- Ring (film)
name = Ring
caption = UK DVD cover
Nanako Matsushima Hiroyuki Sanada Rikiya Otaka Yoichi Numata
producer = Taka Ichise
editing = Nobuyuki Takahashi
distributor = Toho Company Ltd.
January 31, 1998( Japan)
runtime = 96 min.
language = Japanese
budget = $1.2 million
amg_id = 1:180670
imdb_id = 0178868
nihongo|"Ring"|リング|Ringu is a 1998 Japanese horror mystery
filmfrom director Hideo Nakata, adapted from the novel of the same name by Koji Suzuki, which draws from the Japanese folk tale Banchō Sarayashiki. The film stars Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rikiya Otakaas members of a divorced family, each cursed by a videotape. The film was later remade in the United States as "The Ring" (2002).
The film is the highest grossing horror film in
Japanat 15.9 billion yen ($137.7 million) and is also considered the most frightening horror movie in Japan according to the investigation of Oricon. [ [http://www.oricon.co.jp/news/ranking/46667/ 最も怖いジャパニーズホラー映画ランキングTOP10！ ニュース-ORICON STYLE ] ]
Ring is a movie about cursed videotape that, when watched, will cause the viewer to die a week after.
The film begins with two teenagers, Masami (Hitomi Sato) and Tomoko (Yuko Takeuchi) talking about a videotape recorded by a boy in Izu which is fabled to bear a curse that kills the viewer seven days after watching. Tomoko then reveals that a week ago, she and three of her friends watched a weird tape and received a call after watching it. Unnervingly similar to the storied videotape, Masami realizes that Tomoko was fated to die. After some unsettling moments, Tomoko mysteriously dies with Masami having the horror of watching.
Some days later and Asakawa Reiko (
Nanako Matsushima), a reporter investigating the popularity of the video curse among teenagers, discovers that her niece, Tomoko and her three other friends mysteriously died at the same time on the same night with their faces twisted in a rictus of fear. She also discovers that Masami, the girl who was with Tomoko when she died, went crazy and is now in a mental hospital. After stumbling upon Tomoko's photos from the past week, Reiko finds out that the four teenagers stayed in a rental cabin in Izu. Eventually, she flips to a photo of the teens with their faces blurred.
Later, Reiko goes to Izu and finds an unlabeled tape in the reception room of the rental cottage where the teenagers stayed. Watching the tape inside Cabin B4, Reiko sees the tape containing a series of seemingly unrelated disturbing images. As soon as the tape is over, Reiko receives a phone call, a realisation of the tell-tale videotape curse. Then on, she now assumes that she has a week to live.
On the first day, Reiko enlists the help of her ex-husband, Ryuji Takayama (
Hiroyuki Sanada), who watches the tape. A day later and Reiko creates a copy for Ryuji for them to study. They find a hidden message embedded within the tape saying that "if you 'shoumon' on seawater, the 'boukon' will come for you." The message is in a form of dialect from Oshima Island. The two sail for Oshima (after Asakawa's son watches the videotape) and discover the history of the great psychic Yamamura Shizuko.
With only a day left, Reiko and Ryuji discovered that Shizuko's lost daughter, Sadako, must have made the videotape. Determined, the two go back to Izu with the assumption that Sadako is dead and it was her vengeful spirit that killed the teenagers. The duo then uncover a well under Cabin B4 and realize, through a vision, that Sadako's father killed her and threw her into the well. They try to empty the well and find Sadako's body in an attempt to appease her spirit. Reiko finds Sadako's body. When nothing happens to her, they believe that the curse is broken.
All seems fine until the next day when Sadako crawls out of Ryuji's TV set and kills him. Desperate to find a cure to save her son, Reiko realized what she did that Ryuji didn't, thus saving her: She copied the tape and showed it to him. With a VCR and Ryuji's copy of the tape, Reiko rides to her son in attempt to save him, realizing that this is a never-ending cycle: The tape must always be copied and passed on to ensure the survival of the viewers.
