Ring 0: Birthday

Original title: the Ring : Birthday
Genre: Horror
Duration: 90 minutes
Year: 2000 (Japan)
Studio: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co. Ltd.
Distribution: Toho Company Ltd.
Directed By: Tsuruta Norio
Screenplay: Takahashi Hiroshi, based on the short story Lemonheart from the book Birthday by Suzuki Kji
Producers: Ogawa Shinji, Nagai Masao
Music: Ogata Shinichiro
Photography: ????
Production design: Yamaguchi Osamu

        NAKAMA YUKIE as Yamamura Sadako
        BAN DAISUKE as professor Ikuma Heihachiro
        MASAKO as Yamamura Shizuko
        TANABE SEIICHI as Tyama Hiroshi
        TANAKA YOSHIKO as Miyaji Shoko
        WAKAMATSUK TAKESHI as Shigemori Yusaku

Storyline: Happening 30 years before Ring (1998), this movie explains the events, that led to Sadako's death, and thus to the curse, which led to the events in Ring (1998). Differs wildly from the original short story Lemonheart by Suzuki Kji, but, oh well, we all know that Ring (1998) differs wildly from the original Ring novel by Suzuki Kji, so...

Review: For one, you shouldn't except a horror movie when watching this. It's definitely more of a drama than of a horror movie. A drama which however does have its scary moments as well. Based on the short story Lemonheart from the Birthday book, this movie certainly added a lot to the story of Sadako's last days. It also does a good job in including moments we already know from Ring (1998), such as Shizuko's ESP demonstration and the mirror-switching scene, in an overall different environment. One of the movie's good points are also the actors, especially Nakama Yukie, which does an excellent job in merging beauty with creepiness in her portrayal of Sadako. So this movie is excellent, but still doesn't reach Ring (1998)'s classic level.