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Ringu Anthology of Terror (Rasen/Ringu/Ringu 2/Ringu 0)

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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(Aug 23, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

The release of Ringu - Anthology of Terror is a pretty shrewd marketing move. Even though the four discs are bare bones in content (no special features at all), the set is bound to be a must-have for completists who've gone ga-ga over the Asian horror craze -- not to mention anybody else looking for a terrific entrée to the genre. In case you're unaware, Ringu was the Japanese phenomenon that spawned the Hollywood thrillers, The Ring and The Ring Two. The Japanese hit also led the way for a slew of other Japanese and Korean movies that gave global prominence to a unique style emphasizing psycho chills over blood, guts, and the overt scare tactics that have pretty much defined Western horror movies in the modern era. The four entries in the Ringu cycle are a little uneven, but legitimate DVD library mainstays for anyone with even a passing interest in classics of horror.

Ringu -- The granddaddy of Asian horror, or J-horror, was based on a bestselling novel by Koji Suzuki (as are all the movies in this set) and directed by Hideo Nakata, both of whom have become icons of the genre. Unlike the Americanized version, Ringu is perhaps more nerve wracking for the psychological tension it develops in the mystery of a cursed videotape, Sadako, the tormented girl dead for 30 years at the bottom of a well, and a little boy and his mother who must unravel the secret before the curse catches up with them. The details of life in modern Japan become all the more sinister as routine is upended by unfathomable madness.

Rasen -- This weakest entry in the set is a direct sequel to "Ringu," and tries to weave a plot thread about a virus that infects any person who watches the cursed video. Though it adheres to some of the genre standards, the thrills are few and far between. Even for a story where a high level of suspension of disbelief is required, the plot line of a doctor trying to solve a mystery that clearly has no scientific basis just feels wrong. There are also precious few innovations of style in what comes off as little more than a perfunctory exercise.

Ringu 2 -- Back in style, form, and disturbing content, this more apt sequel again finds director Hideo Nakata at the reigns (as he was for the much different take of Hollywood's The Ring Two). The story follows the young research assistant of Ryuji, one of Sadako's victims from the first film, as she becomes involved in the mystery of the tape. Ringu 2 intriguingly expands on the themes of the original film while resurrecting some of its characters and introducing new terrors. It also expands the stylistic limits of how horror movies can be all the more effective for stressing subtlety, intelligence, and uniqueness of vision.

Ringu Ø -- Perhaps the most absorbing of the four, this prequel to the Ringu saga takes place 30 years in the past. It reveals the origin of Sadako's miserable journey to becoming a hateful spirit seething with wrath, rotting at the bottom of an old well waiting to reap vengeance on those who cast their gaze in the wrong direction. Full of inventive visual flair, there are some seriously creepy moments and ingenious sequences in the story of an acting troupe whose members mysteriously vanish or go insane. Sadako may or may not be behind it all, but the bloody finale makes clear that she'll have her revenge, whether she is to blame or not. --Ted Fry

Product Details

  • Actors: Miki Nakatani, Hitomi Satô, Kyoko Fukada, Fumiyo Kohinata, Kenjirô Ishimaru
  • Directors: Hideo Nakata, Jôji Iida, Norio Tsuruta
  • Writers: Jôji Iida, Hiroshi Takahashi, Kôji Suzuki
  • Producers: Makoto Ishihara, Masao Nagai
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: DreamWorks / Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005
  • Run Time: 389 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X765K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,476 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ringu Anthology of Terror (Rasen/Ringu/Ringu 2/Ringu 0)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2005
Format: DVD
A minor movie trend is remaking Japanese horror movies, especially ones that originated from horror writer Koji Suzuki. The first of those films was "The Ring," the terrifying Naomi Watts remake, but the original films are an even more fulfilling experience, since they show the whole story.

"The Ringu Anthology of Terror," despite that really cheesy name, includes the four Japanese films that concern the malevolent Sadako and the haunted videotape. Expect a lot of bizarre twists and turns, truly horrific experiences, and two sequels to the same movie.

In "Ringu," Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) has just found out that her young niece has mysteriously died in terror... and so have three of her friends, at the same time. The only link is a videotape, which urban legend says will kill you seven days after you watch it. And Reiko has seen it. Now she and her ex-husband Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada) must unravel the mystery of the videotape -- and the malignant ghost who haunts it.

"Rasen" is a nearly-faithful follow-up, based on Suzuki's novel "Spiral." Doctor Mitsuo is mourning the loss of his only child, and things don't get better when his old pal Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada) turns up dead, a victim of Sadako's videotape. But the strange virus in the tape has taken an unexpected turn -- and soon Mitsuo discovers that Sadako is determined to be reborn...

Audiences weren't too thrilled with the scientific slant of "Rasen," which sort of depleted the horror. And so the film company had "Ringu 2" made, which completely ignored "Rasen" altogether, and is based solely on the "Ringu" film. Confused yet? It's not as good as the original, but is better than average as a sequel.
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Format: DVD
For years I've watched American horror movies. From a teen to an adult, I've probably seen it all...from stalker to slasher, from aliens in outer space to boogeymen in closets. So. With that in mind. I've become tiresome with American horror films. It seems the new wave in horror films are nothing more than fake snuff films, i.e., Hostel, Saw 1 and 2, Wolf Creek. As someone who has a undergrad degree in world history, I've read enough about torture from Romans to the Nazis. I really dont want to sit in a theater or watch at home for 90 some minutes film that has no real plot, just victims to torture (basically American films today are upping the anti on the age old Jasonish vs. teens films). I realize the films are not real, but, torture like that does happen in the world, and I dont want to watch torture just for torture sake. I want a bit of mystery, a bit of horror, a bit of dreamlike phantasmagoria. That is why I have fallen in love with Asian horror movies like the Ringu series. The Ringu series, along with other Asian horror films like Audition (which yes has torture in it, but it is woven into the greater plot, not the full focus of the plot like Hostel), are captivating in how well the stories are constructed. You aren't sure what is going on, but slowly, surely, you find yourself drowning in the murky uncertainty of the lines between reality and dreams, as with the haunting and stalking of Sadako. These films are intelligent, they are scary, and they have a great deal of imagination involved in full focus. I highly suggest these films if you are tired of the remakes, the torture, the painfully dullminded American horror movies that are being pumped out in theaters today.
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Format: DVD
Sometimes explaining that something is unexplainable can explain a lot, let me explain.

Director Hideo Nakata's Ringu follows a beautiful reporter Reiko Asakawa as she investigates a videotape that kills you a week after you watch it, after her niece Tomoko's death is linked to the tape. After tracking down the tape at a cabin her niece and some friends stayed at, all of which have since died, she brings it to her ex husband Ryuji played by Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai, Sunshine) to help her explain things. As the story unfolds we learn that Reiko, Ryuji, and their son Yoichi all have the power to see things, powers not as strong or evil as the mother and daughter on that tape however.

ROUND 1. The Explanation - RINGU
What I meant by my first line was that in Ringu they mention the strange girl on the tape not being from this world and they do not go into great detail of why she does the evil she does or how. The girl on the video is left more of a mystery to us which I found more effective.

There is also no attempt in Ringu to go into some weird explanation of how the tape came to be. In Ringu it's just there it's evil and some evil can't be explained. Also in Ringu the tape is kept simpler aka less confusing, there is no ladder or dead horses or this big long back story attempting to explain every frame which adds about 30mins to The Ring which both confuses and takes away from the mystery.

ROUND 3 The Scary Kid- RINGU
The reporter's child in Ringu is just a kid, he has the power to see things like his parents but he is less gimmicky and doesn't attempt to get laughs.
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