Ringu vs. The Ring: Comparative Analysis of Two films

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Ringu (1998) vs. The Ring (2002)

The Japanese horror film Ringu directed by Hideo Nakata was released in 1998, known as the most successful horror film in Japanese horror genre history. Four years later, Ringu’s Hollywood counterpart The Ring directed by Gore Verbinski was released, introducing the films to a massive international audience and market, as well as helping the Japanese horror genre step onto the international stage. The Ring is publicly praised as one of the most popular and successful remakes in Hollywood history. The film tells a story that is adopted from the traditional Japanese tale about a cursed videotape in which contains random, disrupted and fragmented images. Immediately after viewing the videotape, the viewers will receive a phone call, ensuring their death within seven days. The screenplay and direction of The Ring mainly stay faithful to the ones of Ringu, however, the final scenes, the seemingly disconnected images on the murderous videotape and the stories behind the videotape differ heavily. The television set and the videotape are apparently the crucial locus of terror in these two films, and this certain type of terror keeps echoing in the Ringu sequel. Both the original and the remake propose an overt theme of a universal anxiety generated by media technologies such as telephone, television and videotape. While the Hollywood version is a reinforcement of the Japanese one regarding the technology anxiety theme because it is imbedded with so many technological means that it seems difficult to judge whether these technologies are beneficial or threatening to our society as a whole. The two films highlight this particular anxiety by further accusing media technology as the threatening and harmful force to not only the security of the family home, but also the ties among social groups.
Chuck Tryon writes in his article “Video from the Void: Video Spectatorship, Domestic Film Cultures, and Contemporary Horror Film”: “…The Ring

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