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IMPRESSIVE! Japanese ‘The Call’ is available on Amazon Prime Video



The Japanese production that inspired the work of 2002 is in the catalog of the service

At this point, many are already familiar with the iconic Samara, the girl with long dark hair who comes out of a well and kills everyone who looks at her in seven days. The villain became a horror icon at the turn of the 21st century not only because of his striking looks or different modus operandi, but also because of being a centerpiece of The Call movie starring Naomi Watts.

However, as is known, the famous horror is not an original production but a Western remake of a Japanese film from 1998. deviate from what audiences in other corners of the world expect and accustomed to another model .

Usually, Japanese filmmakers tend to go for supernatural storylines when dealing with this genre, focusing primarily on how the afterlife relates to earthly beings. Noroi from 2005 is also an example of this kind of preference for the supernatural, although he comes later. Either way, the idea for Ringu came to director Hideo Nakata’s mind with co-writer Hiroshi Takahashi after reading the 1991 book of the same name written by Koji Suzuki.

“Ringu” is, with good reason, a reference to Japanese horror.

The central idea of ​​the novel, as for it, was not so far removed from what was transposed on the screen; featuring a reporter who suspects the connection of four deaths, all of natural causes but involving young people, decides to conduct an investigation to determine what is going on. His path ends up crossing that of an urban legend about a tape that kills viewers in seven days.

Obviously, he manages to follow the gang to a chalet where the last victims were staying and there he looks at the equipment. Although the 1998 film took narrative liberties by adapting existing material, with the list of changes ranging from character genres to how Sadako Yamamura (Samara) ‘s curse works across the tape, a preservation of the essence of history as psychological terror.

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Certain staging techniques employed by Nakata testify to the desire to keep the story as something less important but of extreme urgency for the characters, for example by specifying that the protagonist has an emotional bond with his son; has a very detailed investigation path where one clue always leads to another; a look taken by a cold photograph, which avoids at all costs bright colors or scenes that are too wide.

To tell a great story, you don’t need a huge budget.

This minimalist tone used in the visual of the work gives it both the feeling of the personality already evoked for the characters and, in the case of the viewer, the maintenance of the attention in the story; something that could be lost if the movie had too many special effects or a flashier look.

Sadako herself turns out to be a very useful scripting tool as she is not a constant figure, in physical terms, in history. His threat is still in the air and the mystery behind the gang as well, however, even for budgetary reasons, his appearances are likely to be rare; which ends up forcing the creative team to know when to show it clearly in the movie.

This feature isn’t new to horror (Spielberg did it in Shark decades earlier), but it’s still a welcome option that pays off when used well. Ringu was a work that quickly became a benchmark in Japanese horror; is a very interesting compilation of the techniques developed by this school over the previous decades. Around 1999, the film received a sequel, one that was criticized for focusing more on fear than creating an atmosphere like the previous one did.

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