The Ring series written by the Japanese fantasy writer Koji Suzuki has been immensely successful and given birth to a cycle of hugely popular horror films, including Hideo Nakata’s celebrated Ringu. In this short paper I wish to explore how some important motifs and iconographies derived from traditional Japanese folklore and drama fuse with what is unmistakably modern and urban, producing a peculiar kind of horror that cannot be explained simply as the invasion of the modern by the archaic. The main narrative of the film cycle is structured by two opposing tendencies. One is the main characters’ endeavour to search for the ‘origin’ of Sadako Yamamura’s resentment, believing that retrieving her remains and a proper burial would lay the unhappy ghost to rest. Contradicting this anthropomorphic understanding of evil is Sadako’s endless propagation by means of video technology, evoking the ideas of mechanical reproduction and simulation. Attending closely to the plot of Ringu, I seek to explicate the narrative dynamics involved and enquire into the posthuman implications in Sadako’s nature with respect to the surprise ending of her ‘crime story.’ With reference to the impressive death scenes, I try to explain how the remarkable horror effects are created. Copyright © 2010 Editions Rodopi B. V., Amsterdam - New York, NY.
|Title of host publication||Fear itself: Reasoning the unreasonable|
|Editors||Stephen HESSEL, Michèle HUPPERT|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam; New York|
|ISBN (Print)||9789042028067, 9042028068|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
CitationYu, E. K. W. (2010). A traditional vengeful ghost or the machine in a ghost? Narrative dynamics, horror effects, and the posthuman in Ringu. In S. Hessel & M. Huppert (Eds.), Fear itself: Reasoning the unreasonable (pp. 109-124). Amsterdam; New York: Rodopi.
- Hideo Nakata
- Japanese horror film
- Narrative dynamics