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Ringu 0
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese PCM Stereo
  • Japanese DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • New Audio commentary on Ringu 0 by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Spooks, Sighs and Videotape, a new video essay by critic Jasper Sharp on the J-horror phenomenon
  • Archival behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailers

Ringu 0

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Norio Tsuruta
1999 | 97 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $99.95 | Series: Arrow Video
MVD Visual

Release Date: October 29, 2019
Review Date: November 3, 2019

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SYNOPSIS

In 1998, director Hideo Nakata (Dark Water) unleashed a chilling tale of technological terror on unsuspecting audiences, which redefined the horror genre, launched the J-horror boom in the West and introduced a generation of moviegoers to a creepy, dark-haired girl called Sadako. The film's success spawned a slew of remakes, reimaginations and imitators, but none could quite boast the power of Nakata's original masterpiece, which melded traditional Japanese folklore with contemporary anxieties about the spread of technology. A group of teenage friends are found dead, their bodies grotesquely contorted, their faces twisted in terror. Reiko (Nanako Matsushima, When Marnie Was There), a journalist and the aunt of one of the victims, sets out to investigate the shocking phenomenon, and in the process uncovers a creepy urban legend about a supposedly cursed videotape, the contents of which causes anyone who views it to die within a week - unless they can persuade someone else to watch it, and, in so doing, pass on the curse... Arrow Video is proud to present Ringu, the film that started it all, restored from the original negative in glorious high definition and supplemented by a wealth of archival and newly created bonus materials.


PICTURE

Closing off their Ringu Collection box set, Arrow Video presents Norio Tsurutaís Ringu 0 on Blu-ray in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on a dual-layer disc. Encoded at 1080p/24hz, Arrow is using a master supplied to them by Kadokawa Pictures. As of now the film is available exclusively in the box set.

Though arguably the better of the two follow-up films to the original Ring, Ringu 0 unfortunately offers an incredibly lackluster presentation. Ultimately the master looks old, like it was created with only DVD in mind back in 2000/2001, and itís the muddiest and softest looking picture to be found in the set. Black levels are incredibly weak, looking more like a dark gray and this ends up crushing out details in the filmís numerous darker sequences. Detail is a mixed bag, with most objects looking fuzzy around the edges most of the time, with a handful of shots looking sharper. The film does have a few sequences that can be called flashbacks or even hallucinations that are stylized a bit to look rough, but even then itís not like the rest of the film comes off looking much better in comparison.

Rather impressively, though, damage isnít a major concern. I noticed a few marks and a couple of minor stains, but I think it comes off looking better than Ringu 2 in this area. Still, itís a disappointing picture, muddy and fuzzy looking, though itís not, at the very least, anywhere near the weak images Pules and Dark Water offered.

6/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

Similar to the other films in the set, Ringu 0 offers a 2.0 PCM stereo surround presentation along with a remixed DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround presentation. Both are fine, delivering the right amount of mood and atmosphere that makes its way through the environment effectively, though the 5.1 track directs the audio a bit better through the rears, and offers a more effective lower frequency. There are a couple of stand-out moments around audio feedback when something bad is around within the film, but otherwise itís a simple enough presentation.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Though my understanding is that this film didnít make all that much impact on its release (it really is different from the other two, more a drama until the last act) Arrow manages to add quite a bit of content to this title. Surprisingly the film does get an brand new audio commentary, this time by critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. She offers a really wonderful defense for the film (though I donít think it needs one, but then thatís me), pointing out its strong aspects and throwing ďshout outsĒ to the cast and crew she doesnít think gets their fair share of respect for the film. She also talks about the series as a whole, including the many remakes and spin-offs, and also talks about the original source stories and points out the influences (Carrie an obvious one, Eyes Without a Face a less obvious one). Itís a fun track in the end and she keeps the energy up.

Another strong feature to the disc (and the set as a whole) is a video essay by Jasper Sharp called Spooks, Sighs, and Videotape, which is a 37-minute examination of the J-Horror phenomenon of the late 90ís/early 2000ís. Though this is covered in other features in the set (including the commentary on this disc) itís excellent getting a focused timeline, looking at early Japanese horror films (like the influential Kwaidan) and how things morphed through the decades until we finally get to Ringu, its sequels, The Grudge, and more. He looks at the various films and American remakes born from this time period and the oversaturation of the market, which caused horror to shift yet again. Itís a great essay and a wonderful one for those not familiar with the sub-genre.

The disc then closes with a number of more standard features. Thereís a 21-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, which is simply just that, providing footage of the filming of certain seuqences as well as discussions between cast and director, and even practicing the Sadako movements. The disc also features 6 deleted scenes running about 7-minutes (all are fine but unnecessary in the end), followed by the filmís individual theatrical trailer and a double-bill trailer where it was paired with Isola.

Still not as packed as the original Ring disc but I appreciated there was more of a focus on this film itself, while also enjoying Sharpís thorough overview of the J-Horror sub-genre.

7/10

CLOSING

The features are a bit more satisfying compared to what was on the previous film but the presentation ends up being the weakest of the three, looking to have been sourced from a far older one created for its original DVD release.




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Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca