The Perilous Internet Ring is a 2020 Chinese horror film about a female college student investigating a series of mysterious deaths. The puzzle involves a cursed internet novel that causes its readers to die.
Directed by Japanese filmmaker Norio Tsuruta (Talk to the Dead; Orochi: Blood; Premonition; Scarecrow; Ring 0) from a screenplay written by Ma Boyong (who also executive produced), based on the popular internet novel She Died On QQ, the Dasheng Legend production stars Sun Yi Han (The Monkey King 3; My Heart Leaps Up).
A mysterious online novel is causing quite the stir on campus. Students are dying after they read the secretive last chapter, which is tailor written for each recipient and details the method by which they will die. Xiao Nuo and Ma Ming start to investigate the origins of the story and track the author down to a secret lair when AI is writing the final chapters. But there is more going on than there appears to be, with the mysterious AI creator having a sordid history with all the victims.
Taking on the role of Xiao Nuo is model Yihan Sun. Since the filming of the movie she has starred in the Crime thriller Where It Begins (2019), a TV series The Bond (2021) and The Silence of the Monster (2022).
Taiwanese actor Fu Mengbo plays Ma Ming, with a great filmography including horror hit Detention (2019), thriller Deep Evil and romantic drama I Missed You (2021). And finally Chinese horror actress Musi Ni from decent Chinese horror film Haunted Road (2014), The House of Confinement (2016) and the truly horrible Midnight Whisper (2015).
Even with a famed Japanese director at the helm, there wasn’t much he could do to work around the ridiculous Chinese censorship of horror films, with the trailer of the movie being the only good part about it. A heavy-handed government message about internet safety overshadows the film. Wooden acting from lead Yihan Sun just compounds the issues with the film, which is unfortunate as it has great special effects and some thrilling moments. It’s just a nowhere film.
The Arty Dans, guest reviewer via Asian Film Fans
“We loved the Ringu trilogy and our story demanded a high-calibre Japanese horror director to bring it to life,” said Ma Boyong. “We wanted to create something never done before on Chinese screens.”
“Tsuruta is bringing the celebrated J-horror aesthetic to Chinese cinema, while carefully navigating the boundaries of the genre within what’s allowed to pass for Chinese screens,” said sales company Autumn Sun founder Elliot Tong. “The result is a contemporary and cool hybrid.”
” …the script, by five writers including Tsuruta, is clumsy and lumpy, with most of the plot explained in two speeches during the second half. Direction and performances are lacklustre, evoking dozens of other Mainland budget horrors rather than classic Japanese horror of the late 1980s/early 1990s.” Sino-Cinema
The Perilous Internet Ring was released in China on October 30th 2020, coinciding with Halloween, and had grossed $1.7m (RMB11.3m) as of November 10th.