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"the ring". what are these huge plot holes people are talking about? (spoilers)

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"the ring". what are these huge plot holes people are talking about? (spoilers)

Old 03-05-03, 07:04 PM
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"the ring". what are these huge plot holes people are talking about? (spoilers)

hey all. saw the ring last night. a great movie. so what r these huge plot holes some people are complaining about. i thought it was pretty tight.

and for those who saw 'ringu', what are the differences from the US version? the one reviewer said there was a fairly major plot point that was missed completely. any thoughts and opinions would be cool.

thanks,

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Old 03-06-03, 08:49 AM
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Moving to Movie Talk Forum.

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Old 03-06-03, 09:13 PM
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This is what one imdb reviewer wrote

Following the guidelines, I am warning readers that I may write a "spoiler" (although, really, there is nothing good to spoil in this movie. I am curious as to why this movie was named "The Ring", as there is only one reference to a ring in this movie, and it makes no sense whatsoever. Apart from that, we have a stupid, moronic, nonsensical, wannabe supernatural thriller here, about a horse loving mom who, after her horses commit suicide by drowning themselves, for inexplicable reasons (well, maybe they'd heard going to star in one of the worst supernatural thrillers ever made...), kills the adopted daughter she has always wanted, loved and cherished, again for inexplicable reasons (apart from the fact that psychiatric fees for the strange young girl were apparently too high) by putting a plastic garbage bag over her head and throwing her down a well shaft. For some reason the little girl survives the 100 foot plunge down the narrow shaft with sharp rocks jutting out from the side, and goes on to live for 7 days. After her passing, the little girl's ghost apparently decides to manufacture a video tape expressing exactly how dissatisfied it is with this whole situation, and said video tape magically winds up in the VCR of a cheap cabin rental up in the mountains, where partying teenagers watch it, get a threatening phone call after watching it, saying they're all gonna be dead in 7 days, and then all wind up dead. Nobody seems to care about any of this, except Naomi Watts and the deadbeat father of her child, who, after viewing the video tape only a few times, learn the entire history of the island and the Morgon family after only a couple days. Their son seems to have a magical gift for talking with the little girl's ghost, but none of this is properly explained. The thread of continuity (and using that term is a stretch here) holding the plot together is so thin, it is laughable. Somehow, laughing and supernatural thrillers don't go together, in my book. This flop of a movie belongs at the bottom of a very deep well...
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Old 03-06-03, 09:37 PM
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The same problem I had with the original I had with the remake. That is, the people who died in a car were not near a television set. It was seen in the original and mentioned in the remake.
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Old 03-07-03, 06:18 AM
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Originally posted by Skank
The same problem I had with the original I had with the remake. That is, the people who died in a car were not near a television set. It was seen in the original and mentioned in the remake.
Ok...but where in either movie is it stated that she needs a TV or any electronic device for that matter? To the contrary it's mentioned several times that Samara (sp?) can project images directly into people's minds.

I didn't notice any huge plot holes...I thought the film stayed reasonably true to the internal logic established by the premise.
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Old 03-07-03, 07:17 AM
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I just thought they were running away from her. Got in the car and drove away.

Like in the deleted scene with the cabin manager. He was found dead in a canoe. His tv was on in the house and it looked like he tried to run away from the girl and got in the canoe. Of course you can't run away from her.

IMO her "powers" should have been explained a little bit.
Does she appear through the tv only?
What's the deal with her being able to use the telephone?
What if you're in the middle of nowhere without a tv?
Does she come through the nearest tv then finds the victim?
Everyone who died, that was shown, died when she came through the tv.

As far as that IMDB review. I don't think he/she understood the movie.

Last edited by Mazinger; 03-07-03 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 03-07-03, 10:27 AM
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curious about this too. i just watched it last night and thought it was FULL of plot holes! i'll just do a search for other posts as i'm sure this has been discussed numerous times!

Last edited by hgar78; 03-07-03 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 03-07-03, 10:34 AM
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"Plot hole" is one of the most misused terms on this forum. Just because something isn't explicitly explained, or you personally don't understand it, doesn't make it a plot hole.

