Inter-Cultural Translatability of the Japanese Horror Movie Ring

In: Film and Music

Submitted By aitolkyn
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Inter-Cultural Translatability Of Ring

Ashimova Aitolkyn
East Asian Cinema, Fall 2015
December 18, 2015

The effect of 1998's Japanese film Ring can be compared to a big tsunami wave that not only became highest grossing horror film in the country, but also shuddered Taiwanese, Korean, Hong Kong film markets. Following years many publications included it to the numerous symbolic "top 10 most scary films" lists. And when Steven Spielberg bought the rights to make the Hollywood remake it was seen as official evidence that Japanese horror cinema became new trendsetter in this genre and gained cult status in the West. Nowadays with numerous follow-ups within the Ring franchise and triggered a trend of Western remakes "Ring" is viewed as exemplary illustrative Asian horror movie.
I will argue that the wide success of the movie is caused not by its deep cultural ties with Japanese cinema and Japanese horror movies in particular, but because on the contrary "Ring" has little to do with its traditional background. Hideo Nakata deliberately cut off all the cultural traces in order to make cinematic language of the movie universal and cosmopolitan thus giving a way for its intercultural translation and to be easily replicated. In order to do it first I will analyze different Japanese merchandizing strategies and study the film as a media product. Second, I will briefly overlook history and main stylistic traits of Japanese horror movie genre. In my general overlook on Japanese horror cinema, I will focus on two main horror film sub-genres kaidan and ero guro and will give few examples of classical horror films. Then, I will analyze plot and themes of the film and compare them to the Hollywood remake. Finally, I will briefly summarize the cultural influence of Ring.

Ring as a media product and its merchandizing strategy
Nowadays despite the down…...

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