Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quintology IV: Ringu

This is one of the most famous J-Horror film ever made, so I don't really need to set this up too much, do I?  I mean, it's a movie that inspired about sixteen other side projects (see yesterday's intro) and is famous internationally.  So what can I tell you about this movie that you don't know?  A girl is dead, her tape is possessed and every person that sees it will die in a week.  Well, I think I'm damn smart, so let me give it a shot.  Basically, I want to run over some of the main things that stand out to me as being interesting and/or odd...
* The heroine only discovers the whole 'tape' story because her niece is one of the four victims.  Depending on which Ringu 2 you choose to believe, bad shit happens because of her finding this!

* For an international hit, little is actually done to make the movie work for other countries.  The family has a very Japanese house for the funeral and the place where the student went is a hot springs.

* There is actually very little freaky stuff for most of the movie.  It is all about the idea of trying to solve the mystery within the week-long time-span.
* To make matters confusing, the male lead is the ex-husband of our heroine.  He is a former-Med student that decided to become a math teacher.  By the way, he is also psychic.

* If you are watching this for some freaky kills, you have to wait until the end.  Make due with the few bodies found with gaping mouths though.
* The ending with the ex-husband really holds up well, despite being based on 10-year old effects.
* The twist ending is explained in probably the most blunt manner humanly-possible.  This doesn't kill the movie, but does make me think that the editors question my intelligence.  I mean, look at this...
* But wait, what is in her purse, you ask?
* Oh, now I get it.  Thanks for making me feel like an idiot.  Why don't you just run off and make two disparate sequels to yourself now?  Good- go!
This movie is good, but it is not exactly breaking the mold of the J-Horror genre.  To be fair, this is one of those benchmark films that should be viewed on its own and not on what films ripped elements off it off later.  They do a great job of setting up the tape as being a freaky thing and the girl as being some menacing figure.  The aspects of the video itself are actually surprisingly-subtle.  Unlike the American film, you don't really get any crazy stuff until the end.  The film is a bit slow at certain parts, but that is because it chooses to focus on the drama of the characters.  I can't really fault a film for trying to give me characters with depth, but there is a balance somewhere.  Ultimately, does it matter if they used to be married?  There is a plot involving an evil demon girl just around the corner- hop to it!  If you go into the film expecting a film that is full of jump scares and gore, look elsewhere.
Up next, the Korean remake of the film.  Hey, it is based on a book, you know!  Stay tuned...

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