(Review originally written at 21 October 2008)

This is a quite good and interesting prequel to the Japanese Ringu series. It perhaps its not necessarily good as a part of the Ringu series but as a stand alone movie it simply is a really great one.

This movie focuses on how Sadako becomes the murdering spirit. It sounds like a bad idea to give the 'monster' a face and a backdrop story and yes, this is perhaps also why "Ringu 0: Bâsudei" is perhaps not that great as a part of the Ringu series. This movie is also less horror like and orientated as any other movie out of the series and it focuses more on the dramatic aspects of the Sadako character. It's not her fault that she is the way she is and she actually is a cute and shy person. This sort of ruins the image of the evil Sadako spirit we know from the other Ringu movies. In that regard this movie suffers from the same problem as "Hannibal Rising". It gives the monster a face and because of that we loose some of our respect for the character and it ruins his original image. For instance I never saw Sadako as a young adult but more as a 12 year old child or so. In this movie she is presented as a young woman.

But like I said, it can't be denied that as a standalone movie this is simply a great one to watch. It's nicely directed with a good overall visual style and it has a good compelling story, that mixes drama with some more supernatural elements. You can see this movie as "Ringu" meets "Carrie", since this movie story- and character-wise definitely show some similarities to the Brian De Palma horror classic "Carrie", from 1976.

The movie doesn't always have a too fast pace and there is not always a lot happening within the movie. The first hour of the movie or so even feels quite redundant afterward. It isn't until very well halve way through that the movie starts to take off. It's also then that the movie its horror elements really start to kick in and the Sadako character starts to become the evil spirit we all know from the other Ringu movies. Not that the movie ever becomes truly scary but it has a nice eerie atmosphere that Japanese horror movies are so well known and liked for.

So all in all, as a part of the Ringu series this movie perhaps isn't that great but as a stand alone movie it simply is a very good one.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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