Wednesday: "Ringu"

Sept. 13

As part of the lead up to Halloween, The Crown is kicking off an international horror film series with the 1998 Japanese horror flick, "Ringu." To say that this now iconic film is an influencer is kind of an understatement. It's about a scary VHS tape that, if watched, gives the viewer just seven days to live. The troubled spirit Sadako slinks out of a well, through the television, and into the room of the selected victim. Sadako is the closest thing Japan has to a signature non-Godzilla-type monster. She's their Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers, popping up in numerous sequels and spin-offs with her signature jerky movements showing up in a dozen horror films, including the new version of "IT." But no one does ghost stories quite like Japan, which plays up on shadows, atmosphere, a creeping sense of dread, and long pauses, and "Ringu" uses its relatively low budget to maximum effect. If you haven't watched the original or only saw the shitty American remake, "The Ring," it's well worth checking out. 8 p.m., The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848,, free. (J.M. Giordano)

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