Review for Ringu (Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD)

9 / 10

Ring is a classic horror film and was the first mainstream J-Horror film. Prior to this, Japanese films in the West were either Akira Kurosawa, Godzilla or Manga/Anime. This film created an explosion of J-Horror and watching over twenty years later I can understand why.

The story is simple, a number of children have died and a story has been circulated that this is due to watching a mysterious video. The legend is that you watch the video, receive a phone call which states “in seven days you will die” and that’s what happens. Reiko Asakawa is a journalist who decides to investigate and finds the video and watches it and then receives the phone call. The countdown is on for her and her ex-husband to find out how to stop this curse becoming true.

Now I know that everyone knows what the “big scene” of this film is but if you have never seen it I will not spoil it. Suffices to say, it still holds up as one of the most terrifying moments in film history. I defy anyone who doesn’t jump when it happens.
The rest of the film is a slow build with more and more pieces coming together and for the majority of the film it is more like a mystery than a horror. This is no bad thing as with each discovery it amps up the tension and by the end I could not wait for the ending.

Everything from the music, to the editing to the acting by everyone is perfect and as long as you are not after multiple jumpscares and gore it will satisfy most horror fans.

The set comes with lots of extras and they really add to the satisfaction with this release. Spooks, Sighs and Videotape is a video essay talks about the mystery and history behind the horror that The Ring was a part of and inspired by. This is an interesting look at the development and history of Japanese horror in film.

Circumnavigating the Ring is another video essay looking at the history of The Ring franchise from book to film, remakes and beyond. This is a great look at the film's legacy and how changes and remakes can often add or in some cases change the story.

A Vicious Circle interviews critical Kat Ellinger on Hideo Nakata and The Ring series. She clearly has a love of J-Horror and the film series and it shows.

The Ring Legacy is interviews with a number of people talking about how the films and the Ring series had such an impact on Horror and film. This is great and I enjoyed listening to them discuss the film.

The Commentary by critic David Kalat is fine in general and he clearly has a love and knowledge of J-Horror but at times it feels like he is just rambling and a number of crucial scenes in the film including “that scene” is almost forgotten while he talks about something else.

Included is also the video they watch which is only a few seconds and I do wish there was a feature in relation to it to explain what it all is supposed to mean. Trailers for the UK release and two for the Ringu/Spiral double bill releases as well as an Image Gallery that only consists of a few pictures finishes the set up.

Ring could easily be dismissed as “one great scene” but you really need the rest of the film for that scene to be as great as it is. I would recommend this to all horror films and if you are a fan of the Ring then this set will satisfy all you even more.

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