Length: 1 hour 40 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
This movie is the Japanese version of the Ring. It was made four years before the American version and is actually very different.
What is it about?
Ringu has the same basic storyline as the Ring, but the facts are presented very differently. There is an evil video tape that kills all who watch it in exactly seven days. A reporter named Reiko is doing research on this tape (though she thinks it is just a myth at the time) when her niece dies of what they think is a heart attack. She dies with a look of horror frozen on her face. Reiko soon finds out that a few of her niece's friends died at exactly the same time in exactly the same way - they had all watched the video together in a cabin.
Reiko goes to the cabin, finds the video, and watches it. Soon, disturbing things begin to happen. Reiko then shows the video to her ex-husband Ryuji and asks for help in finding a way to stop the process. In the meantime, Reiko's son, Yoichi, watches the video. Now Reiko must figure out what's going on and how to stop it before she, her ex-husband, and her son all die.
Was it a good movie?
This movie has a great plot line, but it can be a bit confusing at times. For a horror film, it is very advanced since the horror is really based on the storyline instead of on special effects. The score to the movie is absolutely excellent. There is barely any music at all, but when it is used, it's so simple that it makes the scene even more intense.
What differentiates it from the American version? (WARNING: this portion contains partial spoilers!)
Ringu is quite different from the Ring. While the Ring relies heavily on scary graphics, Ringu barely has any graphics at all. In the Ring, the girl is supposed to be pure evil and absolutely contemptible. Conversely, Ringu depicts her as someone the audience should feel sorry for since she was born evil and can't change that. Some of the back story reveals that she even tries to defend her mother from those who treat her badly. Even the musical scores for the movies are different. Ringu's score is extremely minimal, while the Ring has an excellent score that is present during a decent amount of the movie.
If you enjoy a good scare delivered through a good plot line with the occasional shock factor, Ringu is the way to go. If you're scared by excellent graphics and an okay plot line, the Ring is for you. If you're planning on watching both, watch the Ring first because if you watch it second, the plot line is very disappointing.