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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Ring

     I have fought with certain individuals who seem to think a movie cannot be scary with a PG rating.  I find that ridiculous.  I think those certain people are talking about the absence of gore in a PG movie- which I've already said ad nauseum that gore is not what makes a movie scary.  It's suspense- plain and simple.  "The Ring" is what started this argument.  Public opinion seems to be 50/50 on this one- I personally found it to be very scary sitting in the dark watching it for the first time.  Naomi Watts became a star with this 2002 horror flick about a nightmarish videotape that brings certain death to anybody who views it.  Purists disregard this American version of "Ringu"- call me crazy, but I just cannot get into Asian horror.  I don't know why- but I  just can't.  Yes, "The Ring" ushered in "The Grudge" and other knock-offs, but "The Ring" was refreshing and different.

     Naomi Watts plays an investigative reporter who finds the mysterious videotape and watches it.  After viewing, she discovers she has seven days left to live.  She becomes obsessed with finding the origin of the tape and unraveling the mystery surrounding it.  Good, solid acting combined with great cinematography and music make for a tight, satisfying mystery.  Still not sure why some choose to dog this movie- but hey different strokes, right?  (I think some just try a bit too hard to be cool, you know what I mean?  I mean, it is just a movie after all, there's no need to put on airs...)  Samara made for a chilling new movie villain, and the videotape segments are truly disturbing.  "The Ring" doesn't rely on gore to make an impact, and it did make an impact.  A big one.  It ushered in a slew of American remakes of Japanese horror films, which probably has something to do with it's negative reputation.

     Sure the movie has faults- most do- but "The Ring" is still loads better than most horror movies released today.  It supplies a constant feeling of dread throughout, and boasts a truly scary opening segment.  It does help to watch the movie more than once- yes it requires us to use our brains (maybe another reason why some hated it- they actually had to think?), I actually got more out of it the second viewing.  Whether you love it or hate it, "The Ring" has introduced another memorable villain into pop culture with Samara.  I found it to be one of the best horror movies of the decade, and they are few and far between.  Voted #20 on BRAVO's 100 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time.

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