The movie Ring 0: Birthday (2000) is a Japanese supernatural horror film and a prequel to the popular Ring series. It details the troubled origins of the evil spirit Sadako Yamamura.
The story focuses on Sadako as a young woman in 1970s Japan trying to use her psychic abilities to start an acting career. However, her powers also allow her to see visions of the future, including her own tragic fate. Sadako falls in love with a sound engineer named Hiroshi who helps her secretly record a demonstration VHS tape of her powers to send to producers.
Her psychic demonstrations on the tape impress one producer, Yoichi, but trouble soon arises. Sadako’s romantic rival Miyaji learns about the tape and threatens to expose her powers as fraud. In desperation, Sadako strangles Miyaji to death. She is then raped and murdered by an older doctor who wants her psychic energy.
The movie Ring 0: Birthday (2000) shows Sadako’s vengeful spirit being born as she dies vowing revenge on the world. Her rage traps itself within the VHS tape, creating the curse that goes on to plague those who watch it, as depicted in Ring and its sequels. The prequel provides a tragic backstory for Sadako and the infamous cursed video tape.
- Yukie Nakama as Sadako Yamamura
- Seiichi Tanabe as Hiroshi Toyama
- Kumiko Aso as Miyaji
- Takeshi Wakamatsu as Yoichi
- Masako as Shizuko Yamamura
- Based on the novel “Spiral” by Koji Suzuki, the Ring book series author
- Director Norio Tsuruta specialized in V-Cinema horror films
- Released in Japan as part of the Ring film series marathon known as “The Ring Trilogy”
- Received less positive reviews than the previous Ring films
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