PS2 PC GameCube Contact Us DVD/Music Search
Featured XBox GBA News Home Advertise

DVD Reviews: Ring


The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 14 February 2003
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 91 Minutes

After playing and completing Silent Hill 2 I thought I would be ready for anything that came out of the Japanese film industry and you know what?…..I was right.  When playing a character that you control you, with the aid of a bit of imagination, you at least partly, become that character.  Whatever happens to your character in a way affects you.  Ring does share similarities to that aforementioned title.  In the way the sound is implemented and the dirty and creepy environments that is shown in this feature.  Not all scenes are like this however and therefore do not give you that sense of dread that the producers are attempting to convey throughout the film. 

Based in modern day Japan, spoken in Japanese with English subtitles this celluloid is a horror-film and a good one at that.  A strange video tape is linked to the deaths of a few unsuspecting school students.  Their bodies were discovered with their faces contorted from seeing something, literally, heart-stopping frightening.  Supposedly whoever views this videotape is doomed to die a week after seeing the tape. 

The main character Reiko is a cynical journalist who foolishly watches the tape to try to make sense of the travesty.  The tape is suitably odd and frightening to watch.  Reiko seeks the aid of her ex-husband who sure enough does the inevitable.  The rest of the film is about these two trying to lift the curse that is beset to this couple and their 5 year old son who inadvertently also happened to watch the tape.  What was captured on the tape was the spirit of something, quote “In-human” implying intentionally to the audience that it was from another realm.  The viewing of this seems to be a trigger for the “Spirit of the unworldly Sadaka” to transcend worlds and intrude on the psyche of any ill-fated soul who watches it. 

With many unpredictable twists and turns “Ring” is an interesting piece of Cinema without being overly exciting.  It would be a good idea to view this film at night with all the lights off to amplify the effect on your disposition.  The subtitles are sometimes faded out by white backgrounds but this is only seldom and not annoying.  The transition from spoken Japanese to English Subtitles does unfortunately lose a little in the way of impact.  The tones and contrasting affections in the speech are lost in delivery of such emotive language.  Simply seeing it written is not enough to really dig the claws of suspense in.  A translation with English voice-overs ala Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon could have delivered the goods in this department.  Obviously there was not the cash to supplement such an ambitious undertaking. 

With some truly disturbing images and special effects there is enough to keep any viewer on edge if not overly shocked.  The sense of unease will have horror fans coming back for more even after watching it once or twice.  Sadaka’s video in special features is a curious touch and I would imagine if you really were sucked in, could have you thinking.

The Special Features on this package are good it even has the creepy Sadaka’s video for all viewers to see whether or not they will suffer the same fate as the characters in the film.  It’s creepy stuff.  There are also trailers to watch for both 1 and 2 as well as trailers for a few Anime films.  For Japanese music fans there is a music-clip of Boogiepop phantom to drool over.  Overall? Good, but not brilliant.  Recommended to horror fans.

Ring Features

  • Ring "Cycle" Trailers
  • Madman Diversion - Boogiepop Phantom
  • Episode Sample
  • Animated Menus


Copyright ©2003 www.impulsegamer.com