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Ringu (1998)

Nanako Matsushima , Miki Nakatani , Hideo Nakata  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yko Takeuchi, Hitomi Sat, Yichi Numata
  • Directors: Hideo Nakata
  • Writers: Hiroshi Takahashi, Kji Suzuki
  • Producers: Makoto Ishihara, Masato Hara, Shin'ya Kawai, Takashige Ichise, Takenori Sent
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000088NQR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ringu" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

A grainy, enigmatic videotape has the power to kill people seven days after they watch it. This brilliant premise fueled the 2002 Hollywood hit The Ring, but before that it conquered Japan in Ringu, Hideo Nakata's quietly unsettling study in terror. Fans of the U.S. version will find a less elaborate storyline and more primal fear in the original; the basic plot, however, still has a worried reporter (Nanako Matsushima) tracking down the meaning of the video--and, having watched it herself, she has only a week to work. The film's calm, economical style actually adds to the creeping sense of dread throughout, and the hair-curling set-pieces stand out in contrast. Like an old photograph of something evil, Ringu has the strange-but-familiar power to unnerve. Guaranteed, its effect will linger for at least seven days. Longer... if you're lucky. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 117 people found the following review helpful
I loved The Ring, and I had been looking forward to seeing the original Japanese adaptation of the film, based on the novel by Koji Suzuki, for some time. I was especially pleased to see the Japanese film released with English subtitles rather than voice dubbing, since this helps preserve the original atmosphere of the film. Both Ringu and The Ring are superb, dark, creepy films, very similar yet very different from one another. Inevitably, whichever film you watch first will probably be your favorite of the two. Ringu starts out very much like its American counterpart, with two young girls alone in a house discussing the rumors going around about a video that somehow kills you seven days after you watch it. The aunt of the first victim is a reporter who begins to investigate the story of the tape, soliciting the help of her somewhat inscrutable ex-husband, and soon finding herself in an incredible fight to save the lives of herself, her ex, and her creepy little boy. At this point, Ringu begins to distinguish itself from The Ring, although both follow the same general plot through to the end.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Ringu and The Ring is the contents of the mysterious videotape. In Ringu, the cursed tape is much shorter and far less symbolic, although its grainy appearance and comparative simplicity add a greater dash of realism to it. The tape presented in The Ring is much more frightening and visceral; subtlety rules the day in the Japanese film. Another significant difference concerns the character of the reporter's ex-husband; in Ringu, he (as well as his son, to some degree) possesses a gift that distinguishes him from his American counterpart.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greater Half of the 'Ring-u' March 10, 2003
'Ringu' tells the tale of a video tape that, for reasons unknown, that kills you seven days after you watch it.
Reiko, a journalist, is greeted by a death in the family one day. Her teenage niece died mysteriously one day, leaving no trace as to why. She soon discovers that three other of her niece's close friends died on the same day as her. Upon further investigation, she finds that the four teenagers had something in common: they had all seen a cryptic video tape. The trail leads her to the tape itself and, out of curiosity, watches it. The urban legend is proven to be a lot more real than she ever expected and soon, Reiko is on a race against time to decipher the mysteries of the tape.
'Ringu' (viewed at home) achieves a sense of fear throughout the movie in the way it 'connects' with the viewer. How obvious can it get? Though not a tape, you're watching the DVD on a TV. This paranoia adds to the scares constantly.
With sparse use of any real 'special effects,' the film is able to ground its otherworldly story to reality, something few modern horror films are able to do.
The acting is great and the dialogue, or at least the translated script for the subtitles, never got repetitive. The actress for Reiko does a good job as the tense heroine, while the male lead actor (sorry, his name escapes me) contrasts very well with her as her often cool and relaxed ex-husband.
The music chills to the bone, particularly the main theme (plays on the DVD main menu), which is just a creepy concoction of strummed guitar strings. I sat there, letting the whole menu run its course as the ambience it gave off made my blood run ice cold.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Utilization of the Minimalist Approach June 9, 2004
By CreepyT
When a young girl dies mysteriously, presumably without cause, her aunt, a reporter, deems it necessary to investigate further. Reiko questions her niece's friends only to find that another student who attended the same school, and a couple of their friends, died on the same day, also without known cause. The link between these mysterious deaths appears to be a videotape that all watched together while spending the night away from home. Is this merely an urban legend, or is there actually some substance to the claims of these young students? Reiko ventures out to where the group stayed that fateful night when they watched this purportedly cursed video tape and finds exactly what she's looking for. A creepy, grainy videotape with bizarre images. Shortly after viewing the tape, she receives a phone call letting her know that death awaits her in exactly a week's time.
Reiko enlists the aid of her ex-husband and psychic Ryuji to help her unravel this mystery. Together they analyze the video in hopes of discerning its maker and lifting the curse. Their task becomes more imperative when their son, Yoichi, comes across the video and watches it himself. Will Reiko and Ryuji be able to find a way to lift the curse in time to save themselves and their son?
After having watched "The Ring" and been thoroughly scared by that movie, I simply had to watch the movie that "started it all," so to speak ("The Ring" and its upcoming sequel and prequel). Several people had told me that they felt this film was scarier than its American counter-part, while others felt the opposite. I don't exactly feel as though one is scarier than another. Rather, they are merely different kinds of "scary." This version is far subtler in its scare-tactics than is the American version.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars It's okay...
I prefer the American remake "The Ring" but that's just me. This one was extremely slow moving and was very disorganized - not very scary. Buy the remake instead. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. Boisjolie
4.0 out of 5 stars Italian Blu-ray of Ringu (1998)
This is the Italian Blu-ray of Ringu (which was famously remade as 'The Ring' in the US). There is no US release of this Japanese film (however the remake is available on a US... Read more
Published 11 months ago by MacheteJason
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! SUSPENSEFUL and terrifying
The movie has subtitles and starts off slow but the ending is awesome. Highly recommended.

Another great scariest movie ever is the Japanese movie called AUDITION.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Experience
The acting in this movie is far and away superior to the American remake.
While both movies lost some pieces of the novel, they each had a unique take on their respective... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Unitas31
4.0 out of 5 stars An Amazingly Haunting, Slow-Burning Horror Film...
Ringu follows Reiko Asakawa as she investigates a mysterious cursed tape that kills the viewer a week after watching. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jonathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Ringu
I bought this at FYE on April 3,2013. I just got done watching it. I have to say I really like this movie. I also have The Ring and The Ring 2. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ronda Pennycuff
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant commentary on the power of stories
Ringu is a story about stories--the way they start, how they grow and change, their power over us.

The protagonist, Reiko Asakawa [Nanako Matsashima] is a journalist who... Read more
Published on October 20, 2010 by Channel KDK12
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best horror movies ever!
There has been rumors of a haunted video cassette that supposedly have killed people who watched it within 7 days. Read more
Published on November 6, 2009 by John Lindsey
2.0 out of 5 stars Burns slowly without ever really igniting

(Japan - 1998)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Stereo SR

A TV journalist (Nanako Matsushima) joins forces... Read more
Published on October 10, 2009 by Libretio
4.0 out of 5 stars Ringu Was Much Better
I watched Ringu first. Then watched The Ring. After about half an hour into The Ring, it was pretty clear it was going to be a trainwreck compared to Ringu. Read more
Published on July 14, 2009 by Silver Dragon
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