Over to Asia now for a film that did more than most to usher in a popular wave of Japanese Horror at the turn of the last century – Ringu… A film that at the time felt very fresh. Packed with atmosphere, the work is an exercise in restraint when it’s held up against the MTV-inspired gothic overload of its American contemporaries such as Stigmata or the cliche ridden teen slashers which had returned to dominate cinemas.

The Ringu used degraded video footage to terrifying the audience with a new and refreshing concept, a cursed tape that worked like a toxic chain letter, killing those who viewed the grainy footage of a drowned girl clawing her way out of well found within. The vengeful spirit features heavily in Japanese culture and the Ringu series helped to bring about a huge surge in interest for the supernatural cinema of Japan, Its simple, low budget efficiency and carefully constructed atmosphere of growing dread mean there’s no need for flashy but eventually dating special effects of the kind seen in US supernatural films of the time like the re-makes of House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts or The Haunting.

Ringu has one of the modern horror eras most instantly recognisable nightmare visions, that of a straggle haired girl, crawling disjointedly out of a TV set to literally scare someone to death. It never gets tired.

Break-out horror movie smash of the year that has been electrifying hardened genre fans and non-horror fans alike, “The Pact” combines the supernatural terrors of “Paranormal Activity” with the tense atmospherics of a serial killer thriller to create a unique, modern-day take on the classic ghost story.

And it’s out on October 1st! Pre-order yours here.

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