31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: RING (aka RINGU)

CAST

Nanako Matsushima (Ghost: Mouichido Dakishimetai)
Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine)
Rikiya Otaka (Kamen Rider Agito)
Miki Nakatani (Sweet Little Lies)
Yūko Takeuchi (Flashforward)
Hitomi Satō (Doppelganger)
Rie Inō (Inugami)
Yūrei Yanagi (Ultraman X)
Masako (Figaro Stories)
Yoichi Numata (The Princess Blade)
Yutaka Matsushige (Dragon Head)

Two teenagers, Masami (Hitomi Satō) and Tomoko (Yūko Takeuchi), talk 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 reveals that a week ago, she and three of her friends watched a weird tape and received a call after watching. Tomoko goes downstairs and witnesses her TV turn on by itself. She later hears startling noises and turns around, only to be killed by an unseen force. Days later, Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima), a reporter investigating the popularity of the video curse, 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 fear. She also discovers that Masami became insane from witnessing Tomoko’s death and is institutionalised in a mental hospital. After stumbling upon Tomoko’s photos from the past week, Reiko finds that the four teenagers stayed in a rental cabin in Izu.Reiko goes to Izu and arrives at the rented cabin, where she finds an unlabeled tape in the reception room of the teenagers’ rental cottage. Watching the tape, Reiko sees a series of seemingly unrelated disturbing images. As soon as the tape is over, Reiko sees a mysterious reflection in the television and receives a phone call containing the screeching sounds from the tape. Disturbed, she flees the cabin.Reiko enlists the help of her ex-husband, Ryūji Takayama (Hiroyuki Sanada). They take a picture of Reiko and find her face blurred in the photograph. Ryūji then watches the tape, against Reiko’s objections. A day later, Reiko creates a copy for Ryūji for them to study. They find a hidden message embedded within the tape saying “frolic in brine, goblins be thine”. The message is in a form of dialect from Izu Ōshima Island. That night, Reiko catches her young son Yoichi watching the videotape, who claims that the ghost of Tomoko ordered him to watch it. Reiko and Ryūji sail for Ōshima and discover the history of the great psychic Shizuko Yamamura, who was labelled a fraud and slandered by the media and thus committed suicide by jumping into Mount Mihara, a volcano.With only a day left, Reiko and Ryūji discover that the videotape was made psionically by Shizuko’s lost daughter, Sadako Yamamura, an outcast whose supernatural powers surpassed even those of her mother. Reiko also has a sudden flashback of a young Sadako psychically killing a reporter who labelled her mother a fraud during a demonstration. The two go back to Izu with the assumption that Sadako is dead and her vengeful spirit (Onryō) killed the teenagers. They uncover a well underneath the cabin and through a vision see the circumstances of Sadako’s murder by her father. They try to find Sadako’s body in an attempt to appease her spirit. Minutes before her seven days are up, Reiko finds Sadako’s corpse, and they believe that the curse is broken.The next day Ryūji is at home and his TV switches on by itself, showing the image of a well. The ghost of Sadako crawls out of the well, out of Ryūji’s TV set, and frightens him into a state of shock, killing him via cardiac arrest. Before dying, he manages to dial Reiko’s number; she hears his last minutes over the phone and realizes the videotape’s curse remains unbroken. Desperate to save her son, Reiko realizes that copying the tape and showing it to someone else saved her. With a VCR and Ryūji’s copy of the tape, Reiko travels with her son to see her father in an 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.Ringu is still a superior horrifying experience that you will not easily forget. One of the best Japanese horror films.

 

 

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