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The Original and Unnerving Japanese 'Ring' Franchise Is Back to Creep You Out All Over Again

'Sadako' sees the horror series start stalking YouTubers.
By Sarah Ward
July 13, 2019
By Sarah Ward
July 13, 2019

Beware wells in the middle of the forest, crawling women with long black hair completely covering their faces and, naturally, any VHS tapes that depict both. Along with a healthy disdain for viral videos, that's what the Ring franchise has taught us over the past three decades — and the original Japanese series isn't done yet.

The seventh film in the initial saga, Sadako follows psychology counsellor Mayu Akigawa (Elaiza Ikeda). Her younger brother is a YouTuber, and her latest patient may have a connection to the eponymous murderous spirit that's known to haunt videotapes. Yes, that likely means that someone will let the killer ghost loose on the internet, giving anyone who sees the creepy force just seven days to live.

While Ring's concept was always going to play with the online world at some point, perhaps the most exciting aspect of Sadako is its filmmaker, with Hideo Nakata returning after directing the initial Japanese flick Ringu. He also helmed sequel Ring 2, as well as the sequel to the American remake, called The Ring Two. If you're a fan of J-horror, you've probably seen his other flicks, such as Dark Water and Kaidan.

Ring actually started on the page back in 1991, thanks to a horror mystery novel series that spawned printed follow-ups called Spiral, Loop, Birthday, S and Tide.

On-screen, the Japanese films debuted in 1998, and are split over two different timelines — with Sadako following on from 1999's Ring 2, and the other branch releasing its first follow-up in 1998, two more 3D movies in 2012 and 2013 that are confusingly also called Sadako, plus a cross-over with the Ju-on series named Sadako vs. Kayako in 2016. Of course, there's also the three American movies, starting with 2002's well-received The Ring starring Naomi Watts and ending with 2017's terrible Rings. A South Korean remake, The Ring Virus, also popped up in 1999.

Check out the trailer for Sadako below:

Sadako doesn't currently have a release date Down Under — we'll update you if and when that changes.

Via IndieWire.

Published on July 13, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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