Plotline: A videotape has begun to circulate, full of bizarre images and haunting music--when it ends, the phone rings and someone tells you you only have a week more to live. A week later, you're dead. A journalist hears about this urban legend and, upon the death of her niece and her niece's friends, starts delving into its reality, getting herself caught up in its death wish by watching the tape herself. She must find a way to save herself, her ex-husband, and her son from the curse.
Scariness factor: I love this movie. It will scare your pants off. I like the American version as well, but it pales in comparison to this Japanese original. It is moreso creepy (in ambience) than actually scary like Ringu. The imagery and the story-line throughout Ringu is fantastically creepy and terrifying. While Americans continue to mass-produce Hollywood horror cheese (aka. The Amityville Horror, House of Wax, etc.), Asian filmmakers are busy rocking the house out with some damn good creepfests like The Eye and Ringu. And I thank god for it.
Gross-Out Factor: This movie is quite tame on this front. The images it leaves burned on the retina are images that are scary rather than gory--the after-effects of people being scared to death.
Complaints: I really have few with regard to this movie. There are some obvious inconsistencies and plot holes in it, but when a horror flick offers up a barrage of high-quality scares, I am more than happy to overlook its minor flaws.
High Points: Again, this movie is creepy and well-done. It is visually interesting to watch. Its frightening moments will truly scare you. And unlike the American version, it offers up a feasible (though supernatural) explanation for the existence of the video and the occurences taking place in the film. The American version tries too hard to explain it, and in doing so opens up vast wealths of inconsistencies and illogicalities. I found myself going, "But what? Wait? Huh? That doesn't really make sense. I don't get it exactly" with the American version. The Japanese version doesn't try quite so hard, and in doing so, makes the explanation *far* more convincing and *far* more interesting, in fact. The explanation is strange and supernatural, but I am willing to swallow it and suspend my disbelief.
Overall: I highly recommend this flick. If you're not a fan of subtitles, deal. It'll be well worth your while. And if you're already smitten with the American version, then for god's sake, rent this one as well, because I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
Labels: A movies