Another thing that bugs me are posts that say "This movie has TONS of plot holes!" and then they don't bother to even name ONE.
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Old 03-07-03, 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by Groucho
"Plot hole" is one of the most misused terms on this forum. Just because something isn't explicitly explained, or you personally don't understand it, doesn't make it a plot hole.

Another thing that bugs me are posts that say "This movie has TONS of plot holes!" and then they don't bother to even name ONE.
I agree. I've heard a number of people say this movie is full of plot holes. None of these people have been in here explaining any of them yet though.
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Old 03-07-03, 11:23 AM
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I think one of the "plot hole" problems is that the characters in the film don't really understand the Ring curse. They attempt to describe the "rules" but who knows if their interpretation is correct. I've seen a lot of "Why did Samara.." type questions and really we don't know what she can do.
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Old 03-07-03, 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by Azazoth
I think one of the "plot hole" problems is that the characters in the film don't really understand the Ring curse. They attempt to describe the "rules" but who knows if their interpretation is correct. I've seen a lot of "Why did Samara.." type questions and really we don't know what she can do.
Like Groucho said, just because we don’t know something doesn’t make it a plot hole. For example, we don't really know why Michael Myers became a killer or how he evolved his seemingly supernatural powers-- few call this a plot hole. Explanations in horror movies are rarely a good thing—they usually come off as lame, cheesy, and stupid. It’s better not to know.

I would be interested in seeing a list of these plot holes that some are posting about.

Last edited by audrey; 03-07-03 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 03-07-03, 01:39 PM
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i liked the movie it was pretty scary and gets under your skin and you got it on your mind.

however, i was unsure on how exactly Samara was brought into the family. was she adopted? in the deleted scene it said the mom came back pregnant and in the movie you see a live birth certificate. i know the couple had a hard time conceiving a child. so was this child conceived thru a deal with the devil or adopted because some parents in whatever country figured there baby was possessed by evil demons..i dont know...
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Old 03-07-03, 01:42 PM
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Really, I don't see a lot of plot holes in the movie, if you appraoch it correctly.

Spoiler:
Sure, you can ask 'where did the videotape come from,' 'whose voice was on the phone,' etc. but when it boils down to it, almost any plot hole I can think of can be explained with the chestnut, 'it's magic.' mean, Samara apparently has incredible powers, powers that were never really fully explained, so she could theoretically do 'anything.' My only real beef is the idea of the 'copy' at the end, I found that a little wonky. Still a pretty great movie though.
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Old 03-07-03, 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by Sierra Disc
Really, I don't see a lot of plot holes in the movie, if you appraoch it correctly.

Spoiler:
Sure, you can ask 'where did the videotape come from,' 'whose voice was on the phone,' etc. but when it boils down to it, almost any plot hole I can think of can be explained with the chestnut, 'it's magic.' mean, Samara apparently has incredible powers, powers that were never really fully explained, so she could theoretically do 'anything.' My only real beef is the idea of the 'copy' at the end, I found that a little wonky. Still a pretty great movie though.
The book and the original series of movies explain her powers while the US film does a good job of making them even more of a mystery by trying to overexplain her background without explaining her powers enough.
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Old 03-07-03, 02:56 PM
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Sierra - your logic is pretty sound and it makes more sense when you see Ringu IMO.
Spoiler:
Samara is cursed with TREMENDOUS ESP/paranormal power (like say Carrie). In Ringu, the character wishes death on someone, and it happens. Basically she is a raw, raging energy spirit that was only briefly harnessed by a physical shell. She was killed for the same reason any "demon" would be slaughtered - out of fear. All of the stuff we see in the ring is the disembodied supernatural power that wants no more than to be KNOWN - for others to know that she existed.


Do we really know why Damien was so powerful in any of the Omens? I mean the point of the movie (and its intended sequals) is the mystery behind the tape and the deaths. It unravels through this film but isn't completely explained.

BTW - in case the dense person who wrote that IMDB review is reading this... the Ring isn't just the freaking LIGHT... pass the VHS, please.
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Old 03-07-03, 03:19 PM
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Yeah I would like to see some more plot holes posted. I think especially in horror films you have to have the mindset and suspension of disbelief before going in.

