RINGU 0 travels back 30 years before the accursed video tape to when Sadako was not the vengeful spirit, but a young aspiring actress. After the traumatizing experience with her mother, she is tormented by her peers who consider her to be a freak. They push her over the edge in what would become the final act of the play and her mortal life. My question is, why? Of all possible story lines this series could have adopted, it follows Sadako the actress? The film feels entirely disjointed from the rest of the series, and proves that it was best left in the hands of the original director Hideo Nakata. As was the case with RASEN, RINGU 0 is a much slower paced melodrama that downplays the more horrifying aspects of the earlier film in place of Sadako's social struggle as a misfit teen with psychokinetic abilities. In many ways, it shares much more in common with CARRIE than it does with the other films in the series. Some fans may disagree with the humanization of the character, however, since it is much easier to accept Sadako as a supernatural terror than a tormented soul that is punishing each of us for our inhumanities. After a long wait, there are some jarring moments at the very end that recall the previous films, but given the tone of this one they feel rather out of place. It isn't a terrible prequel, just different in many ways.
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