IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Not Rated | 1h 36min | Horror, Mystery | 31 Jan 1998 (Japan) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97
Director: Hideo Nakata
Writer: Hiroshi Takahashi, Kôji Suzuki
Stars: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi
Movie Tagline: “One curse, one cure, one week to find it.”
IMDb summary: A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.
As this month is Halloween Horror Month, we have been watching as many horror films as we can. Last night we put this movie choice to a vote on Twitter between this film and Halloween 2018 and well, Ringu won.
If you haven’t revisited old horror films recently, we highly recommend that you do. Watching this film again after all this time certainly had a very different impact on me than it did when I first saw it.
One thing noticeable is that once you know the plot of a film, it makes it hard to fall victim to the “jump scares” and the parts of the film that are supposed to truly shock you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the film on a different level.
What we found quite remarkable about watching this film again is that while it wasn’t as “scary” as it was the first time we saw it, the characters and the story held a lot more meaning for us than before. For instance, did you know that the character played by well-known Japanese leading man Hiroyuki Sanada has “special” abilities not unlike those of Sadako’s mother? This is why you experience the “flashback” scenes when the characters are transported into the past. That was totally overlooked for some reason by me and I really don’t know why because it’s a big deal in terms of his connection to both Sadako and her mother.
Also, people tend to get totally hung up on the character of Sadako when it’s actually the mother that’s key to Sadako’s frightening ability to “freeze-kill” people. It’s also easy to overlook the fact that Sadako was an illegitimate child and that’s why she was murdered by her father. It’s such a tragically moving backstory but a lot of it is just covered up by the obvious “jump scare” scenes and eerie, atmospheric music.
On our Letterboxd account we rated this 4 out of 5 and it retains that ranking to date. Definitely one film I would say defines the Japanese horror sub-genre and is a must-see for any horror enthusiast. Just make sure you pay attention to the other characters instead of focusing entirely on Sadako!
Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.