This TV Movie released in 1995 is the first adaptation of ‘Ring’ by Suzuki Koji. It starts much like the movie itself with the character of Tomoko, soon to die, realizing that something seriously bad is going to happen to her. Little does she know that it’s not only death that stalks her but a wet T-shirt contest too. Yes, as soon as our character dies in the bathroom the shower unexpectedly turns on giving some fan service to those that like dead chicks in wet t-shirts. So clearly from the beginning you can see where the focus of this adaptation will be.
The main character Asakawa (still a man in this adaption) watches the tape and when he gets frustrated at not being able to solve the mystery behind it decides to accept death. With 3 days left to live he sums up the meaning of his life and the love for his wife by buying her a summer sweater. What a tear jerking moment. That is until he finds out his wife also watched the curse tape before he came home and is now on Sadako’s death row. However, his preggers wife doesn’t seem all that bothered by her viewing of the tape unlike her husband who violently vomited when he watched it.
Everything that is good in this TV movie is just taken from the novel, for example the cursed tape is done well but that’s all taken directly from the novel, so things like that which are left unchanged are pretty compelling much like the novel, but as for the unnecessary extras such the wet t-shirts, blurry sex scenes… it can be a bit too much. We also learn that Sadako’s relationship with her father was incest. They lay it on pretty thick for these TV movies eh?
The ending foreshadows things to come with Sadako appearing naked (shock!) with a child in her arms that disappears when she passes through Mai Tanako. As Ryuji says, it’s a child that Sadako wants and the video tape that features a baby is likely that child and not her brother. The future child been the reborn Sadako in Rasen.
Nit picks: in the cursed video we see a moon shaped crescent, this wasn’t actually supposed to be the moon but the view Sadako has as the well above her is covered. Yet in the TV movie it’s a square well. Square?!? lame!
So at the end of the day this isn’t terrible. It’s far superior to Sadako 3D. Unfortunately that isn’t high praise. What this movies gets right I read already in the novel. What it adds is nothing. It’s not scary (unless you think naked people are scary), it lacks the momentum of the novel and movies. It just plods along. I recommend beer if you’re gonna watch this.
Favorite quote: “If you don’t want to die there’s only one way to live.” – Sadako