Sunday, May 28, 2017

Day 209: The Ring

Hard to believe that, before he shot Pirates of the Caribbean and Lone Ranger, Gore Verbinski was known for this horror work. I think he was a good choice for adapting this Japanese horror.

The Ring is about this cursed video cassette. If you watch it, you die within seven days. Pretty simple set up. We get to see a couple of teenagers find out the hard way that the curse is true. Next, we follow Rachel (Naomi Watts) as she picks  up the thread of investigation and finds her own way to the tape. She is a single mother raising a creepy kid so she can't really afford to be killed by a video. The rest of the movie is the seven day hunt for answers and a way out of the curse. It includes visiting an island of suicidal horses and the creepiest cabins for rent in the world.

I feel like, if you are a horror fan, you have probably seen The Ring by this point so I want to talk about that ending for a second. {Spoilers} For years, I had grown tired of the "ghost needs a hug" ending to horror movies. A lot of times, the ghost needed some slight avenged and then they could move on. I liked this one because it subverted that trope by having Samara trick Rachel into thinking she just needed to be freed from her unfair imprisonment. Rachel hugs the ghost, but the movie doesn't end. Turns out the ghost is just pure evil and was using Rachel the whole time to become more powerful. She isn't a mistreated little girl, she was pretty much the devil. I loved that twist and hoped it would put an end to ghost hugging forever. {End Spoilers}

The visuals are dark and lush in this movie. The video within the movie is a work of creepy art. Samara's big entrance is as frightening a visual as I have seen on the big screen. This was followed by the lesser Ring Two but I think this one still holds up as a modern classic.

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