Ringu (1998)
August 17, 2022 12:54 PM - Subscribe

A mysterious video has been linked to a number of deaths, and when an inquisitive journalist finds the tape and views it herself, she sets in motion a chain of events that puts her own life in danger. This is the original Japanese version, not to be confused with the American remake.

Starring Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Miki Nakatani, Yuko Takeuchi, Hitomi Sato, Rie Inō, and Yôichi Numata. Directed by Hideo Nakata.

97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Shudder, Arrow, and free with ads on Tubi, AsianCrush, Dark Matter, and Vix. Also available for digital rental on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
So I watched this with my roommate in 99? 2000? And both of us seasoned horror veterans, when that scene came up, gasped and recoiled in our chairs. A week later, I was home alone, and the phone rang. I picked it up to a dead line…. I have never been so relieved to hear the click of a telemarketer’s robocall….
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:02 PM on August 17 [3 favorites]


So good. I didn't see the remake because I have a bit of a grudge against American remakes of foreign-language films.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:52 PM on August 17 [3 favorites]


Ivan, the American version is… pretty good? Less visceral, but also clearer in its plotting and pacing. It's glossier, which dilutes the grubby sordidness of the original, but the acting is a bit better on the whole. Given Ringu’s extremely spotty records of sequels and remakes, the US version is pretty strong.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:27 AM on August 18 [2 favorites]


I'd agree with that comparison of the two versions, but my preference has varied. The first time I saw the US version, I was impressed at the clarity of its construction, the precision clockwork of its plotting, compared to the messiness of the original. After watching both again, the remake underwhelmed me because the top-to-bottom logic of it made it feel sort of hermetically sealed, whereas the original hinted at an unlimited universe of scary shit I would never be able to get my head entirely around.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:48 AM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I like the horror-as-mystery plot structure to both of these films- there's not a lot of horror that's as much about investigating and unraveling a mystery as it is spookiness (I'm thinking Lake Mungo, Noroi, maybe a few others?) and Ringu/The Ring do it very well.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:16 AM on August 18 [4 favorites]


After watching both again, the remake underwhelmed me because the top-to-bottom logic of it made it feel sort of hermetically sealed, whereas the original hinted at an unlimited universe of scary shit I would never be able to get my head entirely around.

Wild, I had the complete inverse reaction - I found the ludicrous specifics of the original's origins (Psychic tuberculosis photography ghost or whateverthefuck) a serious drawback to the horror because it was just so patently silly. Meanwhile the US version seems to very explicitly not give *any* explanation for Samara's origin aside from 'her folks went away for a while and came back with a kid' which leads to a lot of dark implications regarding just what they had to do to acquire this haunted malevolent force of a child without ever spending too long on it.

Also the pacing of the original was bizarrely monotonous - instead of building tempo to the climax, the progress and intensity seemed a single continuous somewhat slow pitch despite the mounting details and reveals, which served to undercut what should have been the finale and just kept puttering along for a little while longer than it needed.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:30 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


« Older Movie: Demolition Man...   |  All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite:... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster