Ringu is a Japanese horror movie that was released in 1998. Director Hideo Nakata created the film by adapting it from a novel that was also called Ringu. The movie became a huge hit in Japan and was remade in Korea in 1999 as The Ring Virus. In 2002 it was remade again, this time in the United States titled as The Ring. The movie has spawned a few sequels and continues to be a favorite among fans of horror movies.
The original Japanese version of Ringu follows a news reporter named Asakawa Reiko. It starts out with two teenage girls, one named Tomoko. The girls are discussing an urban legend about a video that supposedly kills anybody who watches it exactly one week after they view the tape. Tomoko says that she has seen the tape. She tells her friend that a week earlier she had been in a small town with some friends and had watched the tape. A short while after the conversation, Tomoko is dead and her friend is nearly catatonic.
Reiko is Tomoko’s aunt. She hears the story and decides to investigate to figure out exactly what is going on. She retraces Tomoko’s steps and finds the cabin that Tomoko had stayed in the week before she died. The videotape is there, and Reiko puts it on. The second the movie is done the phone rings and strange sounds are coming out of the receiver, which is the second part of the legend.
Reiko immediately brings the tape to her ex-husband, Ryuji Takayama. He agrees to help her figure out what the images on the tape are and the two start to unravel the mystery of the “death tape”. Reiko discovers that the strange voice she hears on the tape is actually a dialect from the island of Oshima. She discovers that forty years earlier, a woman named Shizuko, who was rumored to be psychic, threw herself into a volcano. The volcano was erupting when she committed suicide, which she had correctly predicted.
Reiko starts to get worried and rushes to her father’s house, where she discovers that her son, Yôchi, is watching the video. He cries and tells her that Tomoko told him to watch the movie. A minute later, the phone rings again. Reiko and Ryuji, now concerned for their son’s very life, travel to Oshima to try to figure out what is going on. They discover Shizuko’s father and watch a film that he has at his home. The film is a press conference that had been held to show the world what Shizuko could do, but Shizuko panicked and was unable to do what she tried to. Shortly after the press conference, one of the reporters, one that had heckled Shizuko, winds up dead.
The movie follows Reiko and her ex-husband as they attempt to solve why the tape is there and how they can save Reiko, and their son, from a horrible fate.