Hideo Nakata wisely declined to make this prequel, no doubt because the producers were intent on slavish fidelity to ideas from Koji Suzuki's original novel - rather than developing the sci-fi/body-horror implications of Ring 2. This plod through the virginal Sadako's adolescence as a member of a theatre group in the 1950s is an anthology of theatre-mystery clichés: the imploding flashbulbs, corpse discovered in mid-performance, stage machinery that animates itself, dark rumours, nagging nightmares. All of the more intriguing questions about Sadako's true parentage are sidestepped in favour of the 'relevation' that this innocent girl has an evil twin who causes all the trouble. Dull and extremely disappointing, this was none the less a hit in Japan. Straight to DVD everywhere else, of course.
Ring 0 - Birthday
Cast and crew