THE RING by Takahashi Hiroshi
Original screenplay by Takahashi Hiroshi
Based upon the novel by Suzuki Kouji
This manuscript is intended for informational
purposes only, and is a fair usage of copyrighted
Ring (c) 1995 Suzuki Kouji
Ring feature film (c) 1998 Ring/Rasen Committee
Distributed by PONY CANYON
Adapted/ Translated by J Lopez
Caption-- “September 5th. Sunday.”
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD – TOMOKO’S ROOM - NIGHT
CLOSEUP on a TELEVISION SET. There’s a baseball game on, but the sound
is turned completely down. Camera PANS to show two cute high school
girls, MASAMI and TOMOKO. Masami is seated on the floor at a low coffee
table, TEXTBOOK in front of her. Tomoko is at her desk. There are SNACKS
all over the room, and it’s obvious there hasn’t been much studying going
on. Masami is currently in mid-story, speaking excitedly.
They say that some elementary school
kid spent the night with his parents
at a bed and breakfast in Izu. The kid
wanted to go out and play with everybody,
right, but he didn’t want to miss the
program he always used to watch back in
Tokyo, so he records it on the VCR in
their room. But of course the stations
in Izu are different from the ones in
Tokyo. In Izu, it was just an empty
channel, so he should’ve recorded
nothing but static. But when the kid
gets back to his house and watches the
tape, all of a sudden this woman comes
on the screen and says--
Masami points so suddenly and dramatically at her friend that Tomoko
actually jumps in her seat.
“One week from now, you will die.”
Short silence as Masami pauses, relishing the moment.
Of course the kid’s completely
freaked, and he stops the video.
Just then the phone rings, and when he
picks it up a voice says--
Her voice drops voice almost to a whisper.
“You watched it, didn’t you?” That
same time, exactly one week later...
Masami laughs loudly, thoroughly enjoying her own performance.
Tomoko, however, is completely silent. She begins looking more
and more distressed, until finally Masami notices.
What is it, Tomoko?
Tomoko comes out of her chair and drops onto the floor next to her
friend. Her words are quick, earnest.
Who did you hear that story from?
Who? It’s just a rumor. Everybody
Youko told you?
No, it wasn’t Youko...
Tomoko looks away, worried. Masami slaps her on the knee,
What’s up with you?
Tomoko speaks slowly, still looking away.
The other day, I... I watched this
With Youko and them.
So that’s what I’ve been hearing
about you doing some double-date/
sleepover thing! So, you and that
guy Iwata, huh?
No, it’s not like that. Nothing
Their eyes meet and Tomoko half-blushes, looks away again. Her
expression becomes serious as she resumes her conversation.
Iwata... he found this weird video.
Everyone was like, “What’s that?” so
he put it on and we all watched it.
And? What kind of video was it?
Just... weird, I can’t really explain
it. Anyway, right after we finished
watching it, the phone rang. Whoever
it was didn’t say anything, but still...
Silence. Masami curls up on herself, thoroughly spooked.
It's cuz, you know, we'd all heard the
Tomoko looks seriously over at her friend.
That was one week ago today.
There is a long, heavy silence as neither of them says anything.
Waaait a minute. Are you faking me
Tomoko’s face suddenly breaks into a smile.
They both crack up laughing.
Oh, my... I can’t believe you!
Masami reaches out, slaps her friend on the knee.
But hang on... you really stayed
the night with Youko and Iwata,
Tomoko nods, uh-huh. Masami dives forward, pinching her friend’s
cheeks and grinning wildly.
So, how far did you and he get?
Oh... I can’t remember.
You can’t remember, huh?
Masami laughs, then slaps Tomoko on the knee again as she remembers
the trick her friend played on her.
Man, you had me freaked me out.
Just at that moment, the phone RINGS. They are both suddenly,
instantly serious. Tomoko’s eyes go off in one direction and she
begins shaking her head, -No-. Masami looks over her shoulder,
following her friend’s gaze.
Tomoko is looking at the CLOCK, which currently reads 9:40.
The phone continues to ring. Tomoko is now clutching tightly onto her
friend, looking panicked.
Was it true?
Tomoko nods her head, still holding on tightly. Masami has to
forcibly disengage herself in order to stand. The phone is downstairs,
so Masami opens the bedroom DOOR and races down the STAIRS. Tomoko
calls out to her from behind.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD – STAIRCASE - NIGHT
Tomoko and Masami run down the staircase, through the hallway towards
the kitchen. Tomoko cries out again just before they reach the kitchen.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD – KITCHEN - NIGHT
Masami has come to a halt before a PHONE mounted on the wall. She
pauses, looking slowly at her friend, then back to the phone. She
takes it tentatively from its cradle, answers it wordlessly. The
tension continues to mount as nothing is said. Masami suddenly breaks
into a huge grin.
I’ll put her on.
Still grinning, she hands the phone to Tomoko. Tomoko snatches it
She is silent for a moment, then smiling widely.
She is so relieved that all the strength seeps out of her and she
sinks to the kitchen floor. Masami, equally relieved, slides down
the wall and sits down next to her.
(on the phone)
Yeah, I’ve got a friend over now.
Yeah. Yeah, OK. Bye.
Tomoko stands to place the phone back in its wall cradle, and then
squats back down onto the kitchen floor.
The game’s gone into overtime, so
they’re gonna be a little late.
They burst out laughing with relief again, and are soon both
clutching their stomachs.
Jeeezus, my parents...
Oh man, I’m tellin’ everybody about
Tomoko shakes her head, -Don’t you dare-.
I’m gonna use your bathroom. Don’t
Masami walks out of the kitchen. Alone now, Tomoko stands and walks
toward the SINK, where she takes a GLASS from the DISH RACK. She
then goes to the FRIDGE and sticks her face in, looking for something
to drink. Suddenly there is the SOUND of people clapping and
cheering. Tomoko, startled, peers her head over the refrigerator
door to check for the source of the sound.
She begins walking slowly, following the sound to the DINING ROOM
adjacent the kitchen.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - DINING ROOM - NIGHT
The lights are off, and there is no one in the room. Tomoko pauses a
moment, bathed in the garish LIGHT from the TV, which has been switched
on. Playing is the same baseball game they had on the TV upstairs; the
same game that Tomoko’s parents are currently at. The VOLUME is up
A puzzled look on her face, Tomoko takes the REMOTE from the coffee
table and flicks the TV off. She walks back to the kitchen.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD – KITCHEN - NIGHT
A bottle of SODA that Tomoko had earlier taken from the fridge is on
the kitchen table. She picks the bottle up, pours herself a drink.
Before she can take a sip, however, the air around her becomes suddenly
charged, heavy. Her body begins to shiver as somewhere out of sight
comes a popping, crackling SOUND underscored by a kind of GROANING.
Trembling now, Tomoko spins around to see what she has already felt
lurking behind her. She draws in her breath to scream.
The screen goes white, and fades into:
The screen is filled with the visage of a nervous-looking YOUNG GIRL.
She is being interviewed by ASAKAWA, a female reporter seated offscreen.
There seems to be a popular rumor
going around about a ”cursed”
Have you heard what kind of video
it might be?
The girl looks directly at the camera, her mouth dropping into an “O”
as she’s suddenly overcome by a kind of stage fright. She continues
staring, silently, at the camera.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
KOMIYA, the cameraman, has lowered his camera. We can now see that
the young girl being interviewed is seated at a table between two
friends, a SHORT-HAIRED GIRL (GIRL#2) and a LONG-HAIRED GIRL (GIRL #3).
They are all dressed in the UNIFORMS of junior high school students.
Opposite them sits Komiya and Asakawa, a pretty woman in her mid-
twenties. A BOOM MIKE GUY stands to the left.
Uh, don’t look right at the camera,
Let’s do it again.
Asakawa glances over her shoulder, makes sure that Komiya is ready.
Have you heard what kind of video
it might be?
What I heard was, all of a sudden
this scaaarry lady comes on the
screen and says, “In one week, you
I heard that if you’re watching TV
late at night it’ll come on, and
then your phone’ll ring.
Watching TV late at night... do you
know what station?
Mmmm... I heard some local station,
And, do you know if anyone’s really
died from watching it?
The girl flashes a look at her two friends.
Well, no one that we know, right?
Girl #2 nods her head. Girl #3 nods slowly, opens and closes her
mouth as if deciding whether to say something or not. The
What is it?
I heard this from a friend of mine
in high school. She said that there
was this one girl who watched the
video, and then died a week later.
She was out on a drive with her
They were in a wreck?
No, their car was parked, but they
were both dead inside. Her
boyfriend died because he’d watched
the video, too. That’s what my
Girl #3 grows suddenly defensive.
GIRL #3 (cont’d)
It’s true! It was in the paper two
or three days ago.
Do you know the name of the high
school this girl went to?
No... I heard this from my friend,
and it didn’t happen at her school.
She heard it from a friend at a
different school, she said.
INT. NEWS STATION – DAY
Asakawa is seated at her DESK. The station is filled with PEOPLE,
scrabbling to meet deadlines. Komiya walks up to Asakawa’s desk
and holds out a MANILA FOLDER.
Here you are.
(taking the folder)
Komiya has a seat.
This same kind of thing happened
about ten years ago too, didn’t it?
Some popular young singer committed
suicide, and then suddenly there was
all this talk about her ghost showing
up on some music show.
But I wonder what this rumor’s all
about. Everyone you ask always
Maybe that’s where it all started.
Hey, where was that Kuchi-sake
Onna * story from again?
>* Literally “Ripped-Mouth Lady,” a kind of ghastly spectre from
>Japanese folk stories who wears a veil to hide her mouth, which
>has been ripped or cut open from ear to ear. She wanders the
>countryside at night asking men “Do you think I’m beautiful?” then
>lowering her veil to reveal her true features.
Gifu, but there was some big
accident out there, and that ended
up being what started the rumor.
A big accident?
Mmm-hmm. Something terrible like
that is going to stay in people’s
minds. Sometimes the story of what
happened gets twisted around, and
ends up coming back as a rumor like
this one. That’s what they say, at
D’you think something like that
happened out at Izu?
Maybe. Well, anyway, I’m off. See you
Asakawa gets up from her desk and begins walking towards the exit.
