The Ring

1998, Horror/Mystery & thriller, 1h 36m

38 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

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

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Movie Info

When her niece is found dead along with three friends after viewing a supposedly cursed videotape, reporter Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) sets out to investigate. Along with her ex-husband, Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada), Reiko finds the tape, watches it -- and promptly receives a phone call informing her that she'll die in a week. Determined to get to the bottom of the curse, Reiko and Ryuji discover the video's origin and attempt to solve an old murder that could break the spell.

Cast & Crew

Hiroyuki Sanada
Ryuji Takayama
Yuko Takeuchi
Tomoko Oishi
Hitomi Sato
Masami Kurahashi
Yôichi Numata
Takashi Yamamura
Miwako Kaji
Kazue Yamamura
Yoko Oshima
Reiko's Uncle
Masato Hara
Executive Producer
Makoto Ishihara
Associate Producer
Tatsuya Isomura
Line Producer
Kenji Kawai
Original Music
Junichirô Hayashi
Cinematographer
Iwao Saito
Production Design
Tetsuya Nakamura
Unit Production Manager
Kuni Risho
Assistant Producer
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News & Interviews for The Ring

Critic Reviews for The Ring

Audience Reviews for The Ring

  • Feb 06, 2017
    When it comes to original concepts and practical effects, you truly can't get better in the horror genre. Those two elements are what make the best horror films out there, period. Sure, CGI can help move a story along nowadays, but when something is done for real in front of the camera, there is just something special about that. Revisiting the original film that started it all (Ringu), I was reminded of just how terrifying this film was at the time. Still to this day, the build up is extremely effective and the imagery is insanely creepy. Here is why I think Ringu is one of the greatest horror films of all time. Aside from the recent gems like Don't Breathe or The Babadook, the horror genre is one of the worst genres out there today. Sure, they still make loads of money at the box office, but 75% of the horror films produced nowadays are based off of pre-existing material. At the time, the concept of Ringu was 100% original and it still sends chills down my spine. Following a few select people who have viewed a video tape that states you will die one week after viewing it, this film tries to solve the mystery of whether or not it's true and how it's preventable if it is. For its time, this film's slow-burn really works in its favour. There are many moments of terror that genuinely hold up even to today's standards. Normally a horror films relies solely on its scares in order to impress its audience. Having said that, sometimes that works in cases like Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project. Sometimes a film is just out to scare you, leaving out substance, which works very rarely. For a film like Ringu, substance was the key to making a terrific film. The interaction between Nanako Matsushima and Hiroyuki Sanada was astounding and I believed every word they said to each other. Their chemistry is off-beat and it really works for the tone of this film. There are many moments that make this film feel like a slow moving drama, which makes it even more impactful when the scares finally occur. Most horror films focus on CGI trickery to scare the audience nowadays, but back in the day, practical effects are what made things even scarier, because they seemed tangible. There are quite a few moments throughout Ringu that the filmmakers should still be patting themselves on the back for 19 years later.From the sound effects that are overused today, to the close-ups that make you want to turn your head away from the television, this film really knew how to get its audience, and revisiting this film in 2017, I am still just as terrified. This film is incredibly effective. In retrospect, a film like this should easily date itself after almost 20 years, but it still remains the best in the long line of sequels, remakes, and reboots that it has had. Ringu remains one of my favourite horror films for building up its story and sprinkling in a few spine-tingling thrills throughout the film and never blowing its load early. Sure, the premise itself is a bit silly, but if you can buy into the mythology of it, it's a damn effective horror flick. I have never been a huge fan of the horror genre, so when I praise a film for being scary, I feel like I am making a bigger statement than most. Ringu still terrifies me to this day and I highly recommend it if you haven't checked it out yet.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2016
    With a bizarre and creepy idea involving cursed technology, this is a very effective horror movie that manages to be tense and disturbing as time starts to run out for the characters, and it has a terrifying scene in the end that should raise every single hair on the back of our neck.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2013
    Whatever issues one might have with the screenplay, it has to be acknowledged that the girl crawling out of a television is one of the definitive cinematic images of the past 25 years.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2012
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img] 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 C Super Reviewer

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