After the initial success of the Ring novel, written by
Koji Suzuki, Kadokawa Shoten decided to make a motion picture adaptation of the Ring. The whole production work took nine months and five weeks [http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offscreen/nakata.html Pre-production, including writing the script was about 3-4 months, postproduction about 4 months, and shooting itself about 5 weeks.] The movie's screenwriter, Hiroshi Takahashi, and director, Hideo Nakata, collaborated to work on the script after reading the novel and the TV adaptation of Ring [http://www.theringworld.com/anolis.php Well, of course, the first thing I did was read the book, following which I and [scriptwriter] Takahashi Hiroshi spent about six months thinking about the screenplay. I also watched the TV version.] . With the budget of 1.2 million USD, the shooting began which took five weeks to complete. [http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offscreen/nakata.html shooting itself about 5 weeks.] The special effects on the cursed videotape and some parts in the films was shot on a 35 mm film which was passed on in a laboratory in which a computer added the grainy effect [ [http://www.horschamp.qc.ca/new_offscreen/nakata.html The "Ring" Master: Interview With Hideo Nakata ] ] . Another part of the movie where extended visual effects was used was in the part where the ghost of Sadako Yamamura climbs out the television. First, they had the Kabuki Theateractress Inou Rie to shoot her walking jerkily backwards. They then played the film in reverse to give her the weird motion of Sadako [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0178868/trivia Ringu (1998) - Trivia ] ] .
It garnered mostly positive reviews; Rotten Tomatoes lists it with a freshness rating of 96%, 23 of 24 reviews were positive [ [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ringu/ Ringu Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ] . IMDb currently has an average rating of 7.6/10 [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0178868/ratings Ringu (1998) - User ratings ] ] .
Critics praised the film for creating a spooky atmosphere. Michael Thomson of BBC films rated it 4 out of 5 stars, saying: "Its story is constructed around a beautifully simple idea, that those who watch an extremely unnerving, grainy video (and receive a phone call immediately afterwards), will die exactly one week later, always with a severely twisted, freaked-out expression on their faces." [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/08/16/ring_review.shtml BBC - Films - review - Ring ] ] Christopher Null of filmcritic.com said, "Ringu is very atmospheric and often creepy, especially in its last half hour, but it's hardly chilling enough to keep you up at night." [ [http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/84dbbfa4d710144986256c290016f76e/1fd609937682ff7c88256cad0000fc3c?OpenDocument Ringu Movie Review, DVD Release - Filmcritic.com ] ]
equels and adaptations
There were two sequels shot in Japan: "
Rasen" (also from 1998, aka "Spiral") and " Ring 2" (from 1999, and which was not based on Suzuki's works), as well as a prequel, ' (2000). There was also a Korean remake (called "Ring" in Korea and " The Ring Virus" abroad) that was the first ever joint film making venture between Korea and Japan.Fact|date=April 2007 A video game, known as ' in the U.S., was also released in 2000 for the Dreamcast.
The international success of the Japanese films launched a revival of horror filmmaking in Japan that resulted in such pictures as
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2001 film "Pulse" (known as nihongo|Circuit|回路|Kairo in Japan), Takashi Shimizu's nihongo|"The Grudge"|呪怨|Juon (2000), Hideo Nakata's nihongo|"Dark Water"|仄暗い水の底から|Honogurai mizu no soko kara|literally "The Depths of Dark Water", also based on a short story by Suzuki), and Higuchinsky's "Uzumaki" (2000, aka "Vortex", based on the Junji Itohorror mangaof the same name).Fact|date=April 2007
Most of the "Ring" stories also appeared as
Nanako Matsushima- Reiko Asakawa
Miki Nakatani- Mai Takano
Hiroyuki Sanada- Ryuji Takayama
Yūko Takeuchi- Tomoko Oishi
Hitomi Sato- Masami Kurahashi
Yoichi Numata- Takashi Yamamura
Yutaka Matsushige- Yoshino
Katsumi Muramatsu- Kōichi Asakawa
Rikiya Otaka- Yōichi Asakawa
Masako- Shizuko Yamamura
Inou Rie- Sadako Yamamura
* [http://www.bittorrent.com/users/kadokawa/torrent/Ring/80545566-07e9-11dc-a0e5-00eaf3d23b03 The Ring at BitTorrent.com] - via its relationship with Kadokawa Pictures,
BitTorrent Inc.is the online site that has licensed The Ring for streaming and download. Must pay for ad-free viewing.
* [http://www.theringworld.com/ the ringworld] - a fansite covering all aspects of the "Ring" series and movies.
* [http://www.obrasilero.com/ring/ the Ring AREA] - Contains of the cursed videos of the Ring cycle and their scene-by-scene analyses, as well as lots of other useful information.
* [http://www.mandiapple.com/snowblood/theringcycle.htm Snowblood Apple's Ring Cycle article] - an overview of all "Ring" films.
* [http://www.fearful-symmetry.co.uk/snuff.htm Snuff Video - Japanese heart-stopping terror with the Ring series.]
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