She takes only a few steps before noticing a RACK of recent DAILY
She takes one from the rack, sets it on a nearby TABLE. She begins
flipping the pages, and suddenly spies this story:
STRANGE AUTOMOBILE DEATH OF YOUNG COUPLE IN YOKOHAMA
The bodies of a young man and woman were discovered in their
passenger car at around 10 A.M. September 6th. The location was a
vacant lot parallel to Yokohama Prefectural Road. Local authorities
identified the deceased as a 19-year old preparatory school student
of Tokyo, and a 16-year old Yokohama resident, a student of a
private all-girls’ high school. Because there were no external
injuries, police are investigating the possibility of drug-induced
Just then two men walk by, a GUY IN A BUSINESS SUIT and a youngish
intern named OKAZAKI. Okazaki is carrying an armload of VIDEOTAPES.
GUY IN SUIT
OK, Okazaki, I’m counting on you.
The guy in the suit pats Okazaki on the shoulder and walks off.
Okazaki turns to walk away, spots Asakawa bent over the small table
and peering intently at the newspaper article.
Miss Asakawa? I thought you were
going home early today.
Asakawa turns around and begins speaking excitedly.
Okazaki, can I ask you a favor?
Asakawa points to the newspaper.
Could you check out this article
for me? Get me some more info.?
Good. Call me as soon as you know
Asakawa walks off. Okazaki, still carrying the videotapes, leans
forward to take a look at the article.
EXT. APARTMENT PARKING LOT - DAY
Asakawa drives her car into the lot and parks quickly. She gets
out, runs up the STAIRCASE to the third floor. She stops in front
of a door, sticks her KEY in the lock, and opens it.
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM – DAY
A BOY of about 7 is sitting in an ARMCHAIR facing the veranda. We
can see only the back of his head.
Hearing his name, the boy puts down the BOOK he was reading and
stands up, facing the door. He is wearing a white DRESS SHIRT with
a brown sweater-type VEST over it. He sees Asakawa, his mother,
run in the door. She is panting lightly.
Sorry I’m late. Oh, you’ve already
He points over to his mother’s right.
I got your clothes out for you.
Asakawa turns to see a DARK SUIT hanging from one of the living
room shelves. She reaches out, takes it.
Aargh, we’ve gotta hurry!
She runs into the next room to change.
INT. BEDROOM – DAY
Asakawa has changed into all-black FUNERAL ATTIRE. Her hair is
up, and she is fastening the clasp to a pearl NECKLACE. Yoichi is
still in the living room.
Did grandpa call?
Yoichi walks into the room and faces his mother.
Why did Tomo-chan die? *
>* ”-chan” is a suffix in Japanese that denotes closeness or affection.
>It is most often used for young girls, though it can also be used for
Well... it looks like she was really,
She takes a seat on the bed.
Will you do me up?
Yoichi fastens the rear button of his mother’s dress and zips her up.
You can die even if you’re young?
If it’s something serious... well, yes.
Asakawa turns to face her son, puts an arm around him.
As hard as it is for us, what your
auntie and uncle are going through
right now is even harder, so let’s
not talk about this over there, OK?
You and her used to play a lot
together, didn’t you?
Yoichi says nothing.
EXT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - NIGHT
RED PAPER LANTERNS mark this place as the site of a wake. Several
GIRLS in high school uniforms are standing together and talking in
groups. Asakawa and Yoichi, walking hand in hand, enter the house.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - NIGHT
There are many PEOPLE milling about, speaking softly. A MAN seated
at a counter is taking monetary donations from guests and entering
their information into a LEDGER. Asakawa and Yoichi continue walking,
down a hallway.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - NIGHT
Mother and son halt before the open DOOR to the main wake room, where
guests may show their respects to the departed. The room is laid in
traditional Japanese-style tatami, a kind of woven straw mat that
serves as a carpet. Two GUESTS, their shoes off, are kneeling upon
Kneeling opposite the guests is KOUICHI, Asakawa’s father. The two
guests are bowing deeply, and Kouichi bows in response.
Kouichi turns to see her.
How is sis holding up?
She’s resting inside right now.
She’s shaken up pretty badly, you
know. It’s best she just take
things easy for a while.
I’ll go check on auntie and them,
OK. Ah, Yoichi. Why don’t you sit
here for a little while?
He grabs the young boy and seats him on a cushion next to the two guests.
As the guests resume their conversation with Asakawa’s father, Yoichi’s
eyes wander to the ALTAR at the front of the room set up to honor the
deceased. It is made of wood, and surrounded by candles, flowers, and
small paper lanterns. At the center is a PICTURE of the deceased, a
teenage girl. A small wooden PLAQUE reads her name: Tomoko Ouishi. It
is the same Tomoko from the first scene.
Yoichi continues to stare at Tomoko’s picture. He makes a peculiar
gesture as he does so, rubbing his index finger in small circles just
between his eyes.
INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT
Asakawa walks down the hallway, looking for her aunt. She walks until
finding the open doorway to the kitchen. There are a few people in
there, preparing busily. Asakawa sees her AUNT, who rushes into the
hallway to meet her, holds her fast by the arm. The aunt speaks in a
fierce, quick whisper.
Have you heard anything more about
But the police have already finished
Well, they said there was no sign of
(shaking her head)
That was no normal death. They haven’t
once opened the casket to let us see
the body. Don’t you think that’s
Asakawa looks away, thinking.
INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT
Yoichi has wandered off by himself. He stops at the foot of the
steps, looking up-- and catches a glimpse of a pair of BARE FEET
running up to the second floor.
A guarded expression on his face, Yoichi walks slowly up the
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - TOMOKO’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Yoichi has wandered into Tomoko’s bedroom. The lights are all off,
and there is an eerie feel to it. Yoichi’s eyes wander about the
room, finally coming to rest on the TELEVISION SET. Suddenly, he
hears his mother’s voice from behind him.
Yoichi turns to face her as she approaches, puts an arm around him.
What are you doing up here? You
shouldn’t just walk into other
Without replying, Yoichi’s gaze slowly returns to the television
set. Asakawa holds him by the shoulders, turning him to meet
You go on downstairs, OK?
He turns to leave, and Asakawa follows.
INT. OUSHI HOUSEHOLD - TOP OF THE STAIRS – NIGHT
Just as Yoichi and Asakawa are about to descend the steps,
Asakawa’s CELL PHONE rings. She opens the clasp to her PURSE.
You go on ahead.
He walks down the steps. Asakawa brings out her cell phone,
Uh... this is Okazaki. I’ve got
some more info on that article for
you. The girl was a student of
the uh, Seikei School for Women in
Asakawa blinks at this, looks disturbed.
She hangs up the phone.
EXT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - NIGHT
Asakawa stands now at the entrance of the house. Dazedly, she
walks toward a large, hand-painted PLACARD. The placard reads
that the wake is being held for a student of the Seikei School
Asakawa stares at that placard, making the mental connections.
She turns abruptly, walks towards a nearby TRIO of HIGH SCHOOL
Excuse me. This is, um, kind of a
strange question, but by any chance
were you friends of that young girl
that died in the car as well?
The three girls turn their faces to the ground.
Please. If you know anything...
They all died the same day. Youko.
Tomoko. Even Iwata, he was in a
Because they watched the video.
That’s what Youko said. They all
watched some weird video, and
after that their phone rang.
Tomoko-chan watched it, too?
Girl Left shakes her head.
She just said they all stayed
There was a girl with Tomoko when
she died. She’s had to be
hospitalized for shock.
They say she won’t go anywhere
near a television.
INT. NEWS STATION - VIEWING BOOTH – DAY
Asakawa and YOSHINO, another news reporter, are watching scenes
from the Yokohama car death. In the footage there are lots of
POLICEMEN milling about, one of them trying to pick the door to
the passenger side. Yoshino is giving Asakawa the blow-by-blow.
The bodies of those found were
Tsuji Youko, age 17, a student of
the Seikei School for Women, and
Nomi Takehiko, age 19, preparatory
school student. Both their doors
were securely locked.
Onscreen, the policeman has finally picked the lock. The door opens,
and a girl’s BODY half–falls out, head facing upwards. Yoshino flicks
a BUTTON on the control panel, scans the footage frame by frame. He
stops when he gets a good close-up of the victim.
Her face is twisted into an insane rictus of fear, mouth open, eyes
wide and glassy. Yoshino and Asakawa lean back in their seats.
This is the first time I’ve -ever-
seen something like this.
Cause of death?
Couldn’t say, aside from sudden
The autopsy came up negative.
Yoshino takes the video off pause. Onscreen, a policeman has caught
the young girl’s body from completely falling out, and is pushing it
back into the car. As the body moves into an upright position, we
can see that the girl’s PANTIES are mid-way around her left thigh.
These two, about to go at it,
suddenly up and die for no
Do -you- get it?
EXT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - DAY
Asakawa’s CAR is already halted before a modest-sized, two-story HOUSE
with a small covered parkway for a garage. She gets out of her car,
closes the door. She stares at the house, unmoving.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD – KITCHEN - DAY
Asakawa stands before her SISTER RYOMI, who is seated at the kitchen
TABLE. Ryomi is staring blankly away, making no sign of acknowledging
her sister. The silence continues unabated, and Asakawa, pensive,
wanders idly into the adjoining dining room. She takes a long look at
the television, the same television that had puzzled Tomoko by suddenly
switching itself on, sitting darkly in one corner. Her reflection in
the screen looks stretched, distorted.
They tell me that Yoichi came to
the funeral, too.
Asakawa steps back into the kitchen. She addresses her sister, who
continues to stare out at nothing.
They used to play a lot together, didn’t they? Upstairs.
Ryomi lapses back into a silence. Asakawa waits for her to say more,
but when it is clear that nothing else is forthcoming, she quietly gives
up and exits the kitchen.
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD – STAIRCASE - DAY
Asakawa climbs the steps to the second floor. She makes her way down
INT. OUISHI HOUSEHOLD - TOMOKO’S ROOM - DAY
As if intruding, Asakawa walks slowly, cautiously into Tomoko’s room.
The window to the room is open, and a single piece of folded white PAPER
on Tomoko’s desk flutters in the breeze. Asakawa walks towards it, picks
it up. It is a RECEIPT from a photo shop. The developed photos have yet
to be claimed.
Asakawa senses something, spins to look over her shoulder. Her sister
has crept quietly up the stairs and down the hall, and stands now in the
doorway to Tomoko’s room. She appears not to notice what Asakawa has in
her hands, as her gaze has already shifted to the sliding closet door.
She regards it almost druggedly.
This... this is where Tomoko died.
Ryomi’s hands fling aside the CLOSET DOOR. Within, she finds the pale
blue CARCASS of her daughter, curled up into an unnatural fetal position.
