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by Shrub 6/21/03

Oooh - wee! Don't you love it when movies meet and even exceed expectations? I finally watched Ringu (the DreamWorks DVD release). I did it backwards I realize. I'd heard about Ring for some time, then saw there was U.S. remake being made without having seen it. I had reservations towards the remake (as a rule, remakes of great movies is a stupid idea if you ask me), but a friend got me a free screening pass so I went and it was really good (ruining that rule in at least on instance)! Since that time, watching Ringu became a necessity.

Ringu did not dissapoint. You always hear the word "chilling" used to describe movies, but in this instance it was literal. I've only watched the thing once, and I was into the story, not paying particular attention to technical aspects, but I've got to think that this would be a movie for aspiring filmakers to study. I have no idea from the one viewing how this movie gave me such willies. Was it the soundtrack or the images? What the heck is so freaking frightening about Sadako crawling across the floor? I'm not sure, but , to me it is a master work. As a jaded horror watcher, there is NOTHING like a movie that is able to give you goosebumps for real. It's brilliant. Watching a movie like Ringu (of which there are far too few) really reminds you why it is you love horror. For that 90 or so minutes, you are re-living that childhood process of discovery where you are getting the crap scared out of you and it is FUN!

All this having watched the remake already and knowing more or less what would happen. The last time I had a movie experience like this was Blair Witch, where the images stick with you and creep you out long after the credits roll (Hmmm, are ghost movies the scariest of all? I guess that's a discussion for another time). I wonder if watching the re-make is less effective if you've already seen Ringu? I'm assuming it has to be, so maybe it was better that I saw them in this order. I don't think my appreciation for the re-make was lessened however, seeing as how they were actually able to retain the creepy feel and scary moments. Ringu has a different twist ending than the remake. It's probably a little too dark for us "family-value" Americans.

The DVD release itself left something to be desired. Especially for one that retails at $30, it is bare bones. The film looks/sounds great, but there are zero extras (unless you count previews for other Dreamworks releases (not even one for Ringu itself??)), and the packaging is minimum with no insert (how about a chapter listing at least?).


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