I watched Ringu last week, quite a while after seeing The Ring. I had read on these boards that Ringu is the superior film, so I was looking forward to it.

Actually, I liked the American version better. The stories are virtually identical. I didn’t find enough differences between them to make separate one film from the other. One thing that struck me about Ringu was the cinematography. The shots seemed a bit… I don’t know… “flat”. “Uninspired”, maybe. The American film was more stylish. I liked the ending of the American film better as well.

Normally, special effects don’t do much for me. I’d rather have a good story than good visuals. The American film did have better effects, and I think they helped.

With the better S/FX, better cinematography, and better scenery of the American version, I liked it better than the Japanese one. (But I still think the horse-going-crazy-on-the-ferry scene was just silly.)

I agree (although I liked the horses in the US).

I was also bugged by the lack of development of the female lead (her ex did everything in Japan), and the over-explaining of teh nature of Sadako. The US left her much more mysterious and ambiguous, and thus scarier.

Perhaps it depends on which version you see first? I knew practically all the scary parts in Ringu, down to the shock flashback to the corpse in the closet thanks to my familiarity with The Ring. That made the film less scary.

How about a spoiler box with the ending of Ringu, comparing it to The Ring?

And was there any explanation as to where the video came from? That has always left my wife and I wanting. It just kind of sprang up from evilness? Too supernatural crapola for me. I agree though, the Ring was very stylish, and I would recommend it.

[spoiler]In the American version they find the girl’s corpse and are quite pleased with themselves. Looked like another Hollywood ending. Then the boy says, “You shouldn’t have done that!” Then there is the killing of the ex-husband, which was done much better in the AMerican version (IMO). The mother figures out that the tape had to be copied, and has her son do it.

The Japanese version is the same, but they didn’t have the creepy “You shouldn’t have done that!” line. The mother figures out that she has to copy the tape because an image from the tape points to her handbag. I thought the American version was better.

Basically, I thought the American version – while not at all frightening – was much creepier.[/spoiler]

The American version showed people knowledable about video tape figuring out that a camera did not make the tape. The Japanese version was like “You should be able to see the cameraman in this shot” and then they suddenly figure out a camera wasn’t used. More detail in the American version, I think.

Let’s see if I can get my coding right…

I liked the fact that the American version makes it seem like Samara isn’t evil and doesn’t have any creepy powers. It gives the ending that added punch of surprise.

There is an explanation of the tape. The girl has the ability to manipulate magnetic fields or something like that, my memory is fuzzy, when alive. After death she retains that power and gains the creepy move through TV and kill the hell out of you power. So she makes the video tape in that cabin at some point.

You should try and find ringu 2. It explains things a little bit, and, more importantly, is really really creepy. For added “ring” and “ringu” fun, visit http://ringworld.somrux.com/index.htm

I have seen the Japanese version (the sequel), but not the American one. I found the film scary, but not terrifying. I have the feeling I will enjoy the remake more, based on the trailers. I found the creepy music- or lack thereof- in the Japanese one unsatisfying, and doubt the American one can “ruin” it as many remakes do, as the original seemed quite “Hollywood” in the first place.

Though I disagree that the American Ring was better, there were a few things I thought it had over the original:

  1. The video was better. The Japanese version’s video was just scene after scene of odd images. There was a better sense of the video’s significance in the American version.

  2. Samara, on whole, was weaker than Sadako, but she did have the cool teleportation ability.

To this day KKB and I laugh at the bucket scene in the Japanese version. Talk about a poor choice of labor division.

See, I really enjoyed the American version, but found the Japanese one better and more enjoyable. Maybe it does have something to do with having seen it first, but pretty much everything stated above as negatives for the Japanese one, I found as positives.
First of all, the video in the Japanese version is a hell of a lot better than the American one. As something created by an evil force, the fact that the video quality was piss poor was a big bonus. As a friend said about the American curse video, it looked like a student film. The quality was nice, but the imagery was just too nice and fitting. I didn’t like the way every little thing shown in the American version had an explaination. “Ahh, the chair symbolises a chair; the lader is the lader leading to her room.” The imagery in the Japanese one was much more psychologiacally driven and gave a better glimse into the psyche of a tormented, angry spirit, and a glimpse into hell, of sorts. There were a few things in it to be interpreted, thus to help progress the story, but many of the images (the man with the towel over his head, the people crawling backwards, the sheep/horse eye) were just twisted images with no solid explaination.
I don’t like the “Seven Days” on the phone. I really liked the twisted “Noise” over the phone in the Japanese version. It makes Sadako even more intangible and frightening. When the phone rings, the audience only hears the same grating noise played in the video, yet somehow, that noise is able to speak. Really creepy.
Sadako is just more terrifying than Samara. Stand the two next to each other, and which one do you think could kick the other’s ass? Sadako’s body movements (the twitching!!), the attention drawn to her fingers, and long, looooooong hair just made her much more terrifying than Samara. That little teleportation jump cut Samara made was fucking stupid.

