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  • Ringu (1998): ***

    Directed by Hideo Nakata

    Not being a professional movie review guy I don't feel the need to review this movie on its own without comparing it to the 2002 American remake. Therefore I won't. So let me start right out by being blasphemous and saying that I liked The Ring better than Ringu.

    Ha! Take that, movie snobs! Anyway, the reasons are really simple:

    1. I thought that The Ring had overall a better, more creepy atmosphere. Ringu seemed to be filmed and presented pretty much in a straight-ahead style. Even the horror parts of Ringu are just kinda presented. I guess I'm trying to say that Ringu doesn't have much style to it.
    2. The Ring has way, way better character development than Ringu. In The Ring I really get a sense of who these characters are, how they relate to each other, and they're all really interesting. In Ringu I have really no idea what these charachters are like. The woman is so reserved and quiet, and the man is so stoic that even when they do periodically break down I have no idea what they're really feeling or what they're really like. It made it really hard to get drawn into their story.

    Oh, and Ringu seems a little rushed. There are, however, some things in Ringu which kick all ass over the American counterpart film. One of these things is a surprise revelation that I don't want to get away, so I'm putting it in white text below this paragraph. Highlight it to read it:

    There is a shocking scene in which both main characters are talking about their son, and just outta nowhere admit that all three of them are psychic! It really is very surprising and done in a really cool way, and it sets up some excellent stuff later on in the film.

    There is also a really cool flashback/dream sequence into which the main characters get drawn, and overall the guy main character is not nearly the "awe, shucks" big lug that he is portrayed as in the American version. The little girl gets a much more detailed (but in that way much less mysterious) origin story in Ringu. And towards the end the characters use that fact that I put in white text up there to discover a very important plot point.

    I know that's all very vague, but you know how I hate giving shit away!

    So now having experienced all three forms of this story, I know rank them from best to worst:

    1. The Ring
    2. Ringu the Book
    3. Ringu the Movie

    And consider that the WORST entry on this list is still a very good three-star movie, that makes for a pretty good set o' stuff there!

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