“Ringu” is a 1998 Japanese horror film directed by Hideo Nakata, with his unique story telling method. This film is adapted from the novel “Ring” by Kōji Suzuki, which in turn draws on the Japanese folk tale Banchō Sarayashiki. The film stars Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rikiya Ōtaka as members of a divorced family. The film was later remade in the US as The Ring (2002).
The film is among the highest grossing horror film in Japan at 12 billion yen ($137.7 million) and is also considered the most frightening horror film in Japan according to a survey of Oricon.
The Plot begins with the TV journalist Reiko Asakawa does a story on a growing urban legend centered around a haunted video broadcast. Accordingly, if one tunes to a particular channel, they will receive the image of a woman followed by a phone call that warns them that they have one week to live – and within exactly seven days all recipients have purportedly died. As Reiko investigates the spate of deaths, she discovers and views the videotape, then receives the phone call and realises that the curse is true. She and her ex-husband race to try and stop the curse before Reiko’s seven days are up. The trail of clues left on the videotape leads them to uncover a mystery involving a psychic woman who committed suicide after being ridiculed for predicting the eruption of a volcano and the murder and burial of her daughter down a well.
The origins of the story show a disturbing side to the superstitions of the Japanese society and demonstrate a much more evil side to the social order beyond the supernatural threats. The manifestation of the cruelness within normal people makes the viewer gain sympathy with the vindictive spirits creating confusion as to where the moral person watching the plot unfold lays their loyalties.
By now, more than a decade later-Ring is undoubtedly a highly influential piece of Japanese cinema and has managed to terrify most who have experienced it.
Director – Hideo Nakata. Screenplay – Hiroshi Takahashi. Based on the Novel by Koji Suzuki. Producers – Shinya Kawai, Takashige Ichise & Takenori Sento, Photography (colour + some scenes b&w) – Ichiro Hayashi. Music – Kenji Kawai, Visual Effects – Hajime Matsumoto. Production Company – Omega Project/Asmik Ace/Kadokawa Shoten/Pony Canyon/Toho/Imagica.
Cast:Nanako Matsushima (Reiko Asakawa), Hiroyuki Sanada (Ryuji Takayama), Rihikya Otaka (Yoichi Asakawa)