Ringu (1998 franchise)

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Scene from Ringu (1998 franchise)...


"One curse, one cure, one week to find it. Before you die, you see The Ring." A franchise of films, television shows, games, and other media based on a trilogy of novels which generally follows the wake of destruction spread through curse-infected video tapes left by the malevolent spirit of a murdered girl whose ominous birth is surrounded by mystery and horror.


  • Release Date: 1998-present
  • Country/Language: Japan, Japanese (English subtitles) (there is also a Korean remake, and a US remake with sequels)
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Fantasy, Sci-fi
  • Starring: (various)
  • Director: (various)
  • Writer: Koji Suzuki (created by)
  • Producer/Production Co: Basara Pictures, Imagica, Asmik Ace Entertainment, and others
  • View Trailer: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (generally unrated) (expect intense Violence, Profanity, and some amount of Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)

Sadako/Samara is implied to be the product of the union between a human woman and an eldritch abomination from the sea; the "cursed" video-tapes serve the rough equivalent of the tomes found in more traditional Weird fiction; the basic story is framed as an investigation involving the piecing together of various clues into a picture whose implications are more horrible than the mere sum of its parts.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • (review needed)


 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

  • RING 0: Birthday - A journalist tracks a young woman who uses her supernatural powers to kill members of an acting troupe.
  • RINGU - When her niece is found dead along with three friends after viewing a supposedly cursed videotape, reporter Reiko Asakawa sets out to investigate. Along with her ex-husband, Ryuji, Reiko finds the tape, watches it -- and promptly receives a phone call informing her that she'll die in a week. Determined to get to the bottom of the curse, Reiko and Ryuji discover the video's origin and attempt to solve an old murder that could break the spell.
  • RASEN (film) - A young pathologist seeks answers to the mysterious death of a friend and soon comes into contact with the same cursed videotape that caused the death of the friend's wife and son, which is haunted by the curse of Sadako, a relentless spirit.
  • SADAKO 3D - Taking place after Rasen, this film is about the spiteful ghost of Sadako, a murdered woman whose body was thrown down a well, reaches Internet searching for a host in order to live once again.
  • RING: THE FINAL CHAPTER (TV series) - A loose retelling of the novel Ringu, mixed with additional supernatural elements and convoluted scientific explanatoins.
  • RASEN (TV series) - Sequel to Ring: the Final Chapter, a loose retelling of the novel Rasen.
  • SADAKO 3D 2 - A psychology student is tasked with the care of her troubled 4-year-old niece, leading to her investigation of an incident involving a cursed video that took place 5 years earlier.
  • RING 2 - While investigating the mysterious death of her boyfriend, Mai learns of the existence of a videotape that causes those who watch it to die. She then hears the story of Sadako, the vengeful, supernatural force behind the tape. Journalist Reiko and her young boy previously watched the tape and survived, but when Mai finds them, the child is fighting off possession by Sadako. As Mai tries to help them, Sadako's spirit comes after her, too.
  • SADAKO vs. KAYAKO - After watching a cursed videotape, Natsumi has only two days before she will be killed by demonic entity Sadako. Her only hope is to pit Sadako against Kayako, a menacing spirit that inhabits a haunted house.
  • RING: TERROR'S REALM (game) - A newly-hired researcher at the U.S. Center for Disease Control investigates the mysterious deaths of several coworkers whose only connection are a computer program called "RING".
  • RING: INFINITY (game) - A "visual novel" which starts by showing you a cursed video; you must then find a way to save yourself before the game ends or perish.
  • THE RING VIRUS - A reporter will die in seven days unless she can unravel the mystery of a cursed videotape.
  • THE RING - It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer's death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.
  • RINGS (short) - Jake, a young teenager watches a cursed video tape after joining a teen cult named "Rings". Join Jake as he lives the horrifying experiences of Samara Morgan's cursed tape.
  • THE RING TWO - A female journalist must prevent evil Samara from taking possession of her son's soul.
  • RINGS - (in production) A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a movie within the movie that no one has ever seen before.


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO
  • fiction: compare to M.R. James' ghost stories "The Mezzotint" and "Martin's Closen"
  • fiction: based on Koji Suzuki's "Ringu Cycle" of three novels
  • tome: the "cursed" video tape(s) are a variation on this theme
  • race: Onryos (Sadako/Samara is implied to be the product of the union of a human mother with a monstrous faerie abomination)

Keeper Notes

Films in the Franchise

  • Ringu: Kanzenban (1995 made-for-TV movie)
  • Ringu: Jiko ka! Henshi ka! Yottsu no Inochi wo Ubau Shoujo no Onnen (1995 TV adaptation)
  • Ringu AKA Ring (1998)
  • Rasen AKA Spiral (1998)
  • Ring 2 (1999)
  • Ringu: The Final Chapter (1999 TV series)
  • Rasen (1999 TV series)
  • Ring 0: Birthday (2000)
  • Sadako 3D (2012)
  • Sadako 3D 2 (2013)
  • Sadako vs. Kayako (2016 monster mash with the Ju On / Grudge franchise)
  • The Ring: Terror's Realm (2000 video game)
  • Ring: Infinity (2000 video game)
  • The Ring Virus (2000, Korean remake)
  • The Ring (2002, US remake)
  • "Rings" (2005, US sequel)
  • The Ring Two (2005, US sequel)
  • Rings (2017, US sequel)