Friday, 20th October 2017. 3:52:21pm ET
Movie: Ring 0
Format: DVD
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 3/11/05

Ring 0, the third film in the Japanese Ring trilogy, completes the story with a prequel that revolves around the origins of the curse and the life of Sadako herself. Pre-dating the videotape curse that formed the basis of the two previous films (or, later films if you look at it from the point of the story's timeline), Ring 0 strays from the more straightforward horror premise for something of a leisurely-paced, atmospheric supernatural/psychological suspense film. The result is easily on par with the original Ringu if not the strongest of the three films.

Set around 30 years in the past, much of the film takes place at an acting school where Sadako, long after the death of her mother, is an apprentice for an upcoming play. She is, however, plagued by strange visions as those around her are tormented by nightmares and the bizarre death of a classmate. As events unfold and love blossoms, we're drawn deeper into the history of the Ring saga in a story that is, while sometimes a bit confusing, certainly captivating and original.

While prequels often run the risk of detracting from the events/films that came after, the plot of Ring 0 fits perfectly into the Ring universe and actually enhances and enriches it, adding a beautiful layer of depth to the characters and humanizing the tragic character of Sadako. While some American horror fans may find the pacing somewhat slow and the film somewhat lacking in scares, it's a stunning story-driven dramatic horror film with both atmosphere and substance. Its somewhat lo-fi, washed out visuals, typical of Japanese horror cinema, are brilliantly atmospheric. The sound is equally excellent, also taking a lo-fi yet atmospheric approach.

As a whole, Ring 0 is an exceptional horror/suspense film that is certainly another piece of top-notch Japanese horror. Keep in mind that the original Ringu is something of a prerequisite, as those who have not seen the original Japanese film, including those that have only seen the altered American remake, may be a bit baffled some if not much of the time. However, that said, fans of the Ring trilogy, Japanese horror, or atmospheric horror in general, will find a spectacular film with a fantastic, suspenseful, captivating story.


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