Director: Hideo Nakata

Starring: Matsushima Nanako, Sanada Hiroyuki, Nakatani Miki

A young reporter tries to discover the truth behind a cursed video programme.

The effectiveness of a horror film can so easily be dissipated by too much foreknowledge, and when a film like Ring arrives amid a whirlwind of hyperbole, itís almost guaranteed to fall short of expectations. Anyone expecting to be mortified by Ring is likely to be disappointed. It is, however, a very effective, creepy story, which owes far more to Bernard Roseís Candyman than the more oft-cited The Blair Witch Project. The film is about mysterious underground videotape that apparently frightens to death everyone who watches it, and the efforts of a young reporter to discover the truth behind the curse. 

Tartanís disc is a valiant effort, presenting a dark, well-worn print of the Japanese film in 1.85:1 ratio, with anamorphic enhancement. The 2.0 (224kbps) stereo sound mix is very effective, and often very atmospheric, although thereís a fair degree of hiss and crackle present throughout. Given the filmís provenance, itís unlikely that a better version will be made available. The company has obviously worked hard with the materials available to them, offering the UK trailer, a gushing text review by Mark Kermode and a very modest stills gallery, as well as moving chapter selection screens and animated interstitials. Not mentioned on the sleeve is the opportunity to see a facsimile presentation of the videotape in question (albeit with the same burnt-in English subtitles that are used throughout the film!) Short letterboxed trailers for Tartan titles Ring 2 and Audition are also offered.







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