[SPOILER]Sadako’s coming out of the television was WAY creepier than Samara’s. Not just the lack of “jump cut” move, but Sadako was solid! Making Samara skip in and out like she was a television image was another dumb move. It made her look fake (if that makes any sense). When Sadako came threw the screen, she wasn’t projecting some televised image, she was IN YOUR ROOM!!! Having Samara go to snow a few times, as well as looking like a black and white image was lame. And showing her face was another horrible decision in my opinion. Seeing that close up of Sadako’s eye…that EYE! WAAAAAAY creepier than an angry girl’s little face. And the Japanese one didn’t cut the suspense by having the action interrupted by having the wife driving to the ex’s apartment halfway through the scene. Another bad decision by the director, and another example of how the slow moving, static camera work of the Japanese succeeded.[spoiler]
There was a huge cultural difference between the Japanese and American one, that can cause a lot of problems. I didn’t really like the whole horse aspect of the American one, and the differences in family were something I really didn’t care about either. The Japanese Ring gives a much better reasoning behind Sadako’s anger and it’s preserverance over the American one.

The whole reasoning behind the ghost’s anger is vengence. Sadako was abandoned as a child in the cave where unwanted babies go. This is a huge deal that’s never brought up in the American version. This gives the daughter real reason to hate and want to punish the mother. But, the mother kills herself, and denies her that. And, after the father ditches her in the well, he murders himself, again, denying her the chance for vengence. So, she takes it out on the world. In the American one, the fact that both parents outlived the daughter, then commited suicide due to the fact her spirit wouldn’t leave them alone means that, with the father’s death, all debts are settled. And having the mother murder her was an interesting interpretation of it, so I guess it’s all how you look at it. Plus, the Japanese one has a bit of an explaination for the creepiness of the child’s parentage. The suspicious townsfolk believe she was fathered by a sea ogre, whereas the American version…they went away and had a kid. Oooo, spoooky.
The Japanese one was a bit more hokey with the whole use of ESP and sometimes got a little too hokey, but it gave a bit more reasoning behind the son’s connection to the spirit world. The ex-husband in the American version was way too silly and wacky for me. It explains the “Not ready to have a family” excuse for why things didn’t work, but why the two characters would ever have been involved to begin with (much less married) I have no idea. And there was no explaination for the son’s psychic abilities. Another thing the Japanese one handled better was the reasoning behind why the kid watched the video. The reasoning behind him watching it in the AMerican one? “I couldn’t sleep.” Couldn’t Sleep? So, you pop in an unmarked tape instead of just channel surfing late night skinemax or watching any of the other movies you have in the family video library? Huh? I prefer the Japanese Ringu’s reasoning. “Why did you watch this?”
“My dead cousin’s ghost gave it to me and said to watch it.”
MUCH more terrifying. Not only is the kid psychic and talking to spirits, but the spirits are now lapdogs of this evil, angry, video cursing bitch! Once you’re dead, the torment’s not over.

Also, I just liked the “simply scared to death” bodies of the Japanese version vs. the “waterlogged, grey skinned, blood spewing, mandible mauled” corpses of the American version. When the parents and main character are talking about how the daughter “just up and died with no reason,” it’s a lot more plausible if the person has no marks on them then if they look all butchered. People who just up and die don’t look like the Americanized corpses do. If you find a body like that, something more happened to it than "Her heart just…stopped."Okay, I’m going to stop now…

I have only seen Ringu, and though it was a bit low-budget, it’s the only movie ever that actually made me scream out loud like a big girl’s blouse.

