Ringu is THE Japanese horror film of the century. Based on the novel of the same name by Koji Suzuki, it is considered the scariest horror movie in Japan and also the highest grossing horror film there, its remake in USA also bringing in a wave of hundreds of terrible remakes of Asian horror.
Ringu is about a journalist, Reiko Asakawa, who decides to investigate a mysterious unlabeled tape after her own niece and a few others die at the same exact moment seven days after watching it together, coincidentally. The rest of the film is about her investigation of the backstory of the video, and the background of Sadako Yamamura, the psychic mastermind behind it all. Asakawa ends up getting herself, her son, and her ex-husband, caught in the huge mess, putting their own lives in danger. It becomes a rush against the clock to stopping the curse of the video before their seven days are up.
It’s not really as scary as it’s hyped up to be. However, the concept of the plot is so original and so refreshing, its simplicity can be frightening to some as being very practical. Like all great horror films, there is a massive twist at the end that just begs for a sequel to be made. Also, I have to praise the director for taking a psychological thriller genre novel and turning it into a psychological horror genre by adding their own addition of Sadako crawling out of the well and out through the TV to kill her victims, rather than just by dying through heart attack, as depicted in the novel. If you want some additional information and a much more detailed back story to Sadako Yamamura, which may have been very sparse and confusing in the film, which I did find at times, read the novel by Koji Suzuki. It is excellent.
Overall, Ringu is a great film with a very fresh plot. It is a bit over-hyped, but it is still a MUST SEE for Asian horror fans.