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Japan, 1998 (MIFF 2000, Regional Focus)

Director: Nakata Hideo

The Scream trilogy is a Simpsons Halloween special compared to the genuinely terrifying supernatural horror of The Ring series. This, now ongoing, cycle of films is based on the best selling novel by Suzuki Koji, the 'Japanese' Stephen King.

"Distressed and baffled by the mysterious deaths of her niece and three classmates. TV journalist Asakawa Reiko finds herself retracing their steps to a resort in Izu. The trail leads to a strange videotape: grainy monochrome images of a woman in a kimono combing her hair, deaths in a volcanic eruption, a hooded figure pointing and an old well. After watching it, she receives a phone call: a woman's voice tells her that she has exactly one week to live. The same thing, she realises, happened to the kids who died... Ring is both an investigation into the origins of the lethal videotape and a race against time."—Tony Rayns, Vancouver International Film Festival

The film combines an innovative mix of ancient, possible alien, evil with modern urban myth. Not reliant on gore, Ring strikes chords of genuine freakish terror with its disturbing imagery and portrayals of the savagery of human frailty. Bring an open mind and a sound constitution!

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