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FilmStubs: Ringu (1998)

A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it. (NR, 96 min.)


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

7:00 PM

The FilmStubs series is Free and made possible by a grant from Friends of the Library.
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Television journalist Reiko investigates an urban legend about a cursed VHS tape that murders the viewer seven days after they watch it. As the mystery hits closer to home, Reiko joins forces with ex-husband/current-exorcist Takashi to destroy the curse. And (hopefully) survive an encounter with a ghost named Sadako. Directed by Hideo Nakata (DARK WATER), RINGU is the highest grossing Japanese horror movie in history that STILL manages to shred our nerves with its quiet, phantasmic elegance. This is the only VHS fetish movie in history to inspire an entire subgenre, as well as dozens of remakes and rip-offs. Criminally absent from theaters since its original theatrical release in 1998, the time is now for RINGU to terrify the world. Again. [AGFA]

Starring: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi
Director: Hideo Nakata
Language: Japanese
Genre(s): Horror, Mystery

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"A most artfully creepy piece of work."

— Andrew Pulver, Guardian

"Its strength is in its simplicity and its cultural purity."

— Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald

"As good as The Ring is, it can't top the original for sheer, shivering terror."

— Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Almost nothing terrible is shown: the real horror lies in the viewer's anticipation."

— Alan Stanbrook, Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Ringu has a minimalist intensity that can stop the heart with a simple flash-cut or a well-timed fillip in the musical score."

— Scott Tobias, AV Club

"Director Hideo Nakata manages to strike a genuinely alarming balance between the cultural depths of Japanese folklore and the surface sheen of latter-day teen culture."

— Mark Kermode, Sight & Sound

"Classically shot, with effective use of stereo sound effects, the movie is almost entirely free of visual horror and the usual Eastern ghost cliches, managing to suspend auds' disbelief in the hokey story through pure atmosphere."

— Staff, Variety