Tomoko’s mouth yawns gaping, her eyes glassy and rolled up into the back
of her head. Her hands are caught in her hair, as if trying to pull it
out by the roots. It is a horrific scene, one that says Tomoko died as
if from some unspeakable fear.
Ryomi sinks to her knees, hitting the wooden floor hard. She puts her
face into her hands and begins sobbing loudly. Asakawa says nothing.
EXT. CAMERA SHOP – DAY
Asakawa leaves the camera shop clutching Tomoko’s unclaimed PHOTOS. She
walks out onto the sidewalk and begins flipping through them. We see
Tomoko standing arm-in-arm with Iwata, her secret boyfriend. Tomoko and
her friends eating lunch. The camera had its date-and-time function
enabled, and the photos are marked
97 8 29.
The next shot is of Tomoko, Iwata, and another young couple posing in
front of a SIGN for a bed and breakfast. The sign reads:
IZU PACIFIC LAND
Asakawa continues looking through the photos, various shots of the
four friends clowning around in their room. Suddenly she comes to a
shot taken the next day, at check out. The friends are lined up, arms
linked-- and all four of their faces are blurred, distorted as if
someone had taken an eraser to them and tried to rub them out of
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT – KITCHEN - DAY
Asakawa wears an APRON, and is frying something up on the STOVE. Yoichi
Look, I’m probably going to be late
coming home tonight, so just stick
your dinner in the microwave when
you’re ready to eat, OK?
Tomo-chan watched some cursed video!
Asakawa leaves the food on the stove, runs over to Yoichi and grabs him
by the shoulders. She shakes him roughly.
What did you say? You are not to
speak of this at school, do you
I won’t. I’m going to school now.
Yoichi walks off. Asakawa goes back to the stove, but stops after only
a few stirs, staring off and thinking.
Caption-- “September 13th. Monday.”
EXT. ROAD – DAY
Asakawa drives her car speedily along a narrow country road, LEAVES
blowing up in her wake.
INT. ASAKAWA’S CAR - DAY
Asakawa mutters to herself, deep in thought.
There’s no way...
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – DAY
Asakawa’s car drives past a sign reading:
IZU PACIFIC LAND
EXT. IZU PACIFIC LAND - DRIVEWAY – DAY
Asakawa has left her car and is walking around the driveway of what is
less a bed and breakfast and more like a series of cabin-style rental
She wanders about for a while, trying to get her bearings. She pauses
now in front of a particular cottage and reaches into her PURSE. She
withdraws the PICTURE from the photomat, the one that showed Tomoko and
her friends with their faces all blurred. The four are posing in front
of their cottage, marked in the photograph as “B4.” Asakawa lowers the
photo to regard the cottage before her.
She walks to the door, turns the handle experimentally. It’s open.
Asakawa walks in.
INT. PACIFIC LAND - COTTAGE B4 – DAY
Asakawa lets her eyes wander around the cottage. It looks very modern,
all wood paneling and spacious comfort.
Her eyes rest on the TV/VCR setup at the front of the room. Crouching
before the VCR now, she presses the eject button. Nothing happens.
She fingers the inside of the deck, finds it empty, then reaches behind
to the rear of the VCR, searching. Again, there is nothing. Asakawa
presses the power button on the television, picks up the REMOTE, and
takes a seat on the SOFA. She runs through a few channels but they’re
all talk shows, no clues whatsoever. She flicks the TV off and leans
back in the sofa, sighing.
Just then, she spies a LEDGER on the coffee table. These things are
sometimes left in hotels in Japan, so that guests can write a few
comments about their stay for others to read. Asakawa picks the
ledger up, begins thumbing through it. She stops at a strange PICTURE
obviously drawn by a child, that shows three rotund, almost entirely
round personages. She reads the handwritten MESSAGE.
"My dad is fat. My mom is fat.
That’s why I’m fat, too."
She smiles in spite of herself.
Asakawa flips through the rest of the ledger, but there’s nothing else
of any import.
She tosses it back onto the coffee table and, sighing again, leans into
the sofa and closes her eyes.
EXT. OUTDOOR CAFÉ - DUSK
Asakawa eats silently, alone.
INT. PACIFIC LAND - FRONT RECEPTION - NIGHT
Asakawa has returned to the bed and breakfast. As she walks in the
door, the COUNTER CLERK rises out of his chair to greet her.
Room for one?
Um, actually I’m here on business.
She passes the clerk a picture of Tomoko and her three other friends.
He stares at it for a moment.
They would have stayed here on
August 29th, all four of them.
If there’s any information you
Uh, hang on just a minute.
The clerk turns his back to her, begins leafing through a guest log.
While she waits, Asakawa’s eyes start to wander around the room.
Behind the desk is a sign reading “Rental Video,” and a large wooden
BOOKSHELF filled with VIDEOTAPES. They are all in their original boxes,
and she lets her eyes glance over the titles. Raiders of the Lost Ark,
--and then, suddenly, she spies a VIDEOTAPE in a plain, unmarked
sleeve, tucked away in the back of the very bottom shelf. She feels
the hairs on the back of her neck rise.
The clerk looks up.
Asakawa stabs a finger excitedly towards the shelf.
That! What tape is that?
The clerk reaches out for it, grabs it.
The clerk pulls the tape out of its SLEEVE and checks for a label.
Maybe one of the guests left it behind…
INT. PACIFIC LAND – COTTAGE B4 - NIGHT
Asakawa flips on the TV. It’s on channel 2, and there is nothing but
static. She kneels down to slide the tape into the deck and pauses a
moment, framed in the vaguely spectral LIGHT from the television
screen. Steeling her nerves, she puts the tape into the machine, picks
up the remote, and presses play.
NOTE: This next scene is entirely visual. If you are reading this
translation before watching the movie, do yourself a favor; STOP
reading this now and watch the scene for itself. Afterwards, you can
come back here to check the meaning of the Japanese characters
At first it looks like nothing has happened-- then Asakawa realizes that
she is now viewing recorded static instead of broadcast static. She
watches, waiting, but the static continues unbroken. Asakawa looks
down at the remote, is about to press fast forward, when suddenly the
picture on the screen clears and for a moment she thinks she’s looking
at the moon.
It’s not the moon at all, she realizes. The shape is round like a full
moon, but it seems to be made up of thin RIBBONS of cloud streaking
against a night sky. And there’s a FACE, she sees, a face hidden in
shadows, looking down from above.
What is this?
The scene changes now, and Asakawa notes that the tape has that kind of
grainy quality one sees in 3rd or 4th generation copies. The scene is of
a WOMAN brushing her long hair before an oval-shaped MIRROR. The nerve-
wracking grating as if of some giant metallic insect sounds in the
background, but the lady doesn’t seem to notice. The mirror the lady is
using to brush her hair suddenly changes position from the left part of
the wall before which she stands, to the right. Almost instantly the
mirror returns to its original position, but in that one moment in its
changed location we see a small FIGURE in a white GOWN. The woman turns
towards where that figure stood, and smiles.
The screen next becomes a twitching, undulating impenetrable sea of the
kanji characters used in the Japanese language. Asakawa can pick out
only two things recognizable:
local volcanic eruption
Now the screen is awash in PEOPLE-- crawling, scrabbling, shambling
masses, some of them moving in reverse. A sound like moaning accompanies
A FIGURE stands upon a shore, its face shrouded. It points accusingly,
not towards the screen, but at something unseen off to one side. The
insect-like screeching sounds louder.
Close up on inhuman, alien-looking EYE. Inside that eye a single
character is reflected in reverse: SADA, meaning "chastity."
The eye blinks once, twice. The symbol remains.
A long shot of an outdoor, uncovered WELL.
Sudden loud, blinding STATIC as the tape ends.
Asakawa turns the TV off, looking physically drained. She sighs shakily
and slumps forward, resting on her knees. Just then, she glances at the
television screen. She sees, reflected, a small FIGURE in a white gown
standing at the rear of the room. Shocked, Asakawa draws in breath,
The room is empty. Asakawa runs to the sofa to collect her jacket--
--and the RINGING of the telephone stops her dead in her tracks. Zombie-
like, she walks towards the telephone, picks it up wordlessly.
From the other end comes the same metallic, insectoid SQUEAKING heard on
the video. Asakawa slams the phone down and glances up at the CLOCK.
It’s about seven minutes after 7 P.M.
Asakawa grabs her coat, pops the tape out of the deck, and runs out the
EXT. STREET – DAY
It is dark and raining heavily. Yoichi, Asakawa’s son, is walking to
school, UMBRELLA firmly in hand. The sidewalk is quite narrow, and Yoichi
comes to a halt when a second PERSON comes from the opposite direction,
blocking his way. Yoichi slowly raises his umbrella, peers up to look at
this other pedestrian. It is a MAN, a BAG slung over one shoulder. He
has a beard; unusual for Japan where clean-shaven is the norm.
The two continue looking directly at each other, neither moving nor
speaking. Yoichi then walks around the person’s left and continues on his
way. The man resumes walking as well.
Caption-- “September 14th. Tuesday.”
EXT. OUTSIDE AN APARTMENT DOOR - DAY
The bearded man, whose name is RYUJI, reaches out to press the DOORBELL,
but the door has already opened from within. Asakawa leans out, holding
the door open for him. Neither of them speaks. Wordlessly, Ryuji enters
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT - DAY
Ryuji puts his bag down, looks around the apartment. The interior is dark,
ominous somehow. He takes his JACKET off and wanders into the living room.
Asakawa is in the kitchen behind him, preparing TEA. Ryuji spies the
collection of FRAMED PHOTOGRAPHS in living room.
Yoichi’s in elementary school
already, is he?
His first year. What about you,
Ryuji? How have you been
Same as always.
She takes a seat next to him, serves the tea. On the coffee table
before them is a VIDEOTAPE in a plain, unmarked case.
And money is...?
I’m teaching at university.
Ryuji picks up his cup of tea but stops, grimacing, before it is to his
lips. He rubs his forehead as if experiencing a sudden headache. Ryuji
shakes it off and quickly regains his composure.
Anyway. You said that the phone rang?
So if I watch it too, that phone over
He gestures with his mug
Ryuji, four people have already
died. On the same day!
Well, why don’t you try calling
He takes a sip of his tea. Asakawa reaches quickly, grabs something
from the bookshelf behind her-- a POLAROID CAMERA. She shoves it
into Ryuji’s hands, then turns to look down at the floor.
Take my picture.
Ryuji raises the camera to his eye.
Turn this way.
Hurry up and take it.
Ryuji snaps off a shot. It comes out the other end and he takes it,
waits impatiently for an image to appear. When it does, all he can
do is pass it wordlessly over to Asakawa. Her face is twisted,
Just like the picture of Tomoko and her friends.
