Hideo Nakata

The Ring Master

Most horror movies live and gruesomely die in the moment: the splattered head or severed limb gives viewers a quick thrill or a giggle, a jolt to the nervous system, that lingers no longer than a shiver. The films of Japanese director Hideo Nakata--The Ring (1998), Ring 2 (1999), Chaos (1999) and Dark Water (2002)--take a subtler route to spooking audiences. In his thrillers, Nakata concentrates less on the explosion of the time bomb than on the ticking inside it: abstract images on a videotape, an aquarium tank full of dead fish, a water stain spreading on a ceiling. His heroine-victims,...

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