J-Horror!
New Restoration

“An atmospheric tour de force, to J-horror what The Beatles were to the British Invasion … For those new to J-horror, my advice is start here.”

Patrick Galloway, Asia Shock

The film to which the term “J-horror” owes its currency, Hideo Nakata’s seminal spine-tingler is a bona fide classic that ignited an entire new wave in Japanese horror cinema. Adapted from the 1991 novel by Kôji Suzuki (dubbed “the Japanese Stephen King”), Ring taps terror by deftly blending traditional Japanese ghostlore with modern-day fears around technology's unchecked proliferation — a recurring motif in the J-horror canon. Its eerily meta machination: a hexed videotape is circulating which, if watched, signals certain death for the viewer in seven days. Nanako Matsushima plays the reporter who gets wind of the curse while investigating a string of bizarre teenage deaths. Her search to unravel the mystery ramps up when she and her young son lock eyes on the VHS’s killer content. A surprise fourth act is a masterclass in audience hoodwinking and sleep deprivation. The success of Gore Verbinski’s slick 2002 remake triggered a boom of J-horror makeovers in Hollywood. The scares, alas, were mostly lost in translation.

“A masterpiece of fear and atmospheric terror … It [features] possibly the scariest scene in cinema history.”

Cath Clarke, Time Out
Media
Note

Restoration courtesy of Arrow Films and the American Genre Film Archive.