Asakawa stares at it, horrified. By the time she finally looks up,
Ryuji has already risen from his seat and slid the videotape into the
VCR. Again, the screen is filled with static, only to be replaced
with what looks like the moon. Asakawa slams the Polaroid on the
coffee table and goes outside onto the veranda.
EXT. VERANDA - DAY
Asakawa stares out at a view of the houses shaded in cloud and rain.
There is a knock on the glass door behind her. A moment later,
Ryuji slides the door open.
Asakawa re-enters her apartment.
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Well, it looks like your phone’s not
Ryuji pops the tape from the deck, hands it to Asakawa.
Make me a copy of this, will you?
I’d like to do a little research
of my own. There’s no reason to
write us off as dead just yet.
He dramatically takes a seat.
If there’s a video, that means that
somebody had to make it.
There’s the guest list from the
cottage to look into... and the
possibility of someone hacking
into the local station’s broadcast
Asakawa pulls a NOTEPAD from her purse and begins busily scribbling
INT. NEWS STATION - DAY
Okazaki putters around.
Caption-— “September 15th. Tuesday.”
INT. NEWS STATION - VIEWING BOOTH – DAY
Asakawa sits by herself, reviewing the videotape. She is replaying
the very last scene, an outdoor shot of a well. She stares at it
carefully, and notices...
The tape ends, filling the screen with static. A split-second
afterwards, there is a KNOCK on the door and Okazaki enters, holding
a FILE. Asakawa momentarily forgets about the video.
(handing her the file)
Here’s that guest list you wanted.
What are you gonna do with this?
Uh... sorry, I’m working on
EXT. IN FRONT OF A TRAIN STATION - DAY
Some quick shots of a FOUNTAIN gushing water, PIGEONS flapping away
looking agitated. CUT to Ryuji sitting on a BENCH. He’s deep in
thought, writing in a NOTEPAD. There are multitudes of PEOPLE about
him, and we can hear the sounds of their coming and going. A PAIR
OF LEGS attached to a woman in white dress, hose, and pumps appears,
heading directly for Ryuji. Her pace is slow, rhythmical, and as
that pace progresses all other sounds FADE into the background, so
that all we can hear is the CLOMP, CLOMP as those legs walk to stand
just before Ryuji. The pumps are scuffed, dirtied with grime.
A gust of WIND rips by. Ryuji fights the urge to look up as in his
ears rings the same hollowed, multi-voiced BABBLING heard on the
videotape. The sound grows stronger.
So, it was you. You did it.
The babbling fades, disappears as slowly the world’s normal
background sounds return. Ryuji looks up, but the woman in white
is nowhere to be seen.
EXT. OUTSIDE RYUJI’S APARTMENT – AFTERNOON
Ryuji rides up on a BICYCLE. He turns the corner towards his
apartment and finds Asakawa seated on the steps, waiting for him.
Asakawa notes in his face that something is wrong.
What happened to you?
He enters the building, carrying his bicycle. Asakawa follows.
INT. HALLWAY - AFTERNOON
The two walk down the hallway towards the FRONT DOOR to Ryuji’s
apartment. He unlocks the door and they enter.
INT. RYUJI’S APARTMENT – AFTERNOON
Ryuji and Asakawa enter the living room.
So, what’d you come up with?
I don’t think any of the guests on
the list brought the tape with them.
I couldn’t confirm it face-to-face
of course, but even over the phone I
got the feeling they were all being
upfront with me.
How about the other angle? Pirate
Asakawa shakes her head.
There’re no traces of any illegal
television signals being broadcast
She reaches into her purse, pulls out a large white ENVELOPE.
Here’s that copy of the videotape
Ryuji tears the package open. He squats down on the tatami in
frontof his TV and slides the tape in. Asakawa sits on the
tatami as well, but positions herself away from the TV and keeps
her eyes averted. Ryuji glares over his shoulder at her.
She reluctantly scoots closer, looks up at the screen. Ryuji
fast-forwards the tape a bit, stopping at the scene where the
woman is brushing her long hair before an oval mirror. He puts
the video on frame-by-frame.
Have you ever seen this woman?
Asakawa regards the screen intently.
The tape advances to the scene where the mirror suddenly changes
positions. When it does, we can again see the small figure in the
white gown, a figure with long black hair. When Ryuji sees this
his body stiffens, becomes tense. Asakawa notices but says nothing.
She also notices something else.
There’s something strange about
She takes the remote from Ryuji, rewinds it a ways. Onscreen, the
woman begins coming her long hair again.
From this angle, the mirror should
be reflecting whoever’s filming.
So, what does that mean?
Asakawa lets out a short sigh.
Well, if the person who made this
is a pro, there’d be a way around
that, I guess, but still...
The screen changes, showing the mass of squiggling kanji characters
Volcanic eruption... Eruption where?
He pauses the screen, trying to make sense of what is written.
This is gonna be impossible to figure
out on just a regular TV screen,
don’t you think?
They are both still staring at the screen when from behind them comes
the SOUND of someone opening the front door. Ryuji turns off the TV,
ejects the tape from the deck.
Come on in.
Asakawa flashes a look at Ryuji and then turns her head back towards
the front door to see who has entered. A cute, nervous-looking young
GIRL with short hair approaches slowly. She is carrying a PLASTIC BAG
filled with groceries.
Asakawa, meet my student, Takano Mai.
He turns, addresses Mai.
This is Asakawa, my ex-wife.
Ryuji gets up and walks conveniently away.
Nice to meet you. I’m Takano.
> * As you may already be aware, Japanese name order is the
>opposite of English’s, and even close friends may continue to
>address one another by their last names. Incidentally, Asakawa’s
>first name is “Reiko.” In this scene, Mai deferentially refers
>to Ryuji as sensei, meaning “teacher.”
Mai sets the bag of groceries down and chases after Ryuji. He is
putting on his jacket and getting ready to leave.
Sensei, the people from the
publishing company called about
the deadline on your thesis again.
What’re they talkin’ to you
about it for?
Because they can never get a
hold of you.
Ryuji picks up his keys, video firmly in hand.
Ask them to wait another week.
Sensei, ask them yourself,
Ryuji is already headed for the door. His back is to her as he
Asakawa walks after him. They leave.
Mai pouts unhappily a bit, and then breaks into a smile as an idea
crosses her mind. She walks across the room to where Ryuji has set
up a large BLACKBOARD filled with mathematical equations. Grinning,
Mai rubs out part of one equation with her sleeve and writes in a
INT. NEWS STATION – HALLWAY - NIGHT
Asakawa and Ryuji stride purposefully. They stop before a DOOR to
the right, which Asakawa unlocks. They both walk in.
INT. NEWS STATION - VIEWING BOOTH - NIGHT
Asakawa and Ryuji sit in a completely darkened room, their eyes
glued to the television MONITOR. They are again watching the scene
with the fragmented kanji characters, but despite their efforts have
been able to identify only one additional word, bringing the total
volcanic eruption local residents
This is impossible.
Ryuji fast forwards, stopping at the scene with the kanji reflected
inside an alien-looking EYE. He reads the kanji aloud.
Ryuji moves to make a note of this, notices the time.
Is Yoichi gonna be all right?
He’s used to it...
Short silence. Ryuji breaks it by gesturing towards the screen.
Whoever made this had to have left
some kind of clue behind. They’re
probably waiting for us to find it.
Asakawa turns a DIAL to bring up the volume, which up until now has
been on mute. The room is filled with an eerie, metallic GRATING,
and Asakawa spins the dial again, shutting it off. Just as she does,
Ryuji’s eyes widen.
Wait a minute.
He turns the dial again, punches a few buttons as if searching for
something. He listens carefully, and when he hears that strange
something again he stops, looks at the screen.
It is paused at the scene with the figure, pointing, a CLOTH draped
over its head. The figure now looks oddly like a messenger.
Ryuji and Asakawa exchange glances. This could be it. Ryuji flips
some more switches, setting the sound for super-slow mo. What follows
is a strange, labored sort of speech-— a hidden message-- framed in
the skittering distortion of the tape in slow motion.
Shoooomonnn bakkkkkarrri toou...
boooouuuukonn ga kuuru zouuu...
Shoumon bakkari, boukon ga kuru
zo. Did you hear that, too?
Asakawa nods. Ryuji is already writing it down excitedly.
What does that mean?
Ryuji tears the sheet of paper off the notepad, folds it, and tucks
it into his shirt pocket.
I’m gonna check it out.
EXT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT COMPLEX - MORNING
Yoichi is walking to school. He looks back over his shoulder, just
once,then resumes walking.
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT - MORNING
All the lights are turned off, and she is sitting on the living room
couch watching the footage of her café interview with the junior high
Caption-- “September 16th. Thursday.”
Just when the girl in the interview mentions that whomever watches
the video is supposed to afterwards receive a phone call, Asakawa’s
own phone RINGS, startling her. She runs to answer it.
I’ve got it. It’s a dialect, just
like I thought. SHOUMON means
“playing in the water” and BOUKON
means “monster.” *
>* Translated from standard Japanese, the phrase from the videotape
>would initially have sounded like, "If only SHOUMON then the
>BOUKON will come." These two capitalized words, later identified to
>be dialectical, were at the time completely incomprehensible to Ryuji
>and Asakawa. Dialect can vary dramatically from region to region in
>Japan, to the point of speakers of different dialect being unable to
>understand one another.
>The phrase on the tape can now be rendered, "If you keep playing in
>the water, the monster will come for you."
But, dialect from where?
Oshima. And the site of our
“eruption” is Mt. Mihara.
INT. LIBRARY - NIGHT
Ryuji and Asakawa are seated at cubicles, looking through bound
ARCHIVES of old newspaper articles. Asakawa sneaks a look at Ryuji,
stands up and walks off a little ways. She has already pulled out her
(whispering, on phone)
Yoichi? I’m gonna be a little
late tonight, honey.
Ryuji looks over his shoulder at her, scowls.
You can do it yourself, right? OK.
She hangs up, returns to her seat at the cubicle. She resumes her
scanning of the newspaper articles, and Ryuji shoots her another scowl.
Asakawa turns a page and then stops, frowning. She has spied an article
that looks like...
Nervously, Asakawa puts the thumb and forefinger of each hand together,
forming the shape of a rectangle. Or a screen. She places the rectangle
over the article she has just discovered, its headlines reading:
Mount Mihara Erupts Local Residents Urged to Take Precautions
Ryuji notices her, leans forward excitedly.
