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One of the films that inspired "The Ring" — 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...  more »


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Movie Details

Format: DVD
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
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Movie Reviews

Shriveled "Rasen"
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

""Ringu" has become one of those seminal movies that helps define a genre. It's pure horror, creepy and intense without a single cheap thrill or scare.

But don't expect anything so good from the (first) sequel. Though filmed and released at the same time as "Ringu," "Rasen" is its opposite in every way. It's not very scary. It's kind of silly. And worst of all, it crawls with a complete lack of tension right up to the freaky ending.

Pathologist Mitsuo Ando (Koichi Sato) is startled when his good friend Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada) is brought in, mysteriously dead. During the autopsy, he finds a piece of paper inside Ryuji's stomach. Though Ando is sunk in grief for the loss of his son, who drowned recently, he is intrigued by whatever killed Ryuji and his family.

He contacts Mai Takano (Miki Nakatani), Ryuji's assistant/girlfriend, and the two soon become close as they hunt for the secrets of the cursed videotape and the genetic encoding that is being transmitted through it. But when Mai watches the tape, something horrific happens -- and it returns the demon-woman Sadako to the world of the living...

Based on Koji Suzuki's novel, "Rasen" was filmed and released at the same time as "Ringu," presumably so filmgoers could see what happened next right away -- which kind of deflates the suspense of the prior movie's ending.

Well, you know what happened next: "Ringu" became a megahit, with its supernatural creepiness and demonic, elusive villain. But the sequel was slow, unengaging and it demystified Sadako and the entire curse. No wonder they made a different sequel, "Ringu 2."

Most of the plot is Ando meandering around looking for clues, having sad sex with Mai, researching, and crying a lot. Director Jôji Iida simply has no idea how to build tension and suspense, so he simply crams a lot of angst into the story and hopes that it stays afloat. As a result, the pacing is glacial and the plot seems dense and hard to understand. The only really good scenes are at the finale, when Ando is faced with the ultimate devil's pact.

Sato is a passable actor, but not a really good one; his performance as Ando is okay most of the time, but almost silly during the more emotional scenes. Nakatani isn't so great, however. She does a good job when playing the meek Mai, but when she's playing Sadako (as a hooker?) her performance is so campy that it's almost funny.

"Rasen" was an artistic and financial flop, and "Ring" completists are probably the only ones who will want to watch it. Not only is the story depressing, but the wasted potential is too."
Sequel Of Spooky
Veritas Veritatis | 10/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Rasen" is a great sequel to
"Ringu", a great film that is
itself a sequel to (although
released before) another great
film "Ringu 0".

Each of the three films are very
different and original in their
own right while keeping the common
thread of the plot and sensibility
in tact.

I liked Rasen because it did not
simply continue the story of the
videotape and associated scares,
but rather presents a substantial
and extremely interesting plot

There is another sequel to "Ringu",
"Ringu 2" that was released after
It is good, but disconnected from
the original sequel.

This is a story that has plenty of
potential to continue with "Rasen"
as a point of departure rather than
"Ringu 2", and I hope that it does.
It is a very intelligent,interesting
and scary ghost story.