Regarding the origins of the video, I think the Japanese one may have been more explicit. IIRC, the story goes that a bunch of kids went to the cabin and one of 'em wanted to record a baseball game. However, since the station numbers were different from the ones where he/they were from, he recorded a blank channel - the tape should have been nothing but snow. But dum, dum, dum there was the video. :eek:

In the US version, it may have been something similar. But for some reason I just remember it as “the video kinda showed up.”

Yeah, but the video in the Japanese version didn’t look like it was made by a B-average NYU student who woke up hungover some Sunday morning and realized “Oh shit, my video project is due tomorrow!

That’s a big plus in my book. :wink:

And personally, I think the “coming out” scene in Ringu was much better. It was a slow, deliberate, long shot framed in such a way that Sadako was coming out of the TV straight at you. And since the cut away was well after she was out of the TV, the viewer is given the impression that she could have kept on going through your TV too! :eek:

The American one, OTOH, cut to a car chase-like scene, and when we cut back, she’s already out. The teleporting thing was cool visually, but not scary at all. Yet another example of how your typical Hollywood horror movie director thinks that startling the audience is the same thing as scaring the audience. Lame.

Another issue I had with the American Ring was the scene where they go back to the cabin. IIRC, a bunch of nails are pushed up, and the electrical cables for stuff started twisting around. Made me think, “WTF? What is she, the ghost of Magneto?”[/spoiler]

Feh, you think Ringu was scary, you should hunt down Dark Water (the Japanese title eludes me, atm) by the same writer/director. Now that is one creepy movie!

I was really confused by the sequel, The Lord Of The Rings. It was like it had no connection at all to the previous movie.


One more thing that frustrated me about the American movie, in that it falls square into the “we’re going to startle audiences, logic be damned.”

There’s a line of dialogue from one of the cops (or somebody, it doesn’t really matter) to the effect of “Oh, we think they just kinda died. An unexpected, yet unremarkable death.”

Yeah, except for the fact that the corpses were found all waterlogged and in advanced states of decay! :smack:

:re-reads thread:

And obviously these are points that were already raised. But, hey, they deserve to be raised twice!

Well, I tried to start a thread about The Ring vs Ringu a while back but am too lazy to search for it now. My 2 yen, in as few words as I can manage:

  1. On the whole, I like the American version a little better. There are some serious problems with it, but I think it’s a stronger movie. For one, the reporter and her son are much stronger characters, while Ringu has the ex-husband do everything except the crying. And the acting in the remake is much better overall.

  2. On the other hand, it’s amazing how much the original manages to creep your shit out with much lower-budget effects, like completely non-CG reflections in a TV screen.

Her watching the tape (and seeing Sadako’s reflection in the screen) and then the sheet-covered ex-husband pointing at the videotape copy at the end were the best moments in either movie, and are right up there as my Creepiest Movie Moments Of All Time.

  1. The Ring is better the second time. I’d thought that there were a ton of plot holes, but a lot of the major points were mention, just not sufficiently emphasized. Watching it a second time on DVD, I was much more impressed.

  2. Every deleted scene from The Ring should have been left in. (With the possible exception of the ex-husband at the cabin and that whole subplot). Especially the scene where the reporter is talking with the fishermen about the Morgan’s and Samara’s “appearance.” I left the original thinking that it told the story much better than the remake, but if those deleted scenes had been left in, then the only big think that the remake would’ve missed would’ve been

explaining why the son watches the videotape, as has already been pointed out.

  1. I really like the “latch-key kid” sublot in the remake. The original is just basically a slightly modernized urban legend/ghost story, but the remake actually adds some weight to the proceedings. Especially when

they go to the attic to Samara’s room, and the ex-husband says that they just left her alone. The reporter points out the TV and says “not alone.” It drives home (with a balpene hammer) the message of the movie, but also helps explain why TV is so important to Samara.

  1. KKBattousai has pointed it out a few times, but it bears repeating: The cut-away during the climax in the remake is one of the most boneheaded editorial/directorial decisions ever made. Apart from the obvious problems, there’s also the fact that having a ringing phone going answered during the whole scene would’ve just been creepier.

  2. The acting is a lot better in the remake. Plus, Naomi Watts is hot.

  3. I refuse to read the Japanese book, or to see any of the Japanese sequels. From the fansite karomon linked to, it sounds as if the originals take a really cool update and twist on the Urban Legend and turn it into a silly, predictable Resident Evil clone. Boo. I hope that the rumor/conjecture on that site is true and that the American sequel will be an entirely new story and will depart from the Japanese versions.