The Drudgeon reviews Ringu 0 – Birthday

Ringu 0 - Birthdayaka Ringu 0 – Bâsudei (Original Title)
99 min., 2000
Written by Hiroshi Takahashi
Directed by Norio Tsuruta
Language: Japanese
My rating: ★★

Get too close to the flame and you will get burned (or in this case bored as hell)

* * *

The movie begins with a girl talking on a phone about the cursed tape; we then jump 30 years into the past with a reporter, Miyaji (Yoshiko Tanaka), who is asking about Sadako and how she was in school.  The only real thing we learn is that she was afraid of the sea.  We then switch to Sadako (Yukie Nakama) who is part of a drama troupe.  One of her cast mates, Aiko (Kaoru Okunuki), gives her crap and she ends up dead, with the same face as the dead people in Ringu, so Sadako gets the main role in the play.  As all this is going on, the sound guy, Toyama (Tanabe Seiichi) and Sadako are starting to fall for each other, much to the dislike of Tachihara (Kumiko Asou) who has her eyes on Toyama.  The director of the play, Yusaku (Takeshi Wakamatsu), is also starting to act very strange and he seems to be taking an odd liking to Sadako.  So much so that everybody in the drama troupe is starting to talk about it.  With tension rising and people acting strange, things start to spiral out of control…and then the audio recording of her mother is played…

The acting in the movie is pretty solid.  Yukie Nakama plays Sadako extremely well and makes her a believable character and Tanabe Seiichi plays a good opposite to her and they have some pretty good chemistry together.  The actor that really surprised me was Takeshi Wakamatsu, whose character is slowly losing his mind.  Yes, I’ve seen it done better, but he pulls it off without question.  I just wasn’t expecting it done so well and with such feeling behind it (especially when he finally does lose it), especially from part four of a series as bad as this one.

Unlike the rest of the series, which used effects sparingly, this one tends to go overboard with the use of effects.  Not that they are bad effects, they all work and (for the most part) have their place, but there just seems to be a whole lot more than the previous three movies combined.

There are SPOILERS sprinkled through out the next paragraph, so read at your own risk.

So this movie is all about Sadako and her life as a teen (or twenty something) and how/why she finally met her doom.  One of the real problems I have is that we (for the most part) already know how and why she was killed from the first movie.  So do we really need it spelled out again?  Apparently we do.  The movie is really a long waste of time with very little to keep anyone really interested, because we already knew most of what is told.  There are a few things added and changed a bit, but overall there is no real reason for the movie.  Then they decide to add that Sadako (the teen/twenty something) is actually not just one person, but two.  That’s right, there is actually another Sadako that is really the one that’s going around killing.  So the Sadako that is killed (or at least hunted) isn’t really bad or evil, because her evil “self” is trapped in a room and kept under sedation so she can’t kill.  Too bad it didn’t work at all, because she was killing the whole movie.  Then the two “selves” finally come back together to form one, and then kill everyone who was hunting them, and people that weren’t including Toyama, which just doesn’t make any sense to me.  Why kill the only one that actually was on your side?  Then she is finally hit and tossed in the well.  The other real problem with the movie is that there is still no real explanation about the cursed tape.  How did it come to be?  Was she really that pissed off?  She did kill everyone that was chasing her.  It’s a movie that really feels out of place and it really shows that you don’t need to know everything about someone’s past to understand them.  Sometimes when you do learn everything it’s just boring and pointless and you just want back the original idea of them.  Mystery can be a good thing, and this movie is a good point to prove this.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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