I loved the ring because it scared the crap outta me..my mom laughed all the way through it...and some peeps said it was horrible cuz it was not "real" i was like...hmmm....if you think it was supposed to be REAL, I have a bridge to sell you!
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Old 03-07-03, 03:58 PM
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For definitions sake - PLOT HOLE:

The plot must make logistic sense, for if the chain of logic is broken, the whole "argument" of that part of the story will be invalidated by the audience because of the plot hole. Anything that follows a plot hole is considered unreliable by the audience's reason.
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Old 03-07-03, 04:12 PM
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I liked it better after the second viewing. You really have to ignore alot of the plot. This film is all about atmosphere....
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Old 03-07-03, 07:22 PM
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except for how and why the boy got connected with samara, the movie made sense. and groucho, i too hate how people say the movie has gaping lapses of logic, yet don't explain themselves.
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Old 03-07-03, 09:54 PM
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It doesn't really have gaping lapses of logic so much as it just left too much unexplained. They painted themselves into a few corners really - moreso than the original or even the book. They tried to explain stuff that didn't need to be explained in the first movie and by doing so, they made it more confusing I think. Bleh.
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Old 03-08-03, 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by Trigger
It doesn't really have gaping lapses of logic so much as it just left too much unexplained. They painted themselves into a few corners really - moreso than the original or even the book. They tried to explain stuff that didn't need to be explained in the first movie and by doing so, they made it more confusing I think. Bleh.
Ok, 'll bite...like what. Be specific.
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Old 03-08-03, 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by audrey
Ok, 'll bite...like what. Be specific.
I don't wanna be specific - that's why I said bleh.. cuz it's too much typing and I haven't even seen either movie in quite awhile. I'm basing these statements off my feelings from when I saw the Ring in the theater. I just remember them going too far into Sadako's (whatever her name is) back story with the whole barn thing and then trying to explain how the tape was actually made with the hospital tapings or whatever that was. I don't remember, but it was well beyond what they bothered to explain in the original... and in the original, it was better left up to the imagination or just as something that just is what it is. The remake had too much little stupid trying to explain stuff and it just got in the way of the whole mystery and crap. It's scarier that we never see Jaws until the end. It's scarier the less we really know about Sadako - that's what sequels are for... besides sucking, sequels can give us more backstory and explain crap that we didn't need to know in the first place. Plus, the remake just didn't really explain things to my satisfaction as someone who watched the original first. They strayed from the actual backstory and made up some new convoluted garbage that didn't work for me. I guess if you haven't seen or didn't like the original Ring, then it doesn't really matter - that's why I said there were no real plot holes - it's only an issue if you believe the source material and the original movie are important. It would be like if they did a remake of It's a Wonderful Life and spent 20 minutes of the movie explaining how his wish to see what it would be like if he wasn't ever born actually happened by showing the backstory of the bridge or whatever and how some old witch cast a spell on it or something stupid. I don't know... maybe the It's a Wonderful Life remake is a fantastic movie and if you never saw the original, it wouldn't matter. bleh.
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Old 03-08-03, 09:29 AM
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I see where you are coming from. Personally I enjoyed both the Ring and Rinigu; neither is perfect, each has strengths as well as flaws. From the same basic premise, the two movies take off in different directions emphasizing different elements of the basic story. The Ring plays more as a supernatural detective story (hence your backstory complaint), while Ringu falls more squarely in the classic ghost story horror camp. I think both approaches work well.

I realize that comparisons between an original and a remake are as inevitable as those between a book and a movie. I suspect it is only a matter of time before those who have read the source novel for Ringu chime in with their views. I have not read the novel and have no idea how faithful Ringu remains to its literary source or to the made-for-TV movies that preceded Nakata’s Ringu. That said, I think each work must stand alone. A movie either works or it doesn’t, irrespective of the source.

