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Ringu (Ring)

Ringu (Ring) (1998)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 1

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


Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 45,779

My Rating

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


Drama, Horror

Hiroshi Takahashi

Mar 4, 2003

Watch It Now


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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (1) | DVD (7)

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

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Comment (1)
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop 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.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sure, stealthy shocker which certainly primes you for the sequel.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

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.

June 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

While the story is engrossing, and the acting top-notch, Hideo Nakata's direction is the primary reason to watch.

May 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

David Cronenberg could perhaps compete with Nakata but unfortunately only lesser mortals have attempted to replicate the feeling that Reiko has plunged into something with which even her psychic powers can't compete.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Ring has indescribably disturbing moments that frightened me out of my wits. But like many of the Japanese horrors that followed, it sometimes has an elliptic and confusing storytelling style that can make plot-progression muddy.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

The original retains its power to chill, although in the age of the DVD and the download, the idea of a haunted video cassette seems positively archaic.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK] | Comments (2)
Times [UK]

Subtly expressive faces and spooky interiors are the order of the day in this original, powerful treat.

October 7, 2008 Full Review Source:

Director Hideo Nakata's film is a minor masterpiece -- a low-budget horror gem.

July 12, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter

A landmark in horror cinema, Japan's Ring is arguably the most chilling pieces of popular supernatural cinema of the 90s.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Bog standard horror offering with a distinct lack of action or plot.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comments (5)
Empire Magazine

A blockbuster in Japan, this restrained horror film crosses urban legend conventions with Asian ghost story traditions, and the results are truly spooky.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It hit something primal in me, turning me into a quivering ball of nerves; my 'fight or flight' switch was turned to flight and then broken off.

May 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

It's hard to fairly judge a film like RINGU when you've seen the remake first. Many of the effective horror elements are dampened through familiarity, [yet] are worthwhile.

April 1, 2003 Full Review Source:

Neither inferior nor superior to the Hollywood version.

March 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Comments (2)
Film Freak Central

Good ol' urban legend stuff.

March 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

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.
July 21, 2012
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.
December 5, 2011

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.
October 31, 2011
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

This Asian horror film is quite possibly one of the best horror films of the last twenty years. Ringu spawned the rush of American remakes of Asian horror films. Seeing this original film, the film was truly effective at building the horror because of its effective atmosphere. Ringu is a phenomenal achievement in the horror genre. Ringu is a tense, atmospheric ride that delivers genuine fright. That's something that is missing from most horror films nowadays. Ringu has the ability to frighten you and keep you on the edge of your seat from the start of the film to the end credits. This is a spine tingling horror film that brings back elements of a truly scary horror film. After the release of this film, American film studios were keen on starting the wave of countless remakes. None of these remakes would be as effective as their Asian counterparts because they would rely more on cheap jump scares than actual atmosphere. Ringu is superior to its remake for that reason, this film relies on a tense, dark and haunting atmosphere to steadily build up the horror, and that's one of the key ingredients for a successful horror film. Ringu is a terrific horror film, and is still one of the best horror films to come out of Japan. This film is a modern classic of the horror medium and the terror it brings on screen is proof of that. This film takes no prisoners in delivering genuine horrifying scares. A must see for every die hard horror fan.
September 13, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

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