Ring 0: Birthday

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

A prequel to RING and RING 2 (both 1998), this film chronicles the events leading up to Sadako's living entombment in the notorious well. Sadako Yamamura (Yukie Nakama), a withdrawn and deeply troubled young woman, joins a Tokyo theater troupe, telling her psychiatrist that it calms her. The troupe is headed by the imperious Shigemori Isamu (Takeshi Wakamatsu),...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A prequel to RING and RING 2 (both 1998), this film chronicles the events leading up to Sadako's living entombment in the notorious well. Sadako Yamamura (Yukie Nakama), a withdrawn and deeply troubled young woman, joins a Tokyo theater troupe, telling her psychiatrist that it calms her. The troupe is headed by the imperious Shigemori Isamu (Takeshi Wakamatsu), whose new production — an uncredited adaptation of EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1959) called "The Mask" — stars the temperamental Aiko (Kaoru Okunuki). Sadako is widely disliked by other members of the troupe, particularly after several of them — including Aiko — realize that the disturbing dreams they've been having started when she joined. They're even more hostile after Aiko is found dead under mysterious circumstances and Isamu gives the lead to Sadako. The only person who's nice to Sadako is Toyama (Seichi Tanabe), who runs the soundboard, and his girlfriend Etsuko (Kumiko Asou) is none too happy about that. Meanwhile, reporter Akiko Miyaji (Yoshiko Tanaka) is snooping around, ostensibly writing a piece about the company. In fact, she's on Sadako's trail: Akiko's already discovered that one by one, everyone who saw the ill-fated psychic demonstration given by Sadako's mother, Shizuko (Masako), has died, and that when Sadako was in high school, her entire class drowned during a trip to the beach. And why, Akiko wonders, are all the pictures her photographer took of Isamu's troupe so blurry? As Sadako's stage debut approaches, strange things continue to happen and eventually events lead back to Sadako's native Oshima Island, where everything began. Though it contains a couple of creepy moments, this film is generally repetitive and derivative, and the ending disintegrates into a confusing muddle. By the time the Sadako's evil twin is introduced, it's time to pack it up and call it a day.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A prequel to RING and RING 2 (both 1998), this film chronicles the events leading up to Sadako's living entombment in the notorious well. Sadako Yamamura (Yukie Nakama), a withdrawn and deeply troubled young woman, joins a Tokyo theater troupe, telling he… (more)

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