Ringu (1998) – Movie review

Little girl fell down a well and it wasn’t even that scary

When I watched the American version of Ringu it terrified me. The premise of a cursed day to day object such as vhs tape is a scary prospect. Add to that scary face warping, weird sounds and a good flow and you have yourself a good scary movie. This is not the American version and it shows.

This movie is good. It has good acting though a tad bit stiff and the story is interesting. The main problem is that it is not scary. Ringu plays out more like a thriller, with a clock ticking down to the characters inevitable doom. The plot brings up mortality and morale as the baseline, which is interesting but again not very scary. The cursed vhs tape that is also present in Ringu takes a back seat.

The story as such is straight forward and easy to focus on. It is almost as straight forward as Hollywood storytelling, which in this case makes the movie play out even more as a dark but boring thriller. What saves the movie is the soundscapes. The movie uses sounds and odd musical compositions to really set a mood.

If we skip the horror tag on this, the movie does carry itself as a decent thriller. It has suspense, drama and a good flow in the story. The villain might seem odd in Ringu, considering it is a dead girl, but thanks to the pretty creative way to tell a story that Hideo Nakata uses, it just works.

It is hard to pinpoint this movie. As a horror movie it has not aged that well. As a thriller it is pretty good. If you enjoy suspenseful thrillers, then this is for you. If you want to be scared by creepy visuals, then the American remake is more suited. All in all I’d say give it a shot, you might like it!

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