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The Ring Collection
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(Mar 18, 2019)
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In 1998, director Hideo Nakata (Dark Water) unleashed a chilling tale of technological terror on unsuspecting audiences, which redefined the horror genre, launched the J-horror boom in the West and introducing a generation of moviegoers to a creepy, dark-haired girl called Sadako. The film s success spawned a slew of remakes, reimaginations and imitators, but none could quite boast the power of Nakata s original masterpiece, which melded traditional Japanese folklore with contemporary anxieties about the spread of technology.
A group of teenage friends are found dead, their bodies grotesquely contorted, their faces twisted in terror. Reiko (Nanako Matsushima, When Marnie Was There), a journalist and the aunt of one of the victims, sets out to investigate the shocking phenomenon, and in the process uncovers a creepy urban legend about a supposedly cursed videotape, the contents of which causes anyone who views it to die within a week unless they can persuade someone else to watch it, and, in so doing, pass on the curse...
Arrow Video is proud to present the genre-defining trilogy Ring, the film that started it all, plus Hideo Nakata s chilling sequel, Ring 2, and the haunting origin story, Ring 0 as well as the lost original sequel, George Iida s Spiral, gathered together in glorious high definition and supplemented by a wealth of archival and newly created bonus materials.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
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For those new to the series, The Ring is a film about a divorced couple investigating a cursed video tape that will see you dead a week after viewing. The plot is nice and simple with a lot of tension that slowly builds up until the end when the thing just explodes. I'm talking about the classic climax that everybody surely knows about (no spoilers). It's very easy to follow and has aged very well. Though younger viewers might be a bit lost with the use of VHS and tube televisions (the movie concept wouldn't work as well on some lame smart phone, would it?). As for the follow up movies, these have always been a bit hit or miss with fans. Ring-0 has an interesting plot, taking place thirty years or so before the original and details the story behind Sadako's up bringing. Ring 2 and Spiral take place directly after the original movie but take the story in two different directions. Neither film is as good as the original but have enough interest behind the story to merit a watch.
The collections comes in a nice hard cardboard case. The main movies get their own separate bluray case with all the extras detailed on the back. It also notes that Ring 2 shares a disc with the alternative (original) sequel Spiral. Each film comes with interchangeable art work. The old sleeves (which are on the inside by default) are very '90s and a bit busy looking, whilst the new artwork is absolutely gorgeous and does a wonderful job of capturing the atmosphere of these movies. The book that comes in the box is nicely detailed with lots of interesting facts and some great pictures. It isn't necessary unless you're a big fan but sort of works like the cherry on top.
The picture quality for these movies really met my expectations and then some. Each film maintains the film grain found on the original prints, this keeps the original look of the films leaving the atmosphere and art style very much intact. Even with the grain, the films look nice and sharp with lots of nice detail showing through. It's definitely a fine upgrade from the old DVD copies, which didn't look too bad themselves if I'm honest.
I know this box-set was a bit pricey but as a fan of Asian horror films, it was worth every penny. It is a great upgrade to my original DVD copies (which can now be passed down to my kids). Fans like myself who have been watching The Ring for 20 yrs will absolutely enjoy this collection. It's a must have and I do encourage you to pick it up before it goes out of print, which these sets tend to do.
In keeping with the traditional style of Arrow's fantastic artwork, the three films in separate Blu-ray cases within a large slipbox and the 60-page collector's booklet alongside them. However, this set does not feature any posters or art cards which has been the norm for many Arrow limited edition releases.
THE RING: contains new 4K restoration and standard 1080p presentation, Lossless Japanese DTS-HD and PCM 2.0 audio tracks, optional English subtitles, New audio commentary with film historian Davis Kalat, "The Ring Legacy" featurette, "A Vicious Cycle" featurette, "Circumnavigation Ring" video essay, Sadako's video, theatrical trailers.
RING 2: contains standard 1080p presentation, Lossless Japanese DTS-HD and PCM 2.0 audio tracks, optional English subtitles, includes bonus feature SPIRAL, "The Psychology of Fear" featurette, theatrical trailers.
RING 0: contains standard 1080p presentation, Lossless Japanese DTS-HD and PCM 2.0 audio tracks, optional English subtitles, New audio commentary with author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, "Spooks, Sighs and Videotape" video essay, archival behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, theatrical trailers.
As for the transfer RINGU looks beautiful having been restored from and original negative and the extras are an interesting watch as well with many facts I wasn't aware of before.
It was nice that they include George Lida's Spiral as a bonus feature as well as I own this as a stand alone DVD so that means I can sell my old boxset AND Spiral! I haven't checked out the transfer of the other movies but the box states these are 1080p presentations so fingers crossed they are an upgrade to my original DVD copies!!?
I don't want to give anything away to anyone who hasn't seen the movies but the ending of RINGU still gives me chills and even more so in HD!!!! :O
Overall 5/5 all round for another superb Arrow special edition! I wish it was about £10 cheaper but I know these hold value for a very long time so not such a bad thing and collects everything you need in regards to the Sadako trilogy!!