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Directed by Hideo Nakata, Norio Tsuruta, Jτji Iida
Japan 1998 - 2000

 

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 face 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 unrban 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...
 

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 31st, 1998

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

    

There is also a 'White Package' Arrow Blu-ray set of the Ring Collection (we do not have to compare)

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:16.210  / 1:35:03.030 / 1:38:43.709 /
Video

Ring:

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,738,213,869 bytes

Feature: 31,090,431,552 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.31 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Ring 2:

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,347,388,937 bytes

Feature: 24,512,625,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.91 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Video

Ring 0

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,200,833,406 bytes

Feature: 31,071,557,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.27 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Ring Spiral

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,347,388,937 bytes

Feature: 21,187,200,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.88 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Bitrate Ring 2 Blu-ray:

Bitrate Ring 0 Blu-ray:

Bitrate Ring Spiral Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 3567 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3567 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -31dB

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,471,315,571 bytes

Feature: 30,857,963,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Bonus feature: Spiral, George Iida's 1998 sequel to Ringu
DISC ONE - RINGU EXTRAS:
• Audio commentary by David Kalat
• The Ring Legacy - Critics and filmmakers (critics Andrew Kasch, Rebekah McKendry, Ph.D., and Alyse Wax) reflect on their memories of the Ring series and its enduring legacy (27:34)
• A Vicious Circle - New video interview with author and critic Kat Ellinger on Hideo Nakata and the Ring series (21:12)
• Circumnavigating Ring - New video essay with author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas exploring the evolution of the Ring series (24:56)
• Sadako's Video (00:50)
• Ring/Spiral double bill trailer 1 (01:11)
• Ring/Spiral double bill trailer 2 (02:03)
• UK Trailer (00:53)
• Image Gallery - Images courtesy of Diego Lopez and Phillip Escott

DISC TWO - RINGU 2 / SPIRAL EXTRAS
• The Psychology of Fear - newly edited archival interview with Ring author Koji Suzuki (25:11)
• Ring 2 UK trailer (00:43)
• Ring 2 / Shikoku double bill trailer (01:28)
• Ring / Spiral double bill trailer (01:11)

DISC THREE - RING 0 EXTRAS"
• Audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
• Spooks, Sighs and Videotape - new video essay from author and critic Jasper Sharp, exploring the J-horror phenomenon (37:29)
• Behind the scenes featurette (21:32)
• Deleted scenes (07:06)
• Theatrical trailer (01:25)
• Ring 0 / Isola double bill trailer (01:17)

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing from Violet Lucca, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Jasper Sharp, Kieran Fisher and Kat Ellinger
Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 29th, 2019
Standard Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12 / 12 / 12 / 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (November 2019): Arrow Video now releases The Ringu collection, a 3-disc Blu-ray set featuring 4 films from the popular J-horror series. Note that this is also available in the UK released earlier in 2019 (as the "Ring" collection as opposed to this US "Ringu Collection"). As Arrow states, this is a "brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative of Ring, approved by director of photography Junichiro Hayashi". This 4k restoration of the first film in the (seemingly endless) ongoing series shows a meticulous amount of detail, strong and consistent fine grain, and very much needed deep, deep black levels (it is, of course, a horror film that thrives in the darker moments). Ringu is clearly the best looking of the bunch, with Ring 2 and Ring 0 (aka Ring 0: Birthday) showing a slightly weaker picture (in terms of detail, contrast, etc.). "Spiral" certainly looks the worst of the four films, with blurry combing effects, 'jaggies', and macro artifacts. Certain scenes seem over (or under) exposed and colors tend to show very blotchy areas, with little variety. This could very well be the intended look of the film (previous and subsequent films in the Ring universe showcase a contrast between the 'video [footage]' and the film moments) but much like Kino's recent release of "Thirst", it is distracting. It is not surprising that "Spiral" also features the weakest bitrate of the 4 films (with Ringu and Ring 0 having a maxed-out bitrate, Ring 2 and Spiral sharing a disc and showing only a modest and supportive bitrate).

