Thursday, September 24, 2009

#39 - The Ring

The Ring (2002)
Slightly Trashy

Directed by: Gore Verbinski. Written by: Ehren Kruger, based on the movie written by Hiroshi Takahashi, based on the novel Ringu by Koji Suzuki.

Plot: Woman (Naomi Watts) watches an evil video which dooms the viewer to die a horrible death seven days from the first viewing. In order to save herself, her ex-boyfriend (Martin Henderson) and her creepy kid (David Dorfman), both of whom were also exposed to the video, she must find out what happened to the little girl (Daveigh Chase) who made the video do what it do.

Review: Interesting movie, both conceptually and in execution. I will admit that I have not actually seen the original film (through some peculiar series of un-events), but I have read the book so there you go. Although the book is really quite different so… yeah.

This is the first film I saw in the recent wave of Asian-inspired techno-horror films and so far the superior film. Though it does say that television is evil in a somewhat heavy handed way, it does so through the medium of television, which makes it sort of more complicated.

But it never gets especially preachy, as opposed to many other “TV-sucks” movies, which basically tell you that you’re a loser for even watching the movie and make you feel like crap. This just does its own thing in its own bizarre way.

Also, I think making it about a viral chain-video was just a really good move. Good idea for a movie/novel. Good stuff.

Anyway, that’s concept. On top of that, I was digging the look of the movie - the whole thing looks like it was shot through some weird kind of filter. All the colours are distorted somehow. I also remember really liking the music, which is weird coz it was Hans Zimmer. I find Hans Zimmer soundtracks generally inoffensive although really irritating due to the fact that they’re all the fucking same. If you don’t believe me, check out the soundtracks to Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean and any of his other movies from the last ten years.

To be fair, prior to Gladiator he actually wrote some stuff that didn’t totally rip off his other stuff. True Romance, for example, has really good music.

And you know Naomi Watts is extremely likeable. Over the last little while, she’s become one of my favourite actresses. She’s just… normal. But appealing. I wish her well, if you know what I mean. I don’t want to see bad shit happen to her (remember Funny Games? I hated that movie).

And the little boy is really creepy… so you know, he could have gotten killed and it wouldn’t have really bothered me that much. He freaks the hell out of me. I dunno, it’s weird.

Moving on, this movie didn’t scare me so much as unnerve me deeply. For instance, whenever I see a blank VHS anywhere, I avoid it like I avoid… um… getting shot in the face. Also, there is no way you could get me to go down into an old abandoned well. No way in fucking hell. I swear to god.

Yeah, it’s one of those ones that sort of sets in later… good movie though. Well done.

Favourite Part:
I remember this one scene, I think it’s right after the creepy kid watches the video and Naomi Watts looks out the window and from her apartment she can sort of see into the windows of all the surrounding apartments, and everybody is sitting around watching television and you realize how viral/volatile television is. That stuck with me a lot, although I think my favourite part artistically is the scene in which we finally get to see Samara crawling out of the television and, in her bizarre, stilted, stop-motion-esque way, walk up to the guy and ultimately kill the hell out of the bastard. It’s really cool looking.

Other versions: ‘tis a remake of Ringu.

Sequels: Rings, a short film which served as a prequel for Ring Two and was actually quite good and Ring Two, which had one cool scene (Samara crawls out of the well. Neat-o) but was otherwise a pile of lame.

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