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The Asian ApertureRingu
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, September 23, 2012    Share

Two teenaged girls sit together in a bedroom, as a baseball game plays in the background, they talk about a boy who has mysteriously died after watching a certain videotape. So begins the first entry in The Ring series. The premise is simple and recalls all the eerie urban legends that I remember from growing up like Bloody Mary. If you watch a particular videotape, then you will get a phone call telling you that you have seen it, after that you have 1-week to live. That idea really plays into all those mysterious deaths that I have heard about through the years where the cause of death is difficult to pinpoint. Even something as common as a car accident or a heart attack, could have something going on in the background that no one can see.

Ringu is based on a novel by Koji Suzuki who was inspired by Poltergeist (1982) and a woman called Sadako Takahashi who was rumored to be able to see into the future. Suzuki is the Stephen King of Japan, who has written several bestsellers.

Following the conversation about the strange videotape, one of the girls, Tomoko dies in a mysterious way, her friend, (the other girl from the beginning of Ringu,) goes insane.

These events cause Reiko Asakawa, a local reporter, to investigate what is going on. Just like in many good horror movies, it is ok to be curious but never to venture too far. Tomoko is her niece and this draws Reiko into the story. She travels to Izu to rent out the same cabin that Tomoko and her friends used to watch the tape. Then she also watches the tape filled with strange surrealistic images that seem to come from another world. Soon after watching it she gets a phone call. Now she only has 1-week left to live.

To me Ringu is more of a good mystery story with horror elements rather than just being a straight horror movie. You want to know what happens to Reiko and you want to see if she can survive after you see several people die. There has to be some way to beat it.

Younger movie lovers may be thinking that since Ringu is based on a videotape and that is an outdated technology how can the movie still work in the modern era? Simple when you consider projected thermography, which means to project thoughts onto images such as photographs and onto surfaces that can include videotapes, DVDs, Blu-Rays or online streaming. It doesn’t really matter what media you are watching to view the image because along with the projected thoughts comes a curse and that is what kills people off.

Ringu is a great movie starring the always sexy and slim, Nanako Matsushima, who plays Reiko, working hard as a reporter trying to unravel the facts to save her life. There are some great dramatic moments between Reiko and her ex-husband Ryuji Takayama that just adds another layer of tension. When their son, Yoichi, also watches the tape, then you become concerned for three people who are all fated to die unless anyone can figure out some way to stop it.

Ringu is a fun movie to watch but not a fun movie to be in if you watched the cursed tape and your time is up. If you are just getting started in J-horror, this is a perfect place to start. RIngu went on to spawn several sequels and became the highest grossest horror movie in Japan. So spend some time in supernatural Japan and pick your poison on which media you plan to watch it on…carefully. There is an American remake and sequel and I would avoid both like the Bubonic plague and just stick to the Japanese version.

Highly Recommended

5 out of 5 Stars

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2012 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2012 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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