Blu-ray: Ringu Collection (Arrow Films)

Order

Ringu Collection


English Blu-ray Title (Region A)

Ringu Collection (Arrow US Ring Collection)

Sound:

Japanese (5.1 and 2.0 Stereo Sound)

Subtitles:
Length:
Release:
Company
:
Discs:
Aspect Ratio:

English
290 minutes (combined)
2019
Arrow Films
3
1.85:1

Movie:

Ring / The Spiral / Ring 2 / Ring: 0

Blu-ray

Extras

  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (12/12/12/12)
  • Trailers
  • Bonus feature: Spiral, George Iida's 1998 sequel to Ringu
  • New Audio commentary on Ringu by film historian David Kalat
  • New Audio commentary on Ringu 0 by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • The Ringu Legacy
  • A Vicious Circle
  • Circumnavigating Ringu
  • Spooks, Sighs and Videotape
  • The Psychology of Fear
  • Archival behind-the-scenes feature on Ringu 0
  • Ringu 0 deleted scenes
  • Sadako's Video
  • Multiple theatrical trailers for the Ringu series
  • First pressing only: Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing from Violet Lucca, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Jasper Sharp, Kieran Fisher and Kat Ellinger
  • Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork

Captures


Review

By: Noah Percival

Arrow Video is a film distributer that's best known for their re-releases of classic or cult films with new transfers and additional extras. I first became aware of them thanks to their excellent and historic release of Toho's The Bloodthirsty Trilogy on Blu-Ray in 2018 which was the first release of the trilogy on home video in the U.S. When I learned that a new Blu-Ray Box set of the first four films of The Ring saga was being released by Arrow Video, I immediately took notice and became very excited for this set. While The Ringu Collection isn't a historic release as all four films did receive a Region 1 DVD box set release back in 2005, Arrow Video's work on this new Blu-Ray box set is a massive improvement not only on the past Ringu DVDs but on their own Bloodthirsty Trilogy set.


 Video: Star Rating


Ringu features an exclusive 4K restoration by Arrow and is presented in its original aspect of 1.85:1 with stereo and 5.1 audio. Naturally this film is the best looking and sounding feature of the entire set! The detail is sharp and clear and colors are nice and eye catching without overpowering the purposefully darker and muted visuals of the film. Spiral, Ringu 2, and Ringu 0 are presented in their original 1.85:1 aspect ratio with 5.1 and 2.0 stereo sound. These three films arrive in high definition masters provided by Kadokawa Corporation. I'm not sure why these films did not receive the same restoration treatment as Ringu, but obviously if only one film of this series was to receive this treatment then it should be the original film. Naturally the sequels don't look as nice as Ringu does but they do look really good and the only time I felt that the video quality had dropped noticeably was during the final act of Ringu 0 when I noticed a fair amount of grain. Ringu and Ringu 0 both get their own individual discs while Spiral and Ring 2 share a single disc. Despite that I didn't notice any substantial downgrading in visuals with those two films like I did with Ringu 0. That being said, these transfers are still well done and are the best that these films have ever looked in any Region 1 release.

 

 Audio: Star Rating


Audio sounds great across all three discs, although Ringu is the best sounding out of all of them. All film audios are in Japanese and there are no English dubs for any of the films. There are two English language commentary tracks but those are detailed in the Extras section.

 

 Extras: Star Rating


I'll be completely honest, the amount of extras in this set is so overwhelming that it slowed down my review writing process as I tried to make sure I watched all of the extras. The biggest extra is the inclusion of the original sequel to The Ring, the 1998 film Spiral. Despite being seemingly relegated to a bonus feature, Spiral received the same technical treatment as Ring 2 and Ring 0 which I noted in the video and audio sections. With that amount of care put into it, Spiral naturally feels like a fully fledged feature and not just a mere bonus or extra. The other extras include audio commentaries by David Kalat and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas for Ring and Ring 0 respectively. The Ringu Legacy which features interviews with several critics and filmmakers on the impact of the Ringu series. A Vicious Circle is an interview with author Kat Ellinger on the career of Hideo Nakata. Circumnavigating Ringu sees Kat Ellinger return to detail the entire saga of the Ringu franchise. Spooks, Sighs, and Videotape features critic Jasper Sharip giving an overview of the J-Horror phenomenon. The Psychology of Fear is an interview with author Koji Suzuki whose novels were the source of these adaptations. A behind the scenes feature on Ringu 0. Deleted scenes from Ring 0. Sadako's Video is an unedited and uninterrupted presentation of the cursed tape from Ringu. Many trailers for the different Ringu films. A limited edition 60 page booklet was included in the first pressing only featuring writing from Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Kat Ellinger, and many others. Finally the limited edition packaging for the Blu-Ray cases feature original posters and newly commissioned artwork. The amount of information contained in these extras is vast enough to drive one crazy! I seriously felt like I had completed a whole course on The Ringu Series, J-Horror, and Japanese Filmmaking by the time I had finished them all! When it comes to Region 1 releases of foreign films we're lucky if we get a single feature or interview, but Arrow's Ringu Collection sets a new precedent for what these kind of releases can achieve and I doubt that any other release will surpass it for a long time.

 

 Overview: Star Rating


Much like the ill fated well that features in these films, Arrow's Ringu Collection goes very deep and is filled with so much content that it's practically overwhelming. The audio and visual presentations are near perfect in Ringu's new transfer and good in the three sequel transfers although there are some small flaws. Bottom line this is the best that these films have ever looked in a Region 1 release and I don't see them getting topped by this release. Having all four of these films on Blu-Ray and in a single box set would be reason enough to recommend this set, but the amount and quality of the extras present truly make this one of if not the most impressive Region 1 release of a Japanese film series I have ever seen. The love for this series and its legacy is conveyed so clearly in each extra interview, video essay, or audio commentary. It's also a treasure trove of information on J-Horror and Japanese filmmaking in general. Like I said in the extras section, I really felt like I had completed an entire film course by the time I finished all the extra content. I am so blown away by the quality and quantity of the material in this set that I can't do anything but recommend it full heartedly. It deserves a spot on any Horror, Japanese, or Toho fan's collection. Strongly and completely recommended.