A young pathologist seeks answers to the mysterious death of a friend and soon comes into contact with the same cursed videotape that caused the death of the friend's wife and son, which is haunted by the curse of Sadako, a relentless spirit.
Reiko Asakawa is researching into a 'Cursed Video' interviewing teenagers about it. When her niece Tomoko dies of 'sudden heart failure' with an unnaturally horrified expression on her face, Reiko investigates. She finds out that some of Tomoko's friends, who had been on a holiday with Tomoko the week before, had died on exactly the same night at the exact same time in the exact same way. Reiko goes to the cabin where the teens had stayed and finds an 'unlabeled' video tape. Reiko watched the tape to discover to her horror it is in fact the 'cursed videotape'. Ex-Husband Ryuji helps Reiko solve the mystery, Reiko makes him a copy for further investigation. Things become more tense when their son Yoichi watches the tape saying Tomoko had told him to. Their discovery takes them 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...Written by
Hana Jo Gilmour
While I realize that it might simply be that I am an american with no knowledge of the japanese language beyond "Mushi, Mushi" and "Arigato" but I simply did not think this movie is as good as it is hyped up to be. In fact, (oh god save me) I enjoyed the American version of the movie more so than this one. Perhaps it was due to cultural differences that I simply couldn't 'get' this movie but I'm somehow don't think so.
"Ringu" simply did not draw me in and make me really believe in what the characters were doing. Like many Japanese movies, I simply could not accept that the character would really do what they were doing; it just didn't make sense to me that these people would go running around Japan trying to discover the mystery of the 'video' based on some people dying. The american version seemed to give characters some extra motivation to go in search of the truth, with unexplained supernatural events, scary dreams, etc. Perhaps its a testament to Japanese work ethic or American laziness but I just thought there wasn't enough to back up the characters actions.
I realize it might somehow be hip to say that you enjoy foreign films more than their domestic counterparts and insult the Hollywood 'money machine' and decry the end of american cinema but I simply can't do it with this movie. The ultimate and final test to determine whether a horror movie is good is of course whether or not you are scared. And I can say that the american version of "The Ring" made me ruin a perfectly good pair of underpants whereas the Japanese version made me jump maybe twice and laugh once.
The main problem this poses is which movie do you see first because seeing either film will ruin the ending of the other. And so not to take anything away from "Ringu" (which is, in and of itself a great movie), I can honestly tell you that you should see the American version first... and bring an extra pair of underpants.
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