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When her niece is found dead along with three friends after viewing a supposedly cursed videotape, reporter Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) sets out to investigate. And after having watched it herself, she realizes that she has only a week to find a way to avoid being the next victim.
David Cronenberg could perhaps compete with Nakata but unfortunately only lesser mortals have attempted to replicate the feeling that Reiko has plunged into something with which even her psychic powers can't compete.
Eschewing blood for a sinuous tone of Videodromic dread, Ring forces fear into every cut as a psychic telejournalist counts down the hours till a fatal visitation, while making a gung ho attempt to save her brood.
Classically shot, with effective use of stereo sound effects, the movie is almost entirely free of visual horror and the usual Eastern ghost cliches, managing to suspend auds' disbelief in the hokey story through pure atmosphere.
Ring has indescribably disturbing moments that frightened me out of my wits. But like many of the Japanese horrors that followed, it sometimes has an elliptic and confusing storytelling style that can make plot-progression muddy.