Each film features the option of either a lossless Japanese DTS-HD master audio in 5.1 or linear PCM 2.0 soundtrack. All of these lossless and uncompressed tracks are in 24-bit sound. The 5.1 surround sound tracks feature an appropriately spooky and effective separation across the channels. Purists will also appreciate the inclusion of these uncompressed linear PCM 2.0 tracks. Ringu and it's sequel feature music from composer, Kenji Kawai (Ip Man, Avalon, Re:Born, Dark Water , Ghost in the Shell). Ring 0's score is thanks to Shin'ichirτ Ogata (Scarecrow) and Spiral's compositions are from La Finca. All of these US released (also available in UK) Blu-ray discs feature films with optional English subtitles.

Disc one houses "Ringu" and a handful of special features, starting with a commentary from film historian and forensic technologist, David Kalat. Kalat is quite the scholar on all things J-horror, so much so that he even wrote the book on it "J-Horror: The Definitive Guide to The Ring, The Grudge and Beyond". His commentary shows not only a great enthusiasm for the genre, but a thoughtful and critical dissection of the various themes common throughout these pictures. 'The Ring Legacy' is a 27.5-minute piece with critics and filmmakers (Andrew Kasch, Rebekah McKendry, Ph.D., and Alyse Wax) reflecting on their memories of the Ring series and its continuing popularity. 'A Vicious Circle' is a new 21-minute video interview with author and critic Kat Ellinger discussing Hideo Nakata and the Ring series. As always, Ellinger helps to understand the wider context of the films while providing deeper insights. 'Circumnavigating Ring' is a new 25-minute video essay with author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas exploring the evolution of the Ring series over the years. 'Sadako's Video' is the 50-second video featured throughout the series of films (typically in glimpses and fragments), and if your phone rings after viewing it.... Rounding out the first
Blu-ray disc are some trailers and an image gallery.
 

Blu-ray two holds both "Ring 2" and "Spiral" yet still manages to cram in some extras as well. 'The Psychology of Fear' is a newly edited archival interview with Ring author Koji Suzuki, lasting around 25-minutes.
 

Blu-ray three holds "Ring: 0". The first bonus feature is a feature length audio commentary by film critic and author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (the author is described as specializing in 'gender, genre, representations of sexual violence, cult and horror film, and women's filmmaking' on their own website. A handful of trailers for the film is also included on this second Blu-ray disc. 'Spooks, Sighs and Videotape' is a new 37.5-minute video essay from author and critic Jasper Sharp. This is a well-produced feature that gives viewers a greater understanding of the phenomenon that is 'J-horror'. A 21-minute behind-the-scenes featurette shows various instances of on-set filming and staging. 7-minutes of deleted scenes are shown, though none really stand-out as sorely missing from the film. Some trailers finish off the Blu-ray disc, as far as bonus features are concerned.

For purchasers of the first pressing there is a limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing from Violet Lucca, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Jasper Sharp, Kieran Fisher and Kat Ellinger.

Arrow's Blu-ray box-set of "The Ring" (or, "Ringu") films is somehow both exhaustive and yet incomplete. There have been many sequels, prequels, spin-offs, remakes, etc. of the Ring series, that I lose count trying to keep track of them all. That being said, the films included here are certainly considered canon and this is worth purchasing for the 4k restoration of "Ringu" alone. (Side note- "Ringu" is actually available as a stand-alone release (HERE) if some don't want to purchase the large boxset). While Spiral's look didn't appeal to me, none of the films are stinkers. Recommended for J-horror fans! 

Colin Zavitz

 


Menus / Extras

 

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Ring

 

 


 
1) Ringu - e-m-s Germany - RC2 (PAL) TOP
2) Ringu - Tartan UK - RC2 (PAL) SECOND
3) Ringu - Dreamworks USA - RC1 (NTSC) THIRD
4) The Ring Collection - Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Ringu - e-m-s Germany - RC2 (PAL) TOP
2) Ringu - Tartan UK - RC2 (PAL) SECOND
3) Ringu - Dreamworks USA - RC1 (NTSC) THIRD
4) The Ring Collection - Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Ringu - e-m-s Germany - RC2 (PAL) TOP
2) Ringu - Tartan UK - RC2 (PAL) SECOND
3) Ringu - Dreamworks USA - RC1 (NTSC) THIRD
4) The Ring Collection - Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Ring 2
 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Ring 0

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Spiral
 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

  

 

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

    

There is also a 'White Package' Arrow Blu-ray set of the Ring Collection (we do not have to compare)

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 

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