The Call: Learn all about the horror movie series

It’s been decades since the first movie in the franchise The call was released. The horror film classic captivated viewers in every way, especially because of the somber atmosphere covered in the narrative. Because of this success, some remakes were performed in Hollywood and also in South Korea.

But how does this terrifying franchise dubbed The call emerged? See everything we know about the universe of these horror movies.

(Source: Toho/Reproduction)Fonte: Toho

The call: the conception of the idea and the first films

In 1998, filmmaker Hideo Nakata released The ring, featuring a script by Hiroshi Takahashi, as well as Nanako Matsushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rikiya Otaka and Yoichi Numata in the main cast. Based on the eponymous book by Koji Suzuki, originally published in 1991, the plot was about a mysterious video, in which the spirit of a cursed young woman emerged to revenge herself on all those who watched.

A curious fact in the construction of the story is that the author of The call he was working with early childhood education when he began writing his most famous book. In addition, in some interviews, he said that he sought various inspirations in Hollywood movies related to the genre, such as Poltergeist (1982).

(Metro Goldwyn Mayer/Reproduction)(Source: Metro Goldwyn Mayer/Reproduction)Fonte:  Metro Goldwyn Mayer

In this sense, it is interesting to notice all the parallels drawn in both stories, because in Tobe Hooper’s classic there are also ghosts that communicate through a television set. However, in Japanese culture, the figure of ghosts and spirits is quite popular, being present in several works, mainly because of the way they are seen in society.

In Suzuki’s conception, its plot should address how the technological advances present at the time could be integrated into the world of the dead. Thus, his novel emerged and yielded, even before the 1998 feature, a manga adaptation and a telefilm in 1995.

Betting on the ghostly figure of Sadako Yamamura, every time her video was played, a phone rang. This curse could only be broken for the viewer in question if the VHS were passed along.

(Toho/Reproduction)(Source: Toho/Reproduction)Fonte: Toho

Obviously, one of the most iconic scenes of The call it happens when this hideous character goes beyond the limits of the screen and invades the home of the viewer, precisely through the television set.

The call: Learn more about the remakes and other movies released for the franchise

After the release of The ring, just the following year, a sequel was commissioned. In 1999, Ringu 2: O Chamado addressed in greater depth the dilemmas faced by Reiko (Nanako Matsushima), given that Sadako’s curse was already ingrained in her routine. Despite still having breathtaking sequences and a consistent script, the reception of the public and critics did not achieve everything that the producers initially expected.

Even so, it can be said that the two feature films are extremely important to understand the genre in Japan, especially for maintaining a popularized concept such as J-Horror, in the 1990s. The impact was quite significant among fans of works terrifying, who somehow wanted to get involved in more plots of that niche.

(Toho/Reproduction)(Source: Toho/Reproduction)Fonte: Toho

In Hollywood, in turn, the movies slashers, full of violence and relentless murderers, no longer attracted so much attention. When looking for news, a remake of The ring was released in 2002, featuring Naomi Watts, Brian Cox, Martin Henderson and David Dorfman in the lead roles. Directing was done by Gore Verbinski, who made minor plot changes, turning Sadako into Samara (played by Daveigh Chase).

The production was also quite successful and had a surprising result in terms of box office. With that, a direct sequel was planned. The Call 2 premiered in 2005, directed by Hideo Nakata, filmmaker responsible for the 1998 film. In a way, the story approached in a very similar way the narrative construction of Ring 2, bringing the protagonist’s family problems to the center of attention.

However, the franchise wasn’t restricted to just these movies. In addition to the American remake, Kim Dong-bin developed The Ring Virus, in 1999, in South Korea. With elements of the original novel and mixing with the ideas launched in the Japanese film, the production stood out with its scenes full of tension and agony for the audience.

Filmmakers such as Fukumoto Yoshito, Yoshihiro Kitayama, Norio Tsuruta, Jonathan Liebesman, Tsutomu Hanabusa and Kôji Shiraishi have also been involved in productions linked to the Sadako/Samara ghost over the years.

Since 2000, several films have been made with this narrative of fear and mystery, ranging from prequels to the original plot or single stories. The last of them, including, The Call 3 (Rings — 2016) e Sadako (2019), are directed, respectively, by F. Javier Gutiérrez and Hideo Nakata.

The Future of the Horror Franchise: What Could Happen to Sadako?

The influence of the ghost Sadako in Japanese cinema is undeniable, mainly due to its narrative construction, considered by many scholars as one of the most famous of all times in the Asian country. In fact, J-Horror is an important topic of discussion in film schools, as the genre in question helped shape the audiovisual productions promoted in Japan.

In this way, although Samara is no longer on the rise in recent years, given the failure of The Call 3 (Rings), 2017, Sadako remains a strong presence and one that can return at any time in theaters. At least, that’s what the character’s rights holders want.

(Kadokawa/Reproduction)(Source: Kadokawa/Reproduction)Fonte: Kadokawa

Including, since the franchise Ju-on (popularly known as Or scream in the west) was released, many speculate that another crossover could be created. After all, Kayako, the main ghost of the movies, is also a huge influence among horror fans and in 2016, she met Sadako in Sadako vs. I can do it, dirigido por Koji Shiraishi.

So stay tuned for all the news in the franchise The call! You can watch some of the movies on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Looke and Apple TV+.

Leave a Comment