I’ve got it! This old article...
The two scan the remainder of the page, and find a smaller, related
Did Local Girl Predict Eruption?
A young lady from Sashikiji prefecture...
The two read over both articles, absorbing the details. Ryuji stands
suddenly, gathering his things.
What are you doing?
Has your newspaper got someone out
there at Oshima?
I think so. There should be a
correspondent out there.
I need you to find out, and let me
know how to get hold of him.
He begins walking briskly away. Asakawa chases after him.
What do you think you’re--?
You’ve only got four days left,
Asakawa! Your newspaper contact
and I can handle this from here
on out. You just stay with Yoichi.
Ryuji strides off. Asakawa stands motionless.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
A car speeds along. CUT to a gravel DRIVEWAY leading up to a wooden,
traditional-style HOUSE. Kouichi, Asakawa’s father, is standing before
the entrance and puttering around in his GARDEN. The car from the
previous shot drives up, comes to a halt. The passenger door opens and
Yoichi hops out, running towards the old man. Asakawa walks leisurely
after her son.
Whoa, there! So, you made it, huh?
Caption-- “September 17th. Friday.”
Yoichi says he’s looking forward to
doing some fishing with you.
Is that so?
Yoichi begins tugging excitedly at his grandfather’s arm.
C’mon grandpa, let’s go!
OK, OK. We’ll get our things
together and then we can go.
EXT. RIVER — DAY
Asakawa stands on a RIVERBANK while her father and Yoichi, GUMBOOTS on,
are ankle-deep in a shallow river. Yoichi holds a small NET, and
Asakawa’s dad is pointing and chattering excitedly.
There he is! C’mon, there he is,
don’t let him go!
Yoichi tries to scoop up the fish his grandfather is pointing out.
Oh, oh! Ah... guess he got away,
That was your fault, grandpa.
Asakawa’s father laughs.
Well, whaddya say we try again?
He begins sloshing noisily out to the center of the stream, Yoichi in
We’ll get ‘im this time.
Asakawa looks away, pensive.
INT. KOUICHI’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Yoichi is passed out asleep on the tatami mats. A TELEVISION looms
inone corner of the living room, but it is switched off. The
SLIDING DOORS to the adjacent guest room are open and we can see
futons set out, ready for bed.
Asakawa enters the living room and, seeing Yoichi, scoops him up in
her arms and carries him over to the guest room.
How was work, mommy?
Asakawa tucks him into the futons and walks silently off.
INT. KOUICHI’S HOUSE - STAIRCASE — NIGHT
Asakawa stands at the foot of the staircase, telephone RECEIVER in
hand. The phone rests on a small STAND by the staircase.
Yeah. Your Oshima contact came
through. It looks like the woman
who predicted the Mihara eruption
is the same woman from the video.
INT. RYUJI’S APARTMENT — NIGHT
Ryuji is crouched in front of the TV, REMOTE in hand. The screen is
paused on the scene of the woman brushing her long hair.
Her name is Yamamura Shizuko. She
committed suicide forty years ago
by throwing herself into Mt. Mihara.
INT. KOUJI’S HOUSE – STAIRCASE - NIGHT
Have you got anything else?
I’m gonna have to check it for
myself. I’ll be leaving for
Oshima tomorrow morning.
Oshima? I’ve only got three days
I know. And I’ve got four.
I’ll be in touch.
Ryuji hangs up. Asakawa, deep in thought, slowly places the phone
back in its CRADLE. She turns around to walk back down the hallway
only to find her father standing there, face full of concern.
Asakawa shakes her head.
Nothing. I just had some things
left over from work.
She walks past her father, who glances worriedly after her over his
INT. KOUJI’S HOUSE - GUEST ROOM — NIGHT
The lights are all off and Asakawa is asleep in her futon. Her eyes
suddenly fly open as a VOICE sounding eerily like her deceased niece
Tomoko calls out to her.
Asakawa looks around the room, gets her bearings. Her eyes fall on
the futon next to hers.
There is a BODY in that futon, but it is full-grown, dressed all in
black. It is curled into a fetal position and has its head turned
Suddenly, the IMAGE from the video of the figure with its face
shrouded springs to Asakawa’s mind. Just an instant, its pointing
visage materializes, and then disappears. It reappears a moment
later, pointing more insistently now, and disappears again.
Asakawa blinks her eyes and realizes that the futon next to hers is
empty. Yoichi is nowhere to be seen.
Just then, she hears that high-pitched, metallic SQUEAKING from the
video. Eyes wide with horror, she flings the sliding doors apart--
--and there, seated before the television, is Yoichi.
He is watching the video.
It is already at the very last scene, the shot of the outdoor well.
CLOSEUP on the screen now, and for just an instant we can see that
something is trying to claw its way out of the well. The video cuts
off, and the screen fills with static.
Shrieking, Asakawa races over to Yoichi, covers his eyes though it is
already too late. She scoots over to the VCR, ejects the tape and
stares at it uncomprehendingly. She is then at Yoichi’s side again,
shaking him roughly.
Yoichi! You brought this with you,
didn’t you? Why?!?
Asakawa freezes, her eyes wide.
Tomo-chan told me to watch it.
EXT. OCEAN — DAY
WAVES are being kicked up by a large PASSENGER SHIP as it speeds on
its way. CUT to Asakawa and Ryuji standing on deck, looking out over
I should’ve been more careful.
When I was at your place that
day, I could feel something
there. I thought it was just
because of the video...
You mean that Tomoko—
That’s not Tomoko. Not anymore.
Yoichi... he can see them too,
Ryuji nods his head, lowers it sadly.
It’s all my fault. First Tomoko
died, then those three others. It
should have stopped there, but it
didn’t. Because of me.
Asakawa turns to Ryuji suddenly.
How did the rumors about the
video even start in the first
This kind of thing... it doesn’t
start by one person telling a
story. It’s more like everyone’s
fear just takes on a life of its
Or maybe it’s not fear at all.
Maybe it’s what we were
secretly hoping for all along.
EXT. PORT — DAY
The ship has docked, its GANGPLANK extended. Ryuji and Asakawa walk
the length of the gangplank towards the shore. A man named MR.
HAYATSU is already waiting for them. He holds up a white SIGNBOARD
in both hands.
Aah, welcome! You must be tired
after your long trip. Please,
Mr. Hayatsu leads Asakawa and Ryuji to an awaiting minivan.
Caption-- “September 18th. Saturday.”
INT. HAYATSU’S MINIVAN - DAY
Ryuji and Asakawa sit in the back. Mr. Hayatsu is behind the wheel,
Back in the old days, the Yamamuras
used to head fishing boats out in
Sashikiji, though they don’t much
anymore. You know, one of Shizuko’s
cousins is still alive. He’s just an
old man now. His son and his
daughter-in-law run an old-fashioned
inn. I went ahead and booked
reservations for y’all, hope that’s
Asakawa gives the briefest of nods in reply, after which the
minivan lapses into silence. Asakawa looks dreamily out at the
mountain-studded landscape, then suddenly snaps to.
Why did Yamamura Shizuko commit
She was taking a real beating
in the press, being called a
fraud and all sorts of names.
After a while she just lost it.
CUT to a scene of the minivan speeding along a country road.
INT. HAYATSU’S MINIVAN — DAY
Shizuko was getting a lot of
attention around the island after
predicting the eruption of Mt.
Mihara. Seems that for some time
she’d had a rather unique ability:
precognition. It was around then
that she attracted the attention
of a certain scholar whom you may
have heard of; Ikuma Heihachiro.
He was driven out of the university,
This Professor Ikuma convinces
Shizuko to go to Tokyo with him,
where he uses her in a series of
demonstrations meant to prove the
existence of ESP. At first she’s
the darling of the press, but the
next thing you know they’re
knocking her down, calling her a
fraud. Hmph. Forty years later,
the media still hasn’t changed that
Asakawa continues, ignoring Ryuji’s barb.
I’ve heard this story. But... I’m
sure I remember hearing that somebody
died at one of those demonstrations.
A strange look crosses Ryuji’s face. He looks away, ignores her
for a moment.
After getting kicked out of
university, Ikuma just vanished,
and no one’s been able to get hold
of him since. He’s probably not
even alive anymore.
But, why even try looking for him?
Because he’s supposed to have had a
child with Shizuko. A daughter.
Asakawa freezes. In her mind, she sees a small FIGURE dressed in
white, its face hidden by long, black HAIR. It is the figure from
EXT. OUTSIDE YAMAMURA VILLA - DAY
Mr. Hayatsu leads Asakawa and Ryuji to the entrance.
The INKEEPER, a middle-aged lady named KAZUE wearing a traditional
KIMONO, comes shuffling up. She addresses Mr. Hayatsu.
She turns to Asakawa and Ryuji.
Well, I’ll be off then.
He gives a little bow and is off. Kazue, meanwhile, has produced
two pairs of SLIPPERS, which she offers to Ryuji and Asakawa.
Ryuji and Asakawa begin removing their shoes.
INT. YAMAMURA VILLA – STAIRCASE - DAY
Kazue leads Ryuji and Asakawa up a shadowed, wooden STAIRCASE.
And for your rooms, how shall we...?
INT. YAMAMURA VILLA - 2ND FLOOR – DAY
Kazue gives a little bow.
Kazue turns to the right. Almost immediately after reaching the
top of the steps, however, a strange look crosses Ryuji’s face.
He heads down the opposite end of the corridor, Asakawa close
Ryuji flings open the SLIDING DOOR to one of the older rooms. There,
hanging from one of the walls, is the oval-shaped MIRROR from the
video, the one used by the mysterious lady to brush her long hair.
Ryuji stares at the mirror, almost wincing. He turns around as if
to look at Asakawa,but continues turning, looks past her. Asakawa
follows his gaze, as does Kazue. Standing at the end of the corridor
is an old man, MR. YAMAMURA.
Yamamura regards them silently, balefully. Breaking the silence,
Kazue gestures for Asakawa and Ryuji to follow.
Please, this way.
Asakawa races past the innkeeper towards the old man. He keeps his
back turned towards her.
Please! If you could just answer
a few questions, about Shizuko...
I got nuthin’ to say.
It’s about Shizuko’s daughter.
The old man says nothing.
She did have a daughter, didn’t she?
Yamamura regards her for a moment, then turns to walk away.
You’re wasting your time.
INT. YAMAMURA VILLA - DINING ROOM – NIGHT
The TABLE is laid out with an elaborate-looking DINNER. Asakawa
sits alone, knees curled up to her chin, eyes wide and frightened.
