Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Ring 0: Birthday (2000)

There's no way this movie is going to be good. Explaining the origins of Sadako is just a bad idea. It's not necessary, and if you remove all the mystery with some heavy-handed explanation, the whole thing will blow up in your face. Ringu told you everything you needed to know. But the fact is that's all wrong, because these filmmakers knew what they were doing, and they were incredibly smart about it. They very wisely keep much of the mystery intact and execute an extremely well-done character study that builds to an inevitable but somehow still shocking conclusion. The reason why it works so well is because they take the time to develop the characters so you actually care about them when the shit hits the fan. That's not to say the film isn't frightening. It is, but they're far more interested in atmosphere and tension than cheap jump scares. There is a love story, but it works, and like all great love stories, it becomes a tragedy. Making Sadako a beautiful, kind, and sympathetic girl yet also a terrifying, heartless, and deadly monster seems like an impossible problem to solve. You have two extremes that are complete opposites, but they come up with a clever way to do it and deliver a haunting heart-breaking story that no one should miss. George Lucas, this is how you do a prequel.

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