Thursday, October 25, 2018

Your Daily Scare: Ringu

"You have four days left." 

Ringu is a masterpiece of dread, a film accomplishes almost as much as with what it chooses to leave out as with what it portrays. 

The plot is best mostly left under wraps; suffice to say it's about a television journalist who explores, with rapidly escalating stakes, the existence of a cursed videotape that dooms anyone who dares watch it.

It's a creepy premise, well-exploited by the filmmakers. But what's especially effective is their approach. The film isn't stuffed with bloody shocks or jump scares; instead it's mostly a quiet procedural, following the journalist and her ex-husband as they race against time. They don't panic or shriek; one gets the impression that life continues to roll on, even as the supernatural draws terrifyingly near. The quiet certitude and lack of hysteria, somehow makes the film more frightening. 

I was particularly impressed with how the film's unceasing sense of horror was constructed primarily without on-screen violence. The deaths are mostly bloodless, and the violence is largely implied rather than shown. But when it comes to some of the most iconic images in horror - especially in the last 20 minutes -- you'll be fortunate if it doesn't send you scrambling behind your couch. 

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