Ringu (Ring) (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ringu (Ring) (1998)

Ringu (Ring) (1998)

Ringu (Ring)



Critic Consensus: Ringu combines supernatural elements with anxieties about modern technology in a truly frightening and unnerving way.

Ringu (Ring) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In this psychological horror story from Japan, a legend circulates among teenagers that if one watches a certain video at a certain time of the night, the telephone will ring right afterward, and one week later, you will die. When Masami (Hitomi Sato) tells her friend Imako this story, she scoffs -- but a week later, Imako dies. Imako's aunt, a television journalist named Reiko (Nanako Matsushima), hears that not long before she died, Imako was watching a strange video with her friends -- all of whom have turned up dead. Reiko tracks down a copy of the video, and as she watches its strange, spectral images, the telephone begins to ring....The next morning, Reiko begins a desperate search to solve the mystery of the video, convinced she has only seven days to live; assisting her is Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada), a mathematics expert and her former husband. Ringu was a box-office success in its native Japan, and a surprise blockbuster in Hong Kong, where it became the biggest grossing film of the first half of 1999. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Hiroshi Takahashi
On DVD: Mar 4, 2003


Nanako Matsushima
as Reiko Asakawa
Miki Nakatani
as Mai Takano
Hiroyuki Sanada
as Ryuji Takayama
Yuko Takeuchi
as Tomoko Oishi
Hitomi Sato
as Masami Kurahashi
Yoichi Numata
as Takashi Yamamura
Katsumi Muramatsu
as Koichi Asakawa
Rikiya Otaka
as Yoichi Asakawa, Rei...
as Shizuko Yamamura
Daisuke Ban
as Doctor Heihachiro Ik...
Kiyoshi Risho
as Omiya the Cameraman
Yoko Oshima
as Reiko's Aunt
Kiriko Shimizu
as Ryomi Oishi
Orie Izuno
as Sadako Yamamura
Miwako Kaji
as Kazue Yamamura
Yoko Kima
as Junior High School G...
Asami Nagata
as Junior High School G...
Keiko Yoshida
as Senior High School G...
Yoshiko Matsumaru
as Senior High School G...
Yoho Naose
as Senior High School G...
Maki Ikeda
as Yoko Tsuji
Takashi Takayama
as Takehiko Nomi
Toshihiko Takeda
as Yamamura as a Teenag...
Chihiro Shirai
as Sadako as a Young Gi...
Mantarô Koichi
as Town Hall Moderator
Shinichi Noda
as Press Representative
Kazufumi Nakai
as Press Representative
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Ringu (Ring)

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (6)

If you don't mind, I'm off to the corner of my office to curl into a fetal position and rock slowly.

Full Review… | October 14, 2014
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 10, 2012
AV Club
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 10, 2012
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

The finale, too, still feels as twisted, bizarre and down-right nightmarish as it did all those years ago.

Full Review… | October 30, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | October 7, 2008
Top Critic

Eschewing blood for a sinuous tone of Videodromic dread, Ring forces fear into every cut as a psychic telejournalist counts down the hours till a fatal visitation, while making a gung ho attempt to save her brood.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ringu (Ring)



It's saying something that most people would find peculiar, but I found Ringu to be very problematic and consequently inferior to Gore Verbinksi's American remake "The Ring". One of the difficulties with inspirations and remakes is you have to consider which film is superior, but sometimes it's just a matter of which film you saw first and strangely enough I couldn't decide if it was the fact that I saw 2002's The Ring before Ringu that altered the experience or whether it's down to the fact the film simply isn't as eery or atmospheric. I think the idea of Ringu is absolutely genius and inspired The Ring to go further with the premise but I felt it was more compassionate and less isolating than Verbinski's film, and it hasn't aged very well either. The remake also added some shocks to the story, Ringu has dissapointingly near to none, and I found this version ashamedly dull. I'd definetely be lying if I said that there's nothing redemptive in it whatsoever, the acting is decent, as is the script and direction, I didn't think the lighting worked very well, but if you haven't seen the 2002 version then you will probably enjoy Ringu more than I did. That said, i'd recommend it to those who haven't seen the remake as I would recommend the remake to those who haven't seen the original. It's a strange horror movie going experience when you get the weird sensation of deja vu, because the remake looked to me like it duplicated this almost entirely frame to frame. The Ring (2002) is one of the scariest films i've ever seen, maybe that's why this one didn't live up to my own personal expectations.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Interesting blend of Victorian-esque old timey creep with some modern twists as a reporter and her college professor ex scour the Japanese countryside for clues to an urban myth that just couldn't be true, it couldn't be, that'd be ridiculous, wouldn't it? Though not the scarey advertised, it'll do, all right, it'll do.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

This started it all the modern day Asian-American horror films, that definitely deserves alot of credit. The cinematography is well done, but personally the movie didn't really scare me.

Eric Alvarez
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

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