The Ring

Mark Schilling schill
Tue Sep 21 11:24:25 EDT 1999

Why the spate of horror films? Shinya Kawai, a producer of Ring, said in a
recent interview that he got the idea for the film after seeing Scream --
and noticing the long lines at the box office. Also, he felt that horror
was one genre in which Japanese filmmakers could compete against Hollywood.
No need for big stars or expensive effects -- just a good idea and good

Why was Ring a smash hit, while Paradise Eve, another recent Kadokawa
horror film, did only mediocre business? Kawai said that Ring offered a
traditional obakeyashiki take on the genre, which was new to a lot of the
kids in the audience, while adding the contemporary gimmick of the
video-tape-that-kills. As they say in the Suntory commercial -- old is new.

Mark Schiling (schill at

> From: John Dougill <dougill at>
> To: KineJapan at
> Subject: Re: The Ring
> Date: Tuesday, September 21, 1999 2:02 PM
> The standard theory for cycles of horror movies is that they occur in
> of unease and uncertainty, such as during economic depressions.  Japan is
> of course going through very shaky times now in terms of restructuring,
> unemployment and the end of past certainties, so this may well give rise
> the national psyche to dark nightmare feelings such are given outlet in
> Ring, Rasen etc.
> On the other hand, we have good times in the US and an equal vogue for
> horror in such recent hits as Scream, I Know What You Did...,.
> Sixth Sense, Stigmata, Stir of Echoes.  Some critics have tied this in
> millennium anxiety and the rise in the number of survivalists heading for
> the woods and stocking up for social breakdown.
> Another thought that has occurred to me is the social pressures in modern
> society that have led to greater teenage angst and disorientation,
> resulting in the school killings in the US and the outbreak of youth
> violence in Japan.  Horror movies seem to appeal particularly to the
> and perhaps because they're growing up quicker these days, the transition
> to adulthood is more intensified and the traumas greater.
> Anyone with other ideas?
> Regards
> JD
> Kyoto

More information about the KineJapan mailing list