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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie and Atomspheric
This is what you call a decent 'horror' film. It does not rely on endless gore and a high body count in order to 'scare'. Instead, it relies on suspense, striking visual imagery and an airtight script to have viewers on the edge of their seat.

If gore's your bag, skip this, because it has none. Rather, it follows the story of a young journalist who, after the...
Published on 14 Mar. 2007 by Elizabeth Gershwin

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Great film, terrible DVD
I concur with the reviews below... this film is as great as the first time I saw it back in 1999.
HOWEVER... the quality of the print used for this DVD is atrocious. Watching the original VHS copy on a 21" TV, it's fine as the low resolution of tape masks the awful quality.
This DVD on a bog-standard 21" pan'n'scan TV is okay too, but obviously not of the...
Published on 10 Aug. 2004 by Alan Moore


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie and Atomspheric, 14 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This is what you call a decent 'horror' film. It does not rely on endless gore and a high body count in order to 'scare'. Instead, it relies on suspense, striking visual imagery and an airtight script to have viewers on the edge of their seat.

If gore's your bag, skip this, because it has none. Rather, it follows the story of a young journalist who, after the death of a young woman who watched a suspect video tape, begins to investigate the tape's origins. What she discovers is both unnerving and creepy.

This film's strong point is it's visual imagery, most notably in the tape itself, which is both weird and unpleasant. The plot ticks over nicely, providing just enough suspense to keep the viewer's interest piqued. The script is also strong, and it is very telling that this is the highest grossing Japanese horror film ever. It has also found global success, adding a much-deserved boom to the Japanese horror film industry, along with the equally sinister 'Grudge' and 'Audition', plus many other far more violent flicks.

This film is superbly directed, and the acting is also of a very high calibre, convincing and strong. The plot itself is very original, if a little far-fetched, but then, this is the horror genre, so it shouldn't make perfect sense anyway!

Please don't confuse this with the vastly inferior American remake, which massacres the original script and deviates wildly from the plot. Subtle Japanese film-making should not be tampered with by money-grabbing Western film-makers who have absolutely no artistic integrity whatsoever.