I don’t believe that there is an “actual” back story or history to a work of fiction. Part of the skill and artistry in adapting a work, lies in deciding what to keep, what to lose, and what to alter. IMO both Verbinski and Nakata achieved what they set out to accomplish.
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Old 03-08-03, 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by Trigger
It doesn't really have gaping lapses of logic so much as it just left too much unexplained. They painted themselves into a few corners really - moreso than the original or even the book. They tried to explain stuff that didn't need to be explained in the first movie and by doing so, they made it more confusing I think. Bleh.
Did you get a chance to read the book? I thought it wasn't available in English yet. I'm assuming you don't read Japanese. The English translation of the book will be coming in April from what I've heard.
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Old 03-08-03, 01:53 PM
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Here is some interesting reading I found online. This is very spoiler intensived as it compares and contrasts.






American: A lady who lives on an island loves horses. She gets married to a guy. They try to have a baby, but fail every time. They go on a vacation, and come home with a mysterious child who's origins are unclear. The lady starts going crazy and blames it on the child. The husband locks the child in a barn. The couple's horses start dying. Bad things start happening to everyone on the island. The lady continues to go crazy. They bring the child to a psychiatric hospital on the mainland. The child displays an ability to impress psychic images on large sheets of film. The child expresses anger towards her father for loving his horses more than her. The couple take the child from the hospital to a vacation spot on the mainland. The mother tries to suffocate the child and dumps her down a well. The child, however, remains alive for seven days in the well. Her psychic energy enters the television airwaves and, when televisions are invented, kills people seven days after watching a tape of a psychic projection she displays on TV.

Japanese: A psychic lady lives on an island. A guy discovers her and decides to become rich and famous by helping to prove her psychic powers to the world. The psychic lady has a child, the father of whom is unclear, but everyone suspects it is the guy (who is married to another woman). One day while the lady is showing off her psychic powers to a group of spectators, the crowd declares it to be a hoax and goes wild. One of the spectators dies horribly without apparent cause, and it is discovered that the child has the ability to kill people out of sheer will. The guy later knocks the child's head with a pole and dumps her down a well, perhaps because he doesn't want people to think he is the father, perhaps because he is afraid of what she can do. The child survives in the well, and her rage survives in the form of psychic energy that later imprints itself on a tape that will kill whoever watches it after seven days.


Understandably, “Ringu” and “The Ring” have the same plot, both dealing with the mystery of a cursed videotape. After seven days, anyone who has seen it will die. The cryptic deaths drive a journalist to track down the forbidden video until she needs to solve the mystery herself after being the next likely victim along with her ex-husband and their young son. Obviously, the Japanese characters were each given a distinct American personality in the remake to address the cultural differences.

In the initial scene, “The Ring” immediately attempts to distinguish itself from the Japanese version. Sure, it also begins with two teenagers in a room scaring each other about the video while one of them tells the story of an escapade with her boyfriend. However, as compared to “Ringu,” the first death scene is unusually prolonged. While the Japanese victim Tomoko (Yuko Takeuchi) died a few moments after seeing the television in their living room open, her American counterpart Katie (Amber Tamblyn) was able to close the TV with a remote control, went back to the kitchen to close the refrigerator, again turned off the TV after it opened anew, went upstairs to close an open shower, and eventually died after finding another TV open inside the bedroom! Perhaps Gore Verbinski thought he was still directing “Mouse Hunt” or “The Mexican.” Seriously, the lengthened scene may be expected since screenwriter Ehren Kruger has done something like this before in her story for “Scream 3.”

While the original version has a cynical Tokyo television reporter in the person of Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) as its main character, the Hollywood production stars Australian actress Naomi Watts as Rachel Keller, a reporter from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Rachel may be slightly compared to Watts’ fearful character Betty in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive.” Similarly, she was again made to show off her body in her new movie, albeit briefly, when she appeared in her undergarments in one scene, even though her Japanese counterpart has proven effectively that there is no need for such “exploitation” in the first place.

Naturally, most are interested in how the contents of the two videos differ from each other. Although both show a woman brushing her hair in front of a mirror and a well in the middle of the woods, the American version starts with a white ring of light and also includes a chair, a ladder, a centipede, an animal with a cut tail, a burning tree, and a fly, among other images. The Japanese video, which also contains a man with his head covered by cloth pointing to the right, people crawling in pain, and a local character for “Sada,” makes up for its “deficiency” with a haunting noise that makes it more horrible for most viewers.

