Japan/ Cert 15/ English subtitles
An absolute cracker of a mystery thriller, and one of the great benchmarks of Asian horror, from J-Horror hero Hideo Nakata. Newspaper reporter Reiko lands herself a story that may prove deadly after she unearths the myth of a videotape that kills anyone who views it and, in a moment of piss-poor judgement, she decides she can’t find anything better on TV to watch.
With a seven-day deadline to beat, our heroine must unravel the video conspiracy to save her life – yikes! Released when Japan’s shift into technological modernity was raising new cultural anxieties, Ring was a hybrid of the country’s old and new fears, joined together in the form of urban legend. Traditional Yurei folklore is given a digital coat of paint to become something that, while pretty scarring to contemporary viewers, seems as though it shouldn’t remain as deeply unsettling today as it does. So how does it? Through the use of pitch-perfect pacing, a grungy analogue aesthetic and a finale that’s truly one for the horror history books, the film is soaked in a quiet dread that’s hard to shake out of your head, even after the credits have finished rolling. Fair warning – this one’ll have you sleeping with the lights on for the forseeable.
This is just one of 12 international horror films being screened as part of our World of Horror season.
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