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The Ring June 18, 2012

Posted by oldboy in : Horror, DVD/Video/T.V., Ring, J-Horror , 2 comments

Before you die, you see the Ring. Quite literally in this American remake where they whack you over the head with the image of the title. An image of a Ring, because been subtle would be just silly when you need to explain everything clearly.

I question the necessity of ‘The Ring’. Except to rip off the original and make more money than it. Of course we continue to see examples like this today with close remakes of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, ‘The Grudge’, ‘Dark Water’ etc etc.

The reason seems to be partly because English speaking Audiences are less conditioned to watch foreign language films where they have to read the subtitles to know what’s going on. I realize not everyone is in the same boat and statistics are a bit blurred on this when the foreign distributors of the original film don’t show it in enough cinemas for people to watch and instead have it remade to get the ka-ching!

‘The Ring’ isn’t a bad movie. It just sucks out all the atmosphere and tension the original had and sticks in CGI effects and movie make up to make the horror more “real”, because having everything look normal would be unrealistic. Yes, I’m being facetious….

It just ticks me off that the Director Gore Verbinski of ‘The Pirate of the Caribbean’ movies would be so damn lazy and play it safe by copying the original Japanese film almost ‘Ring’ scene for scene. (Call it Ringu and i’ll send Sadako after ya). He even takes some scenes from Hideo Nakata’s other film ‘Dark Water’ using elements of that as part of Samara’s machinations.

The kid in this, Aiden is too much of a rip on the kid in the ‘Sixth Sense’. Rather than just being like, you know, a normal boy, he is a creepy little kid with knowledge of Samara and her ways. I can see this working better for an adult character but the film is already about a creepy little girl who kills people with her video tape. We don’t need a creepy boy also.

What I really like about this movie is the score by Hans Zimmer, the majority of the theme revolves around a little song Samara sings near the end. It’s a chilling piece that sticks with you longer than the visuals.

The Ring TwO

Didn’t do as well as the original but I always find that sequels to the first Ring movies are difficult. In the original you have that 7 day countdown giving momentum followed by that twist ending that scares you pant less. That’s a hard act to follow unless you’re gonna be really creative.

In the Ring TwO Samara seems to be out in full force having been released from the Well by Rachel in the previous movie. Samara’s attention turns to Rachel’s son Aiden as she slowly starts to possess him.

They brought in Hideo Nakata to do the remake. Pretty smart move I thought. He is the one who made ‘Ring’ scary and letting him lose with an American budget was fun. He does go a little too CGI for my tastes and there are parts of the film that drag in places. But I still find it to be quite scary in places and it is at the very least, original.

It is somewhat confusing as to when Aiden is under Samara’s possession and when exactly he was taken over by her. The film seems to be more of a series of scenes developed first with the story tying them together after.

I found Samara to be more frightening in this film. Firstly she is bigger in some scenes and also has the Sadako screeching sound effect which reminds me of the originals in a scary way. In ‘The Ring TwO’ she is played by Kelly Stables. In ‘Ring’ she was played by Daveigh Chase and only her image is used in some scenes here where her face is CGIed in which didn’t look great. While Samara in Ring TwO is full on Well Mode I rather liked Chase’s portrayal of Samara pre-Well, you sense there’s an unnatural power and she’s not all that sweet to begin with.

Samara’s origin seems to be related to the Sea too like that in the Japanese sequel ‘Ring 2′. She is the daughter of the sea/underworld like a female version of ‘The Omen’.

Interesting to note that Suzuki Koji wanted to script ‘The Ring 3′ which would include elements of ‘Spiral’ in the story making it more scientific as Suzuki himself has said he never considered the Ring story to be Horror.

Favorite Quote: “I’m not your fucking Mommy!!!” - Rachel

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