Believe it or not, it’s fairly common for film companies to buy scripts and ideas from foreign movies. A prime example of this phenomena is the United States and its obsession with remaking Japanese horror films. The three films that will be analyzed in this post will be The Ring, The Grudge, and One Missed Call.
1. The Ring / Ringu
The Ring (”Ringu” in Japan) is a film based off of a Japanese novel by Koji Suzuki. The story centers around the life of a young woman and her experience with a “killer video tape.” Basically, when you watch the video tape, you die in seven days.
I’m going to have to give this one to the American remake. Looking back on the original version, the movie looks quite poorly edited in terms of special effects, which, believe me, make a huge difference in how scary a movie is. Additionally, Ringu has some plot holes that I personally found confusing. The American producers probably picked up on this which resulted in a more cohesive plot line in the remake.
ROUND 1: USA
2. The Grudge / Ju-on
The concept of this movie is pretty simple: you enter the cursed house and you eventually get killed by ghosts. The story is told in bits and pieces and little is revealed to the audience linearly.
This round is going to Japan. While the remake had some nice effects (due to a larger budget), I felt that the original pushed the limits a little more. Darker is better for most horror movies and those morbid themes and concepts are the things that keep you up at night.
ROUND 2: JAPAN
3. One Missed Call / Chakushin Ari
The concept of this movie is that you get a death call from the future. In the voice mail that you receive, you heard the moments right before you die. The voice mail is preceded by the creepy ringing of your phone with a mysterious melody of death.
Chalk it up for Japan, because I am a huge fan of the original. Not only is the plot darker, but the ending leaves you with a feeling of “WTF!?” Additionally, one of the selling points was the fact that the ringtone of death in the original was way more scary than the one made for the remake.
ROUND 3: JAPAN
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