She is whimpering softly to herself. Just then, the DOOR slides
open and Ryuji walks in. He sits at the table and picks up a
pair of CHOPSTICKS.
Aren’t you gonna eat?
You’ll stay with me won’t you?
When it’s time for me to die.
Oh, stop it.
Asakawa scoots across the tatami mats towards the table, grabs
Ryuji fiercely by the arm.
You’ll stay, won’t you? If you
stayed, maybe you’d learn something
that could help Yoichi--
I said stop it! Have you forgotten
There was a girl with Tomoko when
she died? That girl’s now in a
mental institution. Who knows what
But you could stay with me, Ryuji.
You’d be OK.
Why, because I’m already not
right in the head?
Asakawa releases her hold on Ryuji’s arm, lowers her head. Ryuji
slams his chopsticks down angrily.
If that’s the case, why not just
let things run its course, get rid
of father -and- son? Yoichi was a
Short silence. When Ryuji speaks up again, his voice is soft,
We still have two days left...
Just then the VOICE of the innkeeper calls tentatively out from
the other side of the sliding door.
Kazue slides the door open. She stands hesitantly in the doorway,
something tucked under one arm.
It’s about Miss Shizuko.
Ryuji shoots a glance at Asakawa and stands up from the table,
walks towards the innkeeper.
This is all that there is...
Kazue produces an old black and white PHOTOGRAPH. The photo shows a
WOMAN, seated, dressed in a KIMONO. A MAN in a Western-style SUIT
stands beside her.
Is this Professor Ikuma?
Hearing this Asakawa leaps up, walks over to examine the picture for
...yes. This picture is from before
I’d entered the household.
She pauses a moment.
I should go now.
The innkeeper scuttles off, leaving Asakawa and Ryuji alone with the
photograph. Unbidden, the VOICE from the video enters their
Shoumon bakkari... boukon ga kuru zo...
EXT. IZU SEASHORE - DAY
Asakawa watches Ryuji stride down the shore.
Caption-- “September 19th. Monday.”
Ryuji strolls up to find old man Yamamura sitting alone, staring
out at the sea. Yamamura glances up to see Ryuji approaching.
Ryuji takes a seat next to the old man, but it’s Yamamura who speaks
first. The deep basso of his voice emphasizes the drawl of his
Y’all’d do best to be off soon.
Sea’s probably gonna be rough
What kind of a child was Shizuko?
Shizuko was... different. She’d come
out here by herself ever’day an’ just
stare out at the ocean. The fishermen
all took a dislikin’ to her. Ocean’s
an unlucky place for us, y’see: every
year it swallows up more of our own.
You keep starin’ out at somethin’
Shoumon bakkari shite’ru to, boukon ga
kuru zo. “If you keep playing in the
water, the monster will come for you.”
Yamamura looks at Ryuji, surprised.
Shizuko could see “inside” people,
couldn’t she? Down to the places
they’d most like to keep hidden. It
must have been difficult for her...
Yamamura rises unsteadily to his feet, features twisted angrily.
Please leave! Now!
Ryuji stands, takes hold of Yamamura’s arm.
I’ve got a little of that ability
myself. It was you who spread the
word about Shizuko, wasn’t it?
And you who first contacted
You thought you’d be able to make
some money off her. You even got
some, from one of the newspapers.
Leave me the hell alone!
Mr. Yamamura strides angrily off. Both Ryuji and Asakawa take
pursuit, Ryuji calling out from behind Yamamura’s back.
Tell us about Shizuko’s daughter.
Who was she?
I don’t know!
She was there, with Shizuko. She
had to be.
Yamamura’s pace, which has become increasingly erratic, finally
causes him to stumble and fall. Ryuji comes up behind him,
grasping him firmly. At their touch Ryuji’s power awakens, and as
he peers into the old man’s mind there is a sudden blinding
The setting is a large MEETING HALL. A number of people are seated
in folding chairs before a STAGE, on which are a four MEN in BUSINESS
SUITS and a WOMAN in a KIMONO. A BANNER hangs above the stage, which
reads PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION ON THE EXISTENCE OF CLAIRVOYANCE.
Ryuji eyes widen as he realizes he is seeing Shizuko’s demonstration
before the press. He also realizes--
You were there!
YAMAMURA SHIZUKO, the woman in the kimono, is sitting at a TABLE
onstage. Her face is calm and expressionless. Standing off to one
side and peering from behind the curtains is a young Mr. Yamamura.
You stood there and watched the
CUT back to the beach. Asakawa comes running up toward Ryuji and the
prone Mr. Yamamura. Suddenly there is another
Asakawa, her eyes wide, finds herself inside the scene, reliving it
as if she had actually been there. She watches as Shizuko receives
a sealed clay POT in both hands. Shizuko regards the pot a moment
and then places it gently on the table before her. She takes a
calligraphy STYLUS from the table, begins writing on a thin,
rectangular sheet of RICE PAPER. The members of the press talk
excitedly, craning their necks for a better look.
Onstage, a JUDGE holds up the phrase written by Shizuko and the
folded sheet of paper taken from the sealed pot. The phrase on both
sheets is identical.
Cameras begin FLASHING excitedly. Shizuko’s features melt into a soft
The experiment is performed again, and again the phrase written by
Shizuko corresponds to the sealed sheet of paper.
Again and again, Shizuko unerringly demonstrates her power to “see”
the unseen. Finally, a bearded REPORTER explodes from his chair,
begins striding angrily towards the stage.
Faker! This is nothing but trickery,
and the lowest form of trickery at
The reporter stops at the foot of the stage, points his finger
accusingly at Shizuko.
What are you trying to pull, woman?
A SECOND REPORTER sitting in the front row also rises to his feet.
That’s right! Professor Ikuma,
you’re being fooled!
By now most of the press has risen from their chairs, pointing and
shouting angrily. Onstage, Shizuko backs away, eyes wide and
frightened. She covers both ears, trying to block out the increasing
din. Professor Ikuma holds her protectively by the shoulders. The
first reporter is still shouting angrily, his voice rising above the
others. Suddenly, a pained look crosses his face and he collapses to
the floor. The crowd, and Asakawa as well, see that the reporter’s
face is contorted into a grotesque mask of fear.
Professor Ikuma begins leading Shizuko offstage. They stop as someone
unseen steps up, blocking their passage. Shizuko’s eyes widen, her
head shaking in disbelief.
Sadako? Was it you?
CUT to Ryuji on the beach. He looks up excitedly.
He recalls the image from the video, the alien eye with the single
character SADA reflected in reverse. *
>* The majority of girls' names in Japanese end in either -mi ("beauty")
>or -ko ("child"). Thus, Sadako means "Chaste child." Sadako is, of
>course, the mysterious daughter of Shizuko and Professor Ikuma.
Sadako killed him? She can kill
just with a thought?
She’s... a devil spawn.
CUT back to the demonstration hall. Sadako, her face completely hidden
by her long hair, runs offstage... and heads directly for Asakawa.
Asakawa instinctively raises her arm, and Sadako grasps it fiercely.
All the nails on Sadako’ hand are stripped away; her fingers are raw,
CUT back to the beach. Asakawa, still caught in the throes of the
vision, has begun to swoon. Finally her legs give out and she crumples
to the beach. Ryuji grabs hold of her supportively. He glances down at
her wrist, sees an ugly, purple BRUISE already beginning to form.
The bruise is in the shape of five long, spindly fingers.
Mr. Yamamura slowly rises to a sitting position, and together the three
watch the approach of ominous, dark STORM CLOUDS.
INT. MR. HAYATSU’S HOUSE – DUSK
Asakawa is on the phone, her voice almost frantic.
That’s right. After Yamamura Shizuko
committed suicide, Professor Ikuma
took the daughter and ran. No, no one
knows where they went. That’s why I
need -you- to find out where they are.
Even if the professor’s dead, Sadako
should still be in her forties. I’ll
explain it all later, but right now
Asakawa slams the phone down. PAN to show Ryuji slumped in one corner
of the room, his back to the wall.
Sadako’s probably already dead. She
could kill people with just a thought,
remember? Her mother wasn’t even
close to that.
Well, what about that video? If
Sadako’s dead then who made it?
Nobody made it. It wasn’t made at
all. That video... is the pure,
physical manifestation of Sadako’s
Ryuji turns to regard Asakawa, his eyes blank.
We’ve been cursed.
There is a moment of silence before Mr. Hayatsu slides the door open,
almost falling into the room. He is out of breath, and speaks rapidly.
It’s no good. With the typhoon
coming in, all ships are
temporarily staying docked.
What about the fishing boats?
Tell their captains I’ll pay.
Fishing boats? Sir, without knowing
whether this typhoon is going to hit
us or not, I think it’d be better to
wait and see how things turn--
Ryuji interrupts him, slamming both palms on the table. Glasses
Fine! I’ll try searching myself!
Ryuji stands and races past Mr. Hayatsu out into the rain. Hayatsu
takes pursuit, calling after him.
Mr. Takayama!? Mr. Takayama...
Asakawa, left alone, stares down at the tatami mats.
EXT. OCEAN - NIGHT
White-capped waves roll angrily in a black sea.
INT. MR. HAYATSU’S HOUSE – NIGHT
Asakawa sits at a table, alone, her hands clasped as if in prayer. Her
eyes are wide and glassy. The phone RINGS suddenly and Asakawa dives
for it, wrenching it from the cradle before it can ring a second time.
Mrs. Asakawa? I’m sorry. I tried,
but I couldn’t come up with any
leads at all.
A look of abject fear crosses Asakawa’s face. She begins retreating
Asakawa slowly places the phone back in its cradle. Almost immediately,
her face begins to crumple. She falls to her knees, sobbing into the
She cries a while longer but suddenly stops. Her face, eyes streaked
with tears, shoots suddenly up, stares directly at the telephone.
EXT. IZU WHARF – NIGHT
Asakawa stands looking down on the wharf, scanning.
Several FISHING BOATS are docked. The wind whips her hair crazily
around. She continues scanning, and suddenly she spies--
Asakawa runs down onto the wharf, heading towards Ryuji. He is
in mid-conversation with Mr. Hayatsu.
Ryuji! The phone in my apartment
never rang! It only ever rang at
the rental cottage! Professor
And we’ve got no way of going back.
It’s too dangerous! The thought of
anybody going out in this weather...
The three fall into silence as they realize the powerlessness of their
situation. Suddenly, a deep VOICE booms from behind them.
I’ll take you out.
The three spin around to see Mr. Yamamura, his ROBES flapping in the
gusty night air. He begins walking towards them.