To conclude, this is an imaginative, frequently gripping and well directed horror, with an intelligent, thoughtful streak running right through it. It is well worth a few hours of your time!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japanese cinema classic - prepare to be scared, 23 Jan. 2004
By 
Ruth Ludlam "princess_zelda" (Bracknell, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Ring, based on the novel by Koji Suzuki, is a masterpiece of suspense and psychological horror. It even spawned a kind of cult following in Japan, and I believe shops there actually sell little Sadako dolls. I must confess this is a film that, if you have any sensitivity at all, will stay with you. The soundtrack is particularly disturbing, so that even little everyday noises suddenly take on a sinister chill after you've seen this film. My best friend was practically weaned on Western horror films, and she's seen it all - or so she thought until I showed her this.
You can tell it's not a Western film - the premise relies a bit on the sort of mysticism that is perfectly normal in Eastern societies. The ex-husband has ESP and this 'abnormality' seems to have freaked the wife out too much, judging from a few remarks he makes. Also, people talk about curses and psychic powers quite readily and don't get laughed at as much as you'd expect.
But you don't have to suspend your disbelief, because Ring will suck you in with its atmosphere, although it holds back the most frightening stuff until the end. This can make the middle part of the film seem boring to those who are after quick thrills and shocks, and also the white subtitles sometimes get lost against light backgrounds, which can be irritating. But please don't give up at this stage, the end will make it all worthwhile. There is also brilliant acting all round, especially from the child who plays Yoichi. I also like the way the film uses the 'pathetic fallacy' of a bleak and rainy atmosphere (urban Tokyo) to add to the grim appearance of the film, but halfway through it throws that off entirely and moves to some really attractive locations.
To sum up - Ring is a brilliantly original film, and a very refreshing change from the interminable recycled Western horror genre. If this scares you, you will be scared for a long time.
If at all possible, you should see this before you watch the American remake, because unfortunately that will give away the surprise ending. Which is a stroke of genius and totally unexpected, so it would be a shame to spoil it. But even watching it again and again, I still get very scared indeed. The next most brilliant feature of the film is the soundtrack, which is unusual but very effective. When I watch this film, I always want to cover my ears rather than my eyes, because the sounds are so disturbing.
The American version just does not do justice to the brilliance of the original.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb Ghost Story!, 22 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Of late, I have become a little jaded with the usual hollywood horror films, which have spawned other 'ironic' pastiches, and spoofs. To say the word 'formulaic' is flattery. For this reason, I heard that Hollywood was re-making this film, and felt that I had to see the original as I had heard a few things about it.
What I got was a very intense and incredible film, which chose to scrap all the Hollywood rules of what should make a good horror film, and has made something much better!
Many people will not like it. It is not an action-filled rollercoaster of a ride. It is instead, a well-paced, well-shot tale that has you guessing and hanging on and holding your breath, so that when the inevitable does happen, it creates an indelible image that you can't get out of your head long after the end credits appear.
The basis on the story involves an urban legend about a strange video recording that causes the viewer to receive a phone call after watching it and mysteriously die a week later.
A reporter delves into the legend after a niece dies from the video, and discovers a dark story centering around a young girl called Sadako.
The acting is brilliant - subdued and enigmatic glances suggest more than the words, even Sadako's appearance in a white silk dress and her hair over her face appears more menacing than any guy in a 'Scream' outfit.
Above all, however, this film works mostly because it is unashamedly original. If you can watch the film, and then see the footage included in the DVD afterwards, make sure you don't pick up the phone afterwards.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Note to would-be horror directors: watch and learn, 24 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Ring is that rarest of breeds, a genuinely scary horror movie. The writer and director have understood that "shock" is not "horror" and that the scariest things are not the ones that jump out at you but the psychological terrors that build up in your mind.
The story is straightforward: a group of teenagers have died under strange circumstances, seemingly scared to death. A rumour is going around that the deaths have something to do with a cursed videotape: you watch it, then, a week later, you die.
A journalist finds the video and watches it. Determined to get to the root cause, and beginning to believe in the curse, she and her ex-husband find themselves in a race against time to solve the mystery.
For most of the film, you feel that Ring is creepy rather than scary, a well-acted, well-directed mystery story rather than a full-on horror movie. There are no expensive special effects, and the film prefers to hint at its horrors rather than put them on full view.
The finale, though, is something else. Simple, effective, and devastatingly scary; the director know to let the suspense build, and let your imagination do the hard work. It was still scaring me a week after watching it...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying, 18 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
I was lucky enough to see this film at the cinema and can quite honestly say it is one of the scariest films you will see. The film is based on the myth of a videotape that is circulating that contains a series of apparently random images. If this tape is viewed a phone call will immediately follow informing the watcher that they have a week to live. After a spate of unexplained deaths where the victims appeared to have died of fright a reporter becomes involved in the affair when her niece dies. After retracing the steps of her niece she ends up discovering the fabled video. Curiosity getting the better of her she whatches the tape and shows it to her ex-husband. Gradually it starts to unfold that the myth may be true and when her young son watches the video it becomes a race against time to solve the mystery of the tape. This film is refreshingly devoid of any cheap hollywood effects and contains no gore. Rather it relies on suggestiveness and cold hard lighting to make everyday technology seem eerie and inhuman. Though given a contemporary twist this film is a classic campfire spook story and is genuinely unnerving. The acting is very good particulary from the lead actress as we follow her descent into terror and then to sheer desperation as she tries to break the 'ring'. If you've ever wanted to see a film that the very thought of disturbed you intensley then watch The Ring.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one to watch, 5 Sept. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
The Ring is a must see! The story follows a female reporter whos niece and friends all sudenly die exactly 7 days of watching a mysterious video tape and the same will happen to any one else who watches it.
The ring isnt you hardcore horror movie and is more a art house film that belongs up at the top with hitcocks films like psyco, which keep you in suspence. The film reely does grab you by the throat and make you watch it.
Im not going to give away any of the story line (or you can just read the other reveiws) as you reely should watch it for your self. Id advise watching the japanese versions first like i did and then watch the new american version just to see the difrences. The japanese version is a classic example of japanese horror at its best. One major diffrence that i noticed in the new version is the use of subliminal messaging where single frame images are spliced into the film. The first one i noticed was after the death of the horse on the boat when the scene changes there is a shot of the ring (the veiw of the well from the inside). I'll let you find the rest.
