the characters (especially those facing the beat-the-clock plot construction, helpfully intensified by frequent titles showing the date), but I can't help thinking that a movie about a killer video, watched at home on video (VCD, whatever), should make a viewer feel more personally threatened than Ringu does -- you should feel as though, when the film is over, you now need to follow the film's instructions or die.

Still, if my phone had rung after I'd ejected the DVD....

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5564&reviewer=416
originally posted: 03/08/07 12:52:00
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User Comments

4/08/16 David Hollingsworth A truly terrifying film that gets under your skin and stays there. 5 stars
10/27/08 blarginbadigalnohif the scariest movie of all time 5 stars
9/29/07 Bitchflaps Both versions of the Grudge are awful, as is the remake of this gem. 4 stars
2/06/07 David Pollastrini better than The Ring 5 stars
9/05/06 Bitchflaps The laughably poor remake will not alter this film's status as a cult favourite. 4 stars
8/16/06 anthonyuk far superior to the remake, excellent 5 stars
3/28/06 Idon'tneedtotellyoumyname Yeah right. Who could be scared by this? It's practically "The Grudge" or Ju-On. 1 stars
3/16/06 He11zz Scarry till drop 4 stars
9/27/05 . a must-see 5 stars
8/25/05 Eden It's not the god's gift of horror films like film geeks would have u believe 3 stars
6/01/05 Indrid Cold Naturally, film geeks hate the Hollywood version, but it blows away the Japanese version. 3 stars
4/12/05 t-1000 scary as heck 5 stars
3/26/05 ELI see the remake first, so then you'll realize how stupid + unscary this crap is. 1 stars
1/13/05 SAKURAZUKAMORI Much, much, MUCH better then the remake. 5 stars
11/16/04 Dunce Arty horror film w/great visuals & far superior to the crappy American remake or sequel. 5 stars
11/04/04 Tierra Holmes It's not that good 2 stars
8/10/04 kyotomatt my sister, not knowing Japanese, watched this movie and STILL was scared 5 stars
6/07/04 horror_blood BTW, the evil tape is almost completely different from the USA one. 4 stars
6/07/04 horror_blood Good movie, kinda boring, but don't expect it to be THAT MUCH better than the USA one. 4 stars
5/09/04 krishnakbs try sleeping after watching the movie -- its impossible.. 5 stars
5/02/04 pankaj kumbhar donot give background of movie. 1 stars
3/09/04 Charles Tatum Actually, good, but not as good as the remake 4 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Didn't scare me as much as the remake, but nonetheless, a good, round horror. Ringu2 better 4 stars
1/04/04 Mark Decent horror. 4 stars
1/01/04 Ingo Decent horror/drama - watch when alone... 4 stars
8/13/03 Jonel Only horror movie to ever leave a lasting impression long after watching the film! 5 stars
7/21/03 shish i scare easily but this bored the crap out of me. great idea though for a story 3 stars
6/14/03 Earl Dittman, Wireless Magazine Gore Verbinski's remake is full of cheese. This one is the best! 5 stars
4/27/03 Jenna The American remake is five times better. Don't waste your time with this. It's just ok. 3 stars
4/08/03 Dead Ringers FX rules! This is a fun and original movie. Better than original. And more expensive. 4 stars
4/01/03 Kyle Depends on which you've seen first. 4 stars
3/16/03 .Choadushouse. It's genius, but doesnt compare after seeing the American remake. Both truly horrifying! 4 stars
3/10/03 Film Dude I guess I went in with too high of expectations... 4 stars
3/10/03 Drehia Scared the hell out of me and I don't scare easy 5 stars
2/20/03 Dave Scary as Hell, but doesn't withstand repeated watchings. 4 stars
1/23/03 jack turdbret cool movie 4 stars
12/24/02 TheBomb69 slow to develop but the ending made it worthwhile 4 stars
12/21/02 palaboy101 A truly creepy movie. The American remake captures most of it's suspense, if not all. 5 stars
12/18/02 Chiendog Spielberg bought domestic rights so Dreamworks studios could remake it! What an asshole! 5 stars
10/31/02 Christos Nice Acting 5 stars
10/28/02 Joseph James I unplugged my TV for three days after seeing this, True horror. 5 stars
10/16/02 Amanda Great 5 stars
8/01/02 Kallisti_93 As good as Exorcist, and what Blair Witch wanted to be. Best horror is YEARS. 5 stars
7/21/02 sdjfsdkjf average but turned around completely in the last 5 minutes into scary stuff. Bastards. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Sep-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  18-Oct-2001




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