Sadako is callin’ y’all, reckon.
Mayhap to drag you down under the
Short silence. Ryuji shoots a short questioning glance at Asakawa,
turns back to face Mr. Yamamura.
Please. Take us out.
EXT. OCEAN – NIGHT
A tiny FISHING BOAT is tossed about on the waves. Mr. Yamamura stands
at the wheel, his face expressionless.
INT. MR. YAMAMURA’S FISHING BOAT – NIGHT
Ryuji and Asakawa are crouched close together in the cabin. Asakawa’s
expression is dreamy, faraway.
It’s funny. I’m not afraid at all.
Ryuji leans over, rubs her hand comfortingly. Suddenly he switches
back into analytical mode.
Sadako probably died back out there
at Izu, before the rental cottages
were ever built.
So, Sadako was Professor Ikuma’s
Ikuma smuggled her out in secret.
His relationship with Shizuko was
already a scandal, and one of the
reasons he got drummed out of the
university... We’ve gotta find
Is that going to break the curse?
Will Yoichi be all right?
It’s all we’ve got left to try.
Just one more day...
Ryuji puts his arm around Asakawa.
EXT. MR. YAMAMURA’S FISHING BOAT - DAWN
Ryuji stands on deck, looking out over the water. He heads down
below toward the captain’s area. Mr. Yamamura is at the wheel.
We made it. Maybe Sadako doesn’t
have it out for us after all.
Long pause as Mr. Yamamura says nothing.
Shizuko... she used to -speak- to
the ocean, just ramble away. One
time I hid, listenin’ to one of her
Mr. Yamamura pauses again.
And it weren’t in no human language.
EXT. MR. YAMAMURA’S FISHING BOAT – DAWN
Asakawa has climbed out on deck and is looking up towards the sunrise.
Caption-- “September 20th. Monday.”
EXT. HARDWARE STORE – DAY
Ryuji races out of the store, loaded down with supplies. He holds a
pair of BUCKETS in one hand and a CROWBAR and SHOVEL in the other. A
length of ROPE is coiled over his left shoulder. He runs towards a
RENTAL CAR, passing by Asakawa who stands at a PAYPHONE, receiver in
Yoichi? It’s mommy. I just called
to say I’ll be coming home tomorrow.
Ryuji shoots a look at her over his shoulder.
I’m tired of it here, mom! I wanna
go back to school.
Yoichi, it’s rude to your grandpa
to talk like that.
He’s laughing. You wanna talk to him?
Asakawa pauses, her voice hitching. She seems about to lose
I’m sorry, Yoichi. I’ll... I’ll
see you tomorrow.
Asakawa’s face scrunches up in an effort to hold back tears.
Mommy’s got something she has to do.
Say hello to grandpa for me, OK?
Ryuji stands by the car, scowling over at Asakawa. He shuts the DOOR
just short of a slam. CUT to Asakawa hanging up the phone. She half-
runs towards the rental car and enters the passenger side, staring
blankly into space. Ryuji slides into the driver’s seat, buckles his
What time was it when you first
watched the video?
Asakawa glances at her watch.
Seven or eight minutes past
seven. PM. No more than ten
If the rumors are true, that
time is gonna be our deadline.
Asakawa buckles up as Ryuji steps on the gas.
INT. RENTAL CAR – DAY
Asakawa sits in the passenger side. Her face is almost angelic,
with the faintest hint of a smile. Ryuji shoots a questioning look
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – DAY
The white rental car tears past the SIGN reading Izu Pacific Land.
The car continues into the LOT, screeching around corners before
coming to an abrupt halt. Asakawa, her face still oddly expressionless,
gets out of the passenger side. Ryuji exits as well, the hint of a
shudder running through him as he regards the series of rental cabins.
CUT to Asakawa and Ryuji walking up the gravel PATH towards the rental
cabins. Ryuji looks back over his shoulder as both he and Asakawa stop
before cabin B4. The cabin is on STILTS, its underbelly fenced off by
wooden LATICEWORK. Ryuji drops most of his supplies to the ground, but
keeps hold of the PICK. He raises the pick over one shoulder and begins
smashing away at the latticework. When he has cleared enough space for
passage, he begins picking up supplies and tossing them hastily within.
When finished, he holds a hand out for Asakawa. The two enter the
UNDER COTTAGE B4 - DAY
Ryuji pulls a FLASHLIGHT out, flicks it on. The BEAM arcs outwards,
illuminating what looks more like an old mine shaft than a modern
rental cottage. The beam halts when it suddenly encounters an old
STONE WELL. The well is badly chipped on one side, and sealed off
with a solid-looking stone LID. Ryuji rushes quickly towards it.
I knew it! The well.
He squats down beside the well, setting the flashlight on the
lid. Asakawa sinks slowly down beside him.
Ryuji reaches out and takes Asakawa’s hand. He sets their enclasped
hands onto the lid, and together they begin lightly tracing the
surface of the lid with their free hands. Asakawa closes her eyes in
concentration... and suddenly, as with the incident on the beach,
Asakawa finds herself drawn into Ryuji’s psychometric VISION.
The picture is black and white, grainy like old film. A YOUNG GIRL in
a WHITE GOWN walks slowly towards an open well. She places her hand on
the LIP of the well, peers curiously down.
Asakawa looks up, her eyes wide open.
There is now a second person in the vision, an ELDERLY MAN in an old-
fashioned tweed SUIT standing behind the young girl. He suddenly
produces some BLADED OBJECT, and strikes the girl savagely across the
back of the head.
The girl falls forward. The man drops to the ground, grabbing the girl
behind the knees and hoisting her limp BODY over the lip and into the
well. The body falls into its depths.
Panting heavily, the man leans forward and grasps the lip of the well
with both hands, looking down. He flashes a guilty look in either
direction, checking that his crime has gone unnoticed, and as he does
so Asakawa realizes that she knows this face. The image from the
videotape, like a face in the moon: it had been Sadako inside the well,
looking up to see this man staring back down at her.
This man whose name is Professor Ikuma Heihachiro.
Her own father!
The energy seems to drain out of Asakawa in a rush, and her body
crumbles. Ryuji catches hold of her.
It was Ikuma who put this lid on.
And Sadako’s still inside.
Ryuji stands quickly, takes hold of the crowbar. He inserts it under
the lid and begins trying to pry it off, face scrunched with effort.
Asakawa digs her fingers in and lends her own strength as well. Slowly,
the lid begins to move. Ryuji tosses the crowbar aside and the two
lean the combined weight of their bodies into it. The lid slides off,
dropping to the earth with a dull THUD. Ryuji sits to one side, winded
with effort, as Asakawa takes hold of the flashlight. She shines it
down into the well, but it only seems to intensify the gloom. What
WATER she can see looks fetid and brackish. Ryuji sees her expression
and begins removing his JACKET.
He walks off, leaving Asakawa alone.
CUT to an overhead shot of the well. A ROPE is fastened to one side,
and Ryuji has already begun lowering himself down. His eyes wander
overthe grime-smeared WALLS, and with a shudder he begins to pick out
human FINGERNAILS. Torn loose and spattered with blood, countless
fingernails line the sides of the well.
Sadako was alive! She’d tried to
climb her way out.
Ryuji’s face twists into a grimace as if momentarily experiencing
Sadako’sterrible agony. He waits a moment longer before edging his
way down the rope again, finally SPLASHING to rest at the bottom of
the well. He holds his flashlight above the brackish water, calls up
Lower the buckets!
Asakawa nods and lowers two plastic BUCKETS fastened to a rope. Ryuji
grabs one and scoops up a bucketful of water, tugging on the rope when
Take it up!
Asakawa hoists the bucket up to the rim of the well. She walks a small
distance and tosses the contents out onto the ground. She happens to
glance through the wooden lattice to the outside, and with a start
realizes that the sun has already started to set. A nervous glance at
her WATCH later and she is back at the well, lowering the empty bucket
to find another full one already awaiting her.
Take it up!
In the well, Ryuji glances at his watch. He looks at it for a long
moment, the expression on his face saying We’re not going to make it.
Time passes as Asakawa pulls up bucketload after bucketload, her
strength beginning to fade. She half-stumbles, glances up... and is
shocked to realize that NIGHT has fallen.
CUT to Asakawa slowly pulling up yet another bucket, her strength
almost gone. She looks at her watch and sees that it is now past
6:00. She calls frantically down to Ryuji.
It’s already six!
I know! Hurry up and TAKE IT UP!!
The bucket slowly jerks into motion. Asakawa pulls it up to the rim
of the well, holds it unsteadily. She takes one faltering step and
falls, spilling the bucket’s contents onto the ground.
CUT to Ryuji in the well, standing ready with another bucketful.
Take it up!
The bucket begins moving, even slower than before. CUT to Asakawa,
her body trembling with effort. By now it’s all she can do to simply
keep her body moving. She glances behind her, sees through the wooden
lattice that it is now pitch black. A look of resignation crosses her
face and she releases her hold on the bucket, her body crumpling and
falling in on itself.
CUT to the bucket splashing back into the well, narrowly missing
What the hell are you doing? Trying
to get me killed?
CUT back to Asakawa, her face dead. Ryuji calls out from the well.
Asakawa falls backward onto the ground, arms splayed. CUT to the rim
of the well. Ryuji pulls himself up over the rim, catches sight of
She lifts her head up but says nothing as Ryuji walks over to her.
We’ll change. You’re in no condition
to keep this up.
Asakawa suddenly springs into life. Her voice is frantic, fearful.
Who do you expect to pull up these
But, we don’t even know if it’s doing
Ryuji strides forward and slaps Asakawa painfully across the cheek.
He begins shaking her roughly for good measure.
And what about Yoichi, huh? Is his
mother not coming to pick him up
He releases his hold on her. The two stare at each other a long time,
CUT to an overhead shot of Asakawa being lowered into the well. CUT
now to Asakawa inside the well, her face and clothes covered with
grime, body simultaneously limp with exhaustion and tense with fright.
Unable to resist the impulse, Asakawa slowly looks over her shoulder
and down into the well. The dankness, the claustrophobia seeps in
and she draws in her breath in the first signs of panic.
Don’t look down!
She returns her gaze, cranes her neck upward. CUT to Ryuji leaning
over the rim of the well, peering down at her. For an instant,
everything becomes monochrome. It’s not Ryuji looking down at her at
all; it’s Professor Ikuma, checking to see if she’s still alive or
if the blow to the back of her head has finished her off. CUT to
Asakawa, her eyes wide with fright.
