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Based on its reputation, I was expecting Ringu (The Ring) to be utterly terrifying, which by my standards usually means "disturbing". It wasn't that, but I don't need it to be. It plays more like a supernatural procedural, in which a journalist and her psychic ex-husband try to figure out the real story behind a haunted television transmission and the curse it places on those who see it. Of course, you can't investigate it without watching it and activating the 1-week countdown, a natural ticking clock that works in the film's favor. I tend to see "haunted technology" stories as a little silly, but Ringu feels so analog that I wouldn't put it in that category. In terms of chills, the terrified expressions of the dead are about it early on, but the creepy video prefigures The Blair Witch Project, and you can't go wrong involving a little kid in your horror film. In fact, if there's a theme here, it's bad parenting, with the otherwise likeable heroes leaving their 6-year-old alone at home while they investigate another abused child and its role in the horror. It's a nice mystery with lots of ghostly flavor, and an interesting monster. Oh and a cool twist ending.
Good mystery movie, I wouldn't really call it a horror film because... it's just not scary. Well-made, thought provoking, tense, strange, entertaining? Yes. Scary? No.
Classic J-Horror. Subtle tension and atmosphere escalates to a knockout ending, with a much more ambiguous ending than the Americanized remake. The one that started the last great horror movement.
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In 11 official lists
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This movie ranks #20 in Sitges Film Festival - El Kong Premi a la millor pel·lícula
This movie ranks #34 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films
This movie ranks #74 in Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema
This movie ranks #75 in BFI's 100 Cult Films
This movie ranks #196 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #215 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #286 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #469 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #747 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #775 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #919 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die