Subsequently, the phone will ring after watching the video. In “Ringu,” this is true if it was played in a cottage inn isolated in the forest where it originated. In “The Ring,” however, the phone rings anywhere, as long as the next person to be given the fatal seven-day deadline is in that place. A hoarse voice saying “seven days” will be heard after answering the call.

Reiko seeks the support of her ex-husband Ryuji Takayama (Hiroyuki Sanada), a university lecturer, to figure out how to counter the curse. Rachel, on the other hand, asks the help of her son’s estranged father, Noah (Martin Henderson), who has a high-tech video editing facility. As a psychic, Ryuji can detect the presence of supernatural beings like Sadako (Orie Izuno), the hideous creature behind the video, while Noah must only rely on his wits to uncover the secret of Samara Morgan (Daveigh Chase), the Hollywood version of Sadako. In one occasion, Noah pretends that he is Samara’s father to gain access to her hospital records. Although Ryuji is more composed than Noah, the American remake chalks up a point for depicting Rachel as a woman less dependent on her man, as compared to Reiko. Rachel and Noah go their separate ways before meeting at the origin of the sinister video while Ryuji is always at Reiko’s beck and call as they travel to Oshima where Sadako grew up and back to the video’s origin at Izu peninsula.

The differences between the sons in both versions are also interesting. Reiko’s son Yoichi (Rikiya Otaka) is silent most of the time, yet possessing a psychic ability like his father also makes his world a scary one. Aidan Keller (David Dorfman), in contrast, gets to speak much to Rachel although his teacher finds him strange for drawing too many eerie and abstract figures for no apparent reason at all. The child’s sketches, though, will figure prominently in leading to clues about Samara’s identity. Speaking of clues, the other video images in the American version will also help Rachel and Noah figure out the mystery behind the sinister video.

There are other notable modifications that Verbinski and Kruger have integrated in their version to set it apart from the original. Aside from browsing through old publications, Rachel also uses the Internet on her research on Moesko Island while Reiko and Ryuji patiently scan the pages of library references to arrive at the origin of Sadako and the video. Noah uses a digital camera to take Rachel’s pictures, unveiling the blurred images from its preview window. Ryuji, on the other hand, takes his ex-wife’s pictures with a Polaroid camera, revealing her distorted face in the resulting photos. A sequence involving a crazed horse in a ship was also included in the Dreamworks version, born out of the Morgans’ passion for horses.

In addition, Samara’s next possible victims experience nosebleed, Rachel throws up a long strand of hair coming out of the phone, and “The Ring” has another video showing the young Samara being interviewed by a doctor in the mental hospital where she was confined. Viewers will eventually learn that Anna Morgan (Shannon Cochran), Samara’s mother, pushed her into the well to get rid of her evil ways while it was Prof. Ikuma (Daisuke Ban), Sadako’s father, who did the same to his daughter.

The Japanese version, obviously, has an inferior budget compared to its Hollywood counterpart. Although no bloodshed is shown and very little horror actually occurs onscreen, Nakata and Takahashi have come up with an intelligently crafted and severely disturbing movie. Despite its slow pace, it manages to sustain viewers’ interest and ends up intriguing the audience afterward as they interpret some elements of the story on their own. Probably it also helps that Asians are more superstitious than their Western counterparts, thus giving “Ringu” an added appeal and the edge over “The Ring.” The remake, on the other hand, offers an endless explanation of the phenomenon, making it too convoluted as a result. Some changes in the original story are worth noting as to how they might play an integral part in the sequel, given that Dreamworks will also produce another version of “Ringu 2.” Nevertheless, other viewers used to “spoon-fed” narrations might find it more entertaining since they do not have to figure out most parts of the story by themselves. Add to that the list of moviegoers who scoff upon seeing English subtitles.

Although a few even bragged that they were not terrified by the original version at all, most of them were too half-witted to consider that, deliberately or not, they were informed about things to look out for in the movie before going to the nearby cinema. The strength of the Japanese version or even its Hollywood remake, I believe, lies in not knowing what to expect from either film.
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