Asakawa comes to rest at the bottom of the well. A FLASHLIGHT hangs
from another rope, but its beam has almost no effect on the darkness.
Asakawa crouches forward, hands moving searchingly through the water.
She calls out pleadingly.
Where are you? Please, come out.
Asakawa straightens, unties herself from the rope. A full bucket
already awaits. She tugs on the rope and Ryuji pulls it up.
She scoops up a second bucket, but something stops her from sending
it up. Instead, she begins running her arms through the water again,
her voice close to tears.
Please. Where are you?
Asakawa continues her blind fumbling, which sends up little splashes
of stagnant water. With a start, she realizes that her fingers have
caught something. Seaweed? Asakawa draws her hands close for a
better look... and sees that is HAIR. A thick clump of long, black
Suddenly a pale, thin ARM shoots out from beneath the water, catching
Asakawa just below the wrist. Asakawa’s ears are filled with a SOUND
like moaning as something slowly rises from its watery slumber. It
is a GIRL, her face completely hidden by long, black hair. CUT to a
shot of Asakawa’s face. Far from being frightened, her features are
oddly placid. She regards the fearsome thing before her with an
almost tender look. Asakawa reaches out, lightly strokes that long
She strokes the hair again, and abruptly it peels right off the head
with a loud SQUELCH. Revealed is not a face at all but a SKULL. Its
sockets are at first menacingly empty, but then begin to ooze the
green SLUDGE it has pulled up from the bottom of the well. Like a
mother comforting a frightened child, Asakawa pulls the skeletal
remains to her breast, strokes the bony head comfortingly. Her eyes
begin to glaze.
CUT to Ryuji racing up to the rim of the well, leaning down intently.
Hey! Asakawa! It’s already 10
minutes past seven! We did it!
Down in the well, Asakawa continues staring blankly ahead. Her body
suddenly falls forward, limp.
EXT. OUTSIDE COTTAGE B4 – NIGHT
Three POLICE CARS are parked outside the rental cottages, crimson
headlights flashing. A few COPS walk by, two of them carrying
something off in white PLASTIC BAGS. CUT to Ryuji and Asakawa
sitting on the curb. Asakawa is staring off at something, a BLANKET
draped over her shoulder.
Why would Ikuma have killed her?
His own daughter...
Maybe she wasn’t his daughter at all.
Maybe her father... wasn’t even human.
The two exchange glances. Ryuji’s gaze falls to Asakawa’s WRIST,
which he suddenly takes and holds close to his face. The ugly
bruise where Sadako had grabbed her has disappeared.
He shakes his head, clearing his analytical mind of their ordeal.
Enough, already. It’s over. C’mon.
I’ll take you home.
Ryuji stands, pulls Asakawa to her feet.
EXT. OUTSIDE ASKAWA’S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Ryuji’s white CAR pulls up into the parking lot. He and Asakawa
get out, regard each other from opposite sides of the car. There is
a long moment where neither of them says anything.
Get some rest.
He flashes her the slightest of grins.
I still have a thesis to finish.
CUT to a shot of Ryuji and Asakawa, the car creating an almost
metaphoric distance between them.
Ryuji nods silently by way of reply. He gets into his car and
drives off. Asakawa watches him go, and then walks towards the
entrance of her apartment.
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT – BEDROOM – MORNING
Asakawa walks into her room, sits on the edge of her bed. It is
now morning, and she sits dazedly watching the sun come up.
INT. RYUJI’S APARTMENT – MORNING
Ryuji sits busily scribbling into a NOTEBOOK. He stops writing a
moment to regard his notes while taking a sip of COFFEE. He
glances over at his BLACKBOARD for confirmation when a small scowl
crosses his brow. It’s gone a moment later as he chuckles wryly
Ryuji stands, walks over to the blackboard. He fixes Mai’s little
prank with a single chalk stroke.
EXT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT – VERANDA – MORNING
Asakawa emerges, taking in the dawn. At first her face is calm and
tranquil... but her features change as the sun almost noticeably
darkens and a WIND begins to kick up her hair. She now looks very
Caption-- “September 21st. Tuesday.”
NOTE: This next scene is entirely visual. If you are reading this
translation before watching the movie, do yourself a favor; STOP
reading this now and watch the scene for itself.
INT. RYUJI’S APARTMENT – MORNING
Ryuji is busy scribbling away at his notes again. His hand suddenly
ceases, eyes dancing worriedly as he hears a faint...
Breath rattling fearfully in his throat, Ryuji spins around to face
the TELEVISION SET. He gets out of his seat for a better look,
falling to his knees on the tatami.
The image that fills the screen is the last scene from the videotape;
the shot of the well.
The SOUND from before comes louder now, more insistent, a metallic
screeching that both repulses and beckons him closer. Ryuji crawls on
all fours towards the SCREEN, stares at its unchanging image with
There is a flash of MOTION as something shoots out of the well. A
hand. First one, and then another, as Sadako, still in her grimy white
dress, face hidden beneath long, oily strands of hair, begins slowly
pulling herself out. The television screen jumps unsteadily, fills
with static as if barely able to contain her image.
CUT back and forth between Ryuji, who is beginning to visibly panic,
and the television, which shows Sadako lurching ever closer.
The TELEPHONE rings, and Ryuji spins round towards it, breath catching
in his throat. He looks at the phone, over his shoulder at the
television, back to the phone.
That’s it! Asakawa...
Ryuji scrambles wildly towards the phone. He takes the receiver but
is unable to do more than clutch it fearfully as his gaze is drawn
inexorably back to the television. Sadako’s shrouded face has filled
the entire screen... and then, television popping and crackling, she
jerks forward and emerges from the television onto the floor of
Ryuji’s apartment. Ryuji backs away, screaming in terror.
Sadako lies prone, collapsed, hair splayed out like a drowned corpse.
Only her FINGERS are active, crawling, feeling. The TIPS of her
fingers are little more than bloodied stumps, not a single fingernail
on them. She uses the strength in those fingers to pull herself
forward, coming jerkily to her feet. The joints of her body twist
unnaturally, more insect-like than human.
Ryuji flings the phone aside and begins scrambling about the apartment
as if looking for cover. The strength has already begun to fade from
his body, however, and his movements are clumsy, exaggerated. He falls
to the floor, panting heavily.
Sadako turns to regard him, and for just an instant we can see beneath
her impenetrable shroud of hair; a single EYE burns with manic,
Its gaze meets Ryuji’s, and his face twists into a grimace as he
EXT. KOUJI’S HOUSE - FRONT YARD – DAY
Yoichi sits on the lawn, doodling into a large SKETCHPAD. He
suddenly stops, eyes registering that he has somehow felt his father’s
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT – DAY
Asakawa clutches the RECEIVER to her ear. She can still hear the
sounds of metallic SCREECHING coming from the video, though they are
now becoming softer.
EXT. OUTSIDE RYUJI’S APARTMENT BUILDING – DAY
Asakawa comes running down a side street, turning the corner and
making for the entrance to Ryuji’s apartment building. There is a
single GUARD posted at the entrance. He reaches out, catches Asakawa
lightly by the arm.
Are you a resident here, ma’am?
I’m Takayama Ryuji’s wife!
The guard drops his hand, and Asakawa makes for the entrance.
I’m sorry ma’am, but they’ve already
taken the body away.
Asakawa’s spins around, eyes wide. Body?
INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE RYUJI’S APARTMENT – DAY
Mai is there, slumped against one wall. Asakawa comes running up,
dropping to her knees and grasping Mai by the shoulders.
Mai shakes her head dreamily.
When I got here he was just
Did he say anything to you? About
Mai shakes her head again, shakes it harder until the breath
catches in her throat.
Mai falls into silence, curls up on herself. Asakawa leaves her
and crosses toward the door to Ryuji’s apartment.
INT. RYUJI’S APARTMENT - DAY
The front DOOR opens wildly, noisily forward. Asakawa comes
rushing in, eyes darting about the apartment. She thinks
frantically to herself.
Ryuji... why? Does this mean that
Yoichi will die, too? Is the curse
not broken yet?
Her gaze falls to the television set. She dives forward, presses
the eject button on the VCR. Sure enough, the TAPE is still in
the deck. She takes the tape and leaves.
INT. ASAKAWA’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Asakawa walks slowly, dreamily forward. She drops the videotape
loudly onto the coffee table and slouches into a CHAIR. Her eyes
fall to the framed photographs of Yoichi on one of the shelves.
This snaps Asakawa out of her daze and she begins whispering
intently to herself, thinking.
I was the only one to break
Sadako’s curse. Ryuji... why...?
Something I did that you didn’t...
Something I did that you didn’t...
Asakawa gives up, lowers her face into her hands. When she looks
up again, she happens to glance at the television screen-- and
its GLARE reveals that there is someone ELSE in the room with her.
It is the figure from the videotape, the silent accuser with the
cloth draped over its face. With a start, Asakawa realizes that
the figure is wearing Ryuji’s clothes.
She spins around, but the room is empty. Asakawa’s mind races.
The figure had been pointing towards her BAG. She stands,
rummages in her bag to produce her copy of the cursed videotape.
She takes Ryuji’s COPY in her other hand, her eyes darting
between the two tapes.
Something I did that you didn’t...
It suddenly clicks home as Asakawa looks full-on at Ryuji’s
version of the tape, plainly marked COPY.
What broke the curse was that I copied
the tape and showed it to someone else!
CUT to Asakawa slowly pulling her VCR from the television stand.
A look of almost frightening resolve etches her face.
EXT. HIGHWAY – DAY
ARIAL SHOT of Asakawa’s car. We hear her VOICE on the cell
Dad? It’s me. I’m on my way over.
Look, dad, I’ve got something to ask.
It’s for Yoichi...
INT. ASAKAWA’S CAR – DAY
CLOSEUP on the VCR in the passenger side. CUT to Asakawa at the
wheel as time spirals forward, the decisions of the present
already become rumor of the future.
GIRL A (VO)
They say there’s a way you can stay
alive after you watch the video.
You’ve gotta make a copy of it, and
show it to somebody else inside a week.
GIRL B (VO)
But what about the person you show it
GIRL A (VO)
Well, then they make a copy and show it
to somebody else. Again, inside a week.
GIRL C (VO)
Then there’s no end to it.
GIRL A (VO)
That’s just it. There -is- no end. But
if it meant not dying... you’d do it,
Asakawa’s eyes begin to well. Her car speeds along the highway,
to the direction of menacing-looking STORM CLOUDS.
Caption-- “September 22nd. Wednesday.”
FADE TO BLACK as the CAPTION turns blood red.