I've been a fan of Asian cinema in general, and horror in particular, for a long time. Long before the recent Ring craze.
Over the last decade or so, Asian cinema has taken over the horror filmm genre, and effectively left its own indelible stamp upon it. While western film makers continue to recycle the tame tired plots and ideas, Asian movie makers have gone into their cultural well to dig out new tropes and concepts - or, at least, new variations on very old cultural tropes.
Probably the surest indicator of how successful Asian horror cinema is the speed with which Hollywood is churning out remakes of Japanese and other Asian horror films--and the sizable earnings these films are raking in at the US box office, at a time when even the biggest summer blockbusters are going a-beggin'.
To be fair, these remakes are pretty good too. The Ring, Ring 2, and The Grudge, are all decent rehashes, partly because Hollywood was smart enough to involve the original Japanese creators in the remakes (in the case of The Grudge, the same writer-director helmed the American version as well, bringing interesting changes to his own story).
And, after all, film being what it is, even the Japanese 'originals' (if there is such a thing) deviated quite sharply from their own sources, namely the novels on which they based the film versions. So, for instance, you can read the true original Ring stories in the novels by Koji Suzuki.
The novels are much richer and very different from the film adaptations. Definitely better, in my opinion. Suzuki's novel Spiral, not yet adapted into film, is also a brilliant spine-tingler, a must-read for fans of horror fiction looking for something different but good.
Some of the best Asian horror films are movies you haven't heard hyped to the skies. Let me pick just two recent examples, out now on DVD, that will give you some notion of what I'm talking about. One is a Korean flick titled Tell Me Something.