I just read the book “Rings” by Kōji Suzuki.
I was very looking forward to reading the book when I found it. The movies that based on it (Ringu and Ringu II) have been my single worst nightmare since I watched them. The book tells a quite different story. The first 40 pages looked like it’s going nowhere. But the middle part scared me. There are some queer and interesting effects when the story in the book overlaid with my scattered memories of the movie.
I remember watching the Japanese movies (I and II) in 1999 with a bunch of Japaneses college students in a dorm building near Mount Aso. Since then they have become my one and only scariest movies duo. During the movie, someone shouted out my name, just to scare me. And I jumped out of my chair screaming. No one laughed at me. They were all engaged and frightened at the moment and could only manage to squeeze out a second or two and gave me a sympathetic look…
After the movies (we watched two of them in one night), I went to take a shower alone in the dorm’s shower room around 1am in the morning. It was a big room with no windows, only lighted up by light bulbs. Each shower space was separated by narrow walls and curtains with spiral rings. And there were at least twenty of those narrow shower spaces/cells in align side by side standing on two rows with a slim corridor inserted. Outside the shower area there was a big room with two long water basins on two facing walls and a huge mirror on the top of each of them. That meant when you stood there in front of one of the mirror, you could see your face and your back at the same time, including almost the rest of the entire outer room. So I was there, showering alone, naturally assuming no one else was there because the only sound of water splashing was coming from the top of my head. But there were other voices, as common as in any of the other quiet places I suppose – water dripping from the sink in the outer room, potential ti-ta sounds like someone walking in her sandals… Only if I could’ve filtered out the sounds made by the cell I was in so that I’d have known exactly what was going on in the rest of the space… My heart was pounding hard for sure, always two adjacent ones in a row, then another two… My mind was bouncing between these two adjacent heartbeats too – the first one wondering if there was something going on; while the second one assuring myself that there was not. I was moving by frame, like a robot, like a movie which was paused and fast-forwarded step by step. Because each movement I made, it was obviously delayed by the two thoughts that trapped my mind and kept it bouncing in between. I wasn’t thinking of the movie, but a random scene from the film found its space in front of me constantly. Without a doubt, I finished the shower quickly. Dried myself and dressed up. Kept my head down the entire time. My mind was in well alert in case anything should have happened. My eyes were in full resistance to the same thing. My final act was washing my hands in the water basin, keeping my head down still. I didn’t dare to look up at the mirror, nor have I been for the rest of my life when I use any bathroom in the midnight.
Now…writing this blog warmed up my appetite. I think I need to re-watch these two movies. Hopefully this time they are not merely to scare me, but also to remind me of the time being young.