Film Review: Ring 0: Birthday (2000) by Norio Tsuruta

Primarily based on Koji Suzuki’s “Birthday”, which collects three quick tales that fill in particulars of the story of “Ring”, the third cinematic entry of the unique film trilogy noticed a change within the helm, from Hideo Nakata to Norio Tsuruta, which resulted, sadly, to the worst a part of the collection on the time. 

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The story takes place 30 years earlier than the occasions of the primary two films, the place Akiko Miyaji, the fiancé of a fellow reporter who was killed throughout Shizuko’s notorious ESP demonstration, is researching the occasion and significantly Sadako, by speaking to her former academics and ultimately to a psychiatrist who’s treating her. Within the meantime, 19-year-old Sadako has joined a theatrical troupe as an understudy, as a remedy to her nightmares instructed by her physician. Her arduous work and her simple magnificence have made her widespread with each the director, Yusaku and the sound director, Hiroshi. The identical nonetheless doesn’t apply to the ladies of the group, along with her senior, Aiko and Hiroshi’s girlfriend, Etsuko, really despising her. When the previous is discovered lifeless beneath mysterious circumstances, and Sadako takes her place within the lead position, the woman turns into the middle of antipathy, which ultimately turns into hate, regardless of the help of Hiroshi. Within the meantime, Akiko finds out extra in regards to the woman’s previous. 

Whereas Hideo Nakata centered extra on creating an general environment of horror, ensuing from an general query about what precisely is happening, Tsuruta picks a reasonably much less delicate method that appears to mortgage extra from American horror films, and significantly “Carrie” and fewer from the earlier installments, which have been those who basically established the J-horror wave. This selection has a reasonably destructive affect to the narrative, because the story is kind of predictable, no less than the principle arc of the theater troupe, whereas there are moments that may solely be described as tacky, such because the touching of palms between Sadako and Hiroshi. Moreover, the ending lags considerably and for no obvious cause, the general explanations borders on the simplistic, and general, the entire thing finally ends up being completely unconvincing. 

The movie is just not with out deserves nonetheless. The idea of racism, and significantly the type that turns in opposition to anybody that’s exterior of the norm, jealousy, the mentality of the mob and the ensuing violence are offered reasonably nicely all through the narrative, with the scene within the dressing room after the premiere being fairly spectacular, and positively one of the best within the film. Yukie Nakama can be imposing every now and then, with the selection of getting her not speaking an excessive amount of working fairly nicely, each by way of the horror emitted by her apathy and for permitting her evident magnificence to shine as eloquently as doable. Lastly, Takahide Shibanushi’s cinematography gives some very intriguing pictures, with the ocean, the nicely, and the aforementioned one being the highlights. 

That’s all there’s, nonetheless, for a film that’s as underwhelming as doable, and positively quite a lot of ranges decrease than its predecessors. 



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