*** / ****
Dir: Hideo Nakata
2002 Color Japanese with English Subtitles
Rater R for violence, sexuality, and language
Yoshimi Matsubara is going through a tough period. She’s in the middle of getting a divorce and has to go out and find a place for her and her 6 year old daughter Ikuko to live. They seem to find a nice, but worn place for a good price. Also, they discover the kindergarten is close and Yoshimi finds a job quickly. Things seem to be turning the corner and then Yoshimi starts to notice the water dripping from the ceiling. Turns out that there is more to the complex than it seems. From the spooky elevator right down to the mysterious red bag that keeps re-appearing.
Fans of the original Japanese version of The Ring (Ringu) will want to check this movie out. It is a bit difficult to find a copy in the US, I myself had to resort to some creative computer work to get a version I could watch. It was well worth the wait. It was not quite as creepy as the Ring or The Suicide Club (2002’s Jisatsu circle by Japanese director Shion Sono about a string of suicides in Tokyo – made especially creepy by the realism of Tokyo’s subway songs that Daniel and I remember from the trip), but still there was a lot of wierd-out-look-at-the-tv-through-the-fingers action.
Some might find this movie a bit slow paced (I have found almost all of the Japanese movies watched recently have some slow pacing) but it is not nearly the ground-to-a-halt pacing of Troy. I just hope they don’t mess this one up in the forthcoming US remake like they did to the Ring.