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4.0 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews

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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

Product Details

  • Actors: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi, Hitomi Satô, Yôichi Numata
  • Directors: Hideo Nakata
  • Writers: Hiroshi Takahashi, Kôji Suzuki
  • Producers: Makoto Ishihara, Masato Hara, Shin'ya Kawai, Takashige Ichise, Takenori Sentô
  • 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 (186 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000088NQR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,220 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ringu" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 2, 2003
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
'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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Format: DVD
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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