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Ring of Curse (2011)

ieYforZLQsvLWDirector: Mari Asato
Cast: Airi Suzuki, Miyabi Natsuyaki, Momoko Tsugunaga

Jealous of her little sister and stricken with cancer, a girl curses her sibling, who quickly dies. Soon, classmates are being cursed one by one.

Yeah! Asian Horror Movies! I’ve been a lover of the asian movies for a long time, and now that i’m getting into horror movies, i’ve been watching several of the asian movies that have been released.

(Spoiler alert!)

When I saw this movie on Netflix, it sounded interesting, I was curious and wanted to give it a try. The description above is pretty vague and what I got was different from what I was expecting. For starters, the movie didn’t have a ‘glossy hollywood’ finish to it. It reminded me more of a TV drama/soap opera film style, a little rough, but more realistic in the long run. It actually sort of felt like a teenager high school drama for the first third of the movie, which was interesting in it’s own right.

The movie actually starts out a bit… weird. With three of the main cast members talking about the making of the film, then we are given a screen with a bunch of what will be later referred to as ‘cursed words’, before we start the film.

That is important, and I will get back to it later.

So on to the actual movie. The entire movie is narrated by the main character Yuka in the past tense. She is a witnessed to the events that unfold and it’s sort of refreshing to get this look from an ‘outsiders’ perspective for a horror movie. Though by the last third of the movie, she is centre stage.

So there is this girl in her class named Kurohane, a quiet individual, who keeps to herself and is pretty much anti-social. However, she is also the top of the class, and quickly becomes the target of bully from the other members of the class. She is then asked to write a play for the school’s festival. She writes frivolously away in a notebook, constantly, with a very dark passion. It is a ruse for the other girls to later mock and critique her writing later, but it’s really a double edge sword.

One of the school girls takes the unfinished manuscript and begins to read it, minutes later during class she begins to have a fit. Unable to breath, she is sent to the hospital and later dies. Yuka, believes there is a link to the writing and the death, but unsure what it is. The teacher took the notebook and warns her and everyone else not to read it, furthering Yuka’s suspicions.

Other deaths quickly follow as one by one students read the manuscript. The teacher from before eventually dies himself, jumping off the roof of the building.

By now Yuka is sure there is a cursed on the manuscript and tries to stop the ‘lead bully’ from taking the script from Kurohane. By interfering with Kurohane’s plans, she is singled out by the girl and there is a private conversation between them.

We learn that what Kurohane is writing is a curse, the idea’s behind a curse with the intent that anyone who reads her novel will die. She then tells Yuka that she first attempted this ‘murder’ by giving a test novel to her younger sister two years earlier. It took her sister one month to die, and it had no affect on adults. It is also at this time that she confessions to having cancer, meaning she is already going to die. This new manuscript of hers isn’t revenge as Yuka thought, but an experiment on he writing skills and how she could improve the curse to attack anyone who sees it.

It is actually pretty creepy at this point. Part of me though there would be some sort of remorse, or hatred from Kurohane who tells Yuka everything in a very straight, emotionless tone. There is hatred involved, but of a different kind, which is hard to describe. (And I’ll be honest, I missed some of the subtitles). Her goal though, is for the lead bully girl to die, but of course by now she won’t read her manuscript, so Kurohane had to come up with something else.

Weeks later, Yuka receives a call from the bully girl, asking if she sent her a text message. Yuka quickly figures out that Kurohane had sent the bully a text message to induce the curse words on her.

But… she doesn’t die by suffocation like the others. When Yuka confronts Kurohane again, Kurohane tells her that it will instead make the bully girl insane. The curse is almost complete, with only one last element left to make it perfect.

That’s when the bully girl… yeah she stabs Kurohane in the neck. When the author of the curse words is dead, the curse is more powerful than ever. With one last look to Yuka, she says the curse is complete before dying, and the bully girl killing herself afterwards.

You’d think the movie is over. It’s an awesome ending as is. But that is just the end of the first act.

In the second act, Yuka receives Kurohane’s diary after her death. This is our chance to look at things from Kurohane’s perspective. I won’t go into any details here as it unravels much of her motivation behind the cursing from the first part.

In the final act of the movie, a lot of time has passed. Yuka has a text message from Kurohane, her last curse text. Thinking it was safe, Yuko tells her new friends about what happened when they ask. They take her phone and open the text message, thinking nothing of it. (Which is Kurohane’s plan). One by one, the girls end up dead, just like before. Now it is Yuka’s time. It’s not just reading the text, even glancing at it was enough to kill and they had tricked Yuka into seeing it.

With one last effort to stay alive, to prevent Kurohane’ spirit from getting her, she extends the curse outwards. With the urge to tell as many people about it as possible. You see, they discover that the curse and the way death is dealt out is by Russian Roulette. But including more into the curse, the chances of “you” falling victim with it decreases.

Remember those ‘curse words’ at the beginning of the movie. YUP! Once the movie is over the cast is back on-screen, telling you that because you’ve watched the movie and read the curse words at the beginning, you too have been cursed. But if you pass it along, showing your friends the chances of falling victim to it is as much as being killed in a car accident.

Sort of reminds me of The Ring huh?

Overall, the movie was really good. I loved the acting and storyline, it kept me engaged and I loved the idea of words causing death. Maybe that’s the writer in me who likes to think our words matter. lol.

I know not everyone likes the asian cinema, and have troubles with subtitles, but I would highly recommend this movie to watch. (Hey, i’m just doing what they told be to do, so I won’t fall victim to the curse!)

PS. On netflix, after the credits stick around. They have some behind the scene interviews with the actresses.