In all i feel the the japanese version(original) is the best and should be the 1st you watch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Justified hype at last!, 26 Feb. 2005
By 
H. Kirton (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Before watching this, I had listened for a couple of years to my friends jibber on about how amazingly good this film was. I had read many reviews all praising the film. So, when I actually got the chance to watch it, I was expecting, like many other films I had been advised to watch, to actually find the film disgustingly boring. I was wrong.
When the niece of a work-a-holic journalist dies suddenly in mysterious circumstances and her son begins to become withdrawn as a result, our journalist friend can't help but investigate. She quickly discovers that her niece and three of her friends went away to a cabin for a weekend...and that the three friends who were with her have all died in equally mysterious situations at precisely the same time as the niece. Rumours of the gang watching a deadly videotape begin to circulate among friends and, when the journalist overhears, she packs herself off to the cabin in search of the truth.
The plot isn't one that immediately makes you think "genius". It's more one that makes you think "now why didn't I think of that first and sell the story?". It's clever but not so clever that the average Joe would get lost and confused. Mix this with the fact that some key information about the plot doesn't get revealed until right at the very end and you have yourself an amazing horror storyline.
The piece is very well scripted and the casting is divine. The characters aren't as well defined as in other movies but are well defined enough to make you relate to them and want everything to turn out at least "OK" for them. Also, the relationships between the characters are obviously there but aren't so in your face as to distract from the real story of the film. A couple of questions remain intelligently unanswered but, as the story provides you with enough information, you can be left to fill in the blanks for yourself, making this movie a different experience for everybody.
The soundtrack adds to the movie's suspense. Although not amazingly high-tech like some of the stuff coming out of Hollywood nowadays, it adds to the atmosphere of the film. If you look away, the sound effects immediately draw you back to the screen. The special effects are, again, not flash or fancy but again add to the atmosphere of the film. Admittedly, if you like watching films to see what new high-tech computer gadgetry you can use nowadays, Ringu probably won't be all the enjoyable for you.
I would definitely recommend this movie. I would especially recommend it if you're sick of the jump-y, gore filled horrors of Hollywood, as, thankfully, you'll find none of that here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Conventionally Scary, But Absolutely Wonderful!, 27 Feb. 2004
By 
Mr. A. E. Hall "brother_of_sadako" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Many Japanese films scarcely get a mention, well foreign films in general are universally ignored. But thanks to a shoddy Hollywood remake, this masterpiece has achieved the recognition it so rightfully deserves. So how to recommend this film? Well it all depends on whether or not you have seen the remake or not. From the perspective of those who have not (like me until a week ago), here is what I loved about this original version:
I ordered the film having heard fantastic things about it. So one night when my housemate went out I unplugged the phone (very helpful given the plot), switched off the lights and watched the film. I was locked to the screen. Throughout 90 minutes where plot wise, not a great deal happens I was unable to look away. It was simply so beautiful and so chilling, that I was mesmerized. But when the film ended I realised I was not scared in the way I expected to be. My heart only once skipped a beat. But what I did feel was indescribable. It was as though I had been lit up inside, and the blood was coursing through my veins. It was one of the greatest movie experiences of my life. The constant tension, suspense and subtleties left me unnerved, as though the film had raped my brain. It didn’t make me jump, but it scared me in an entirely different way.
Then we come regrettably to the distasteful remake. If you have been unlucky enough to see it then don’t worry, this original version will still leave you in awe. The suspense is not based on quick thrills and sudden tricks, it is based on pure and unending terror, so knowing the plot should not ruin this for you.
But be warned about this film, it’s not for everyone. You will notice the few bad reviews trumpeting the glory of the Hollywood remake. But look at why they prefer it: cgi, sound effects, sudden shocks and constant action, not to mention those subtitles. If that kind of cheap entertainment is what does it for you then you should avoid this one, get the American version, sit down with your friends, eat your popcorn and have a scary little laugh and prank call each other saying ‘7 Days’. If however you found those funny little moments, dumb gimmicks and quick shocks in the Western remake annoying, then get this film, and be amazed.
Hideo Nakata’s Ring is a masterpiece. It is subtle but utterly enthralling and a work of sheer motion picture genius, unfettered by the glitz of Hollywood. But if that glitz is for you, then best leave this one, order the remake and then watch the latest blockbuster in the meantime. But for this film, it was, in a word, wonderful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sa...da...ko!, 18 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
No other film in the history of cinema has ever chilled me so much as this, i've seen it 4 or 5 times and i'm still filled with the same sense of dread each time i watch it.
It's undoubtedly the best horror film ever made if not one of the best films (full stop) ever made.
Everything from the claustrphobic camerawork to the eery soundtrack (and i mean 'sound' track, there's never really any music, just creepy noises which form together to create some kind of disturbing melody). It's the whole countdown structure to the film that fills you with dread, you share the fears and anxieties of the lead characters as each new day begins, awaiting the impending doom at the end of the week.
Certain 'horror' films linger with you for some time after you watch them, 'Candyman' had this effect on me (it took a while before i could look in mirrors without expecting to see him behind me) but Sadako is without a doubt the most fear inducing 'thing' i've ever seen in history, it's not like she even lingers in view for long periods but you'll be thankful she doesn't. Now whenever i'm alone in the dark and i'm walking past a window i expect her to sudenly jump out from nowhere, pressed up against the glass. I still get this feeling to this day and I saw the film about a year and a half ago.
Despite all i've said I don't want to hype the film up too much, i think it's most effective when the viewer watches it with the belief that they're too old to be scared.
All i can say is that it's a revolutionary psychological horror unlike anything you will have ever seen (unless you've seen the Hollywood remake which, although i haven't seen, does do things certain things 'wrong', Sarah [Sadako] speaks for example, sapping all the fear away from her).
If you only like horror films that are filled with blood, chase scenes and cheap shock tactics then you'll be disappointed but if that's the case, you probably don't deserve to watch this film. For those of you who have an imagination and an appreciation for artistic cinema then i can't recommend this more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chills to the bone, 4 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I made the mistake of watching this alone in the dark (okay my girlfriend was asleep in the other room but it felt like I was alone!). Seriously this is one of the most goddam creepiest things I've ever seen in my life. I felt something of a sense of triumph by making it all the way to the end, I was that freaked out. Neither am I ashamed to admit that I bottled out of watching 'Sadako's video' on the DVD extra features! A brilliantly crafted and realistic piece of terror.
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Ringu [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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