some thought about "Ring

Don Brown the8thsamurai at
Thu Apr 19 22:10:42 EDT 2001

>I found the movie very interesting in its attempt to modernize the 
>legend. The video tape sequence is very frightening, and for french 
>viewers, it may recall them a short film serie called "les documents
>interdits". It used very effectively so-called "real footage" about
>paranormal events. It was aired almost ten years ago...
>One critic though, Nakata Hideo's direction is good and low profile, 
>but I
>found the actors somehow lacking dimension (especially the female 
>that almost has the same expression on her face throughout the 
>Anyway, I would be interested to know your opinion on this one, and 
>also the
>sequels and Korean remake.

Apart from the third Ring film, the prequel "Ring 0", I failed to see what 
all the fuss was about.  The central gimmick of the video was nice and 
spooky, but ultimately made little sense.  As did that of phone call 
announcing the impending death of the viewer, which was largely discarded 
by the second film.  As for the female character lacking dimension, well, 
I'm sure that's partly down to having the 'it' girl Nanako Matsushima in 
the lead.  She seems to specialise in characters who are essentially 
simpering male ideals of Japanese womanhood - see her recent hit drama 
"Yamato Nadeshiko" for proof of that.  Ring 2 only serves to confuse the 
issue, throwing in even more trendy psychic derring-do into the mix and 
building to an overblown climax that makes little sense.  The first film 
did at least succeed in creating a memorable demon in Sadako, and judging 
by the public's reaction to the movie and indeed the horror movie boom that 
followed, it successfully managed to tap the peculiar vein of Japanese 
superstition and taste for the urban legend.  It has spawned Ring-themed 
attractions have sprung up at Japanese theme parks, and dozens of imitators 
on the big and small screen.  It is certainly a significant entry in the 
genre for what it has achieved, but intrinsically speaking I'd venture that 
its reputation is generally undeserved.  
Don Brown
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