31 Days of Halloween 30 – The Ring likes to explain things

ring5When I watched this movie for the very first time, I thought The Ring (2002) was really scary.  I still think the same thing, but with the added complement that it has atmosphere.  Hans Zimmer makes this possible with his scoring of the film.  The violins are just perfect and invoke a classic, old-school vibe, like the orchestral score that always heralded in the latest Hammer horror opus.  However, Zimmer composes the music for The Ring and The Ring Two with dissonant violins that move a mile a minute.  However, the problem with this movie is that it likes to explain things.  Hey, there’s a mystery, so let’s spend 20 minutes spelling it out to everybody.  Happy joy.

ring2I would say the beginning of The Ring and some of the middle are the best.  This movie just looks awesome.  It has some of the best camera work I’ve seen in a horror movie and I think Gore Verbinski does some of his best work.  However, Naomi Watts as Rachel has no character.  She’s the same person at the end of the movie.  Nothing changes.  We don’t learn anything about her.  We don’t know what she’s really like or even why she’s so nuerotic.  She has a sister, but we don’t learn anything about their early life.  She has even less to do in The Ring Two, which I didn’t think was possible.  

ring4I like the dread and the mystery of The Ring.  The impending death of the characters makes the pace of the movie move like lightning.  The story involves a cursed video tape, that sentences the viewer to death in seven days.  So Rachel has seven days to figure out what the fudge is going on.  Good thing she’s an investigative journalist.  

The movie is littered with bizarre images and strange visuals, which makes the movie kinda creepy.  The visuals are great.  Every single one of them.  A creepy bug crawls across the screen in a quick flash of horror.  I love it.  The visuals come in black and white, accompanied by some ringing violins to give them life.  Pretty good, I think.

ring1I’ll admit it, I fell for the twist ending, even though it’s a bit cliche.  In fact, a lot of this movie is pretty cliche.  There’s a kid who has weird premonitions, an overprotective mother, and a monster who we think is dead, but isn’t really.  However, unlike in a Jason or Freddy sequel, we learn that the monster is still alive and kicking a few minutes later.  The monster is Samara, who has infected a video tape, and is literally out to get whoever watches her tape.  She kills and crawls some more and then it’s over.  

The stunning visuals are further enhanced by the make-up and the frightening ways we find Samara’s victims.  One of them slumps forward and adds some extra chills to the already disturbing scene.  Of course, the music pierces our ears at the same time.  So, a contorted head slumps forward, some music blares in our ears, and Naomi Watts screams her head off.  Come on, if that’s not scary, then what the hell is.  Seriously.  

ring3Unfortunately, the end of the movie likes to explain things instead of exploring more creepy stuff, like The Exorcist.  They have to connect the dots.  They have to explain what this means and what that means.  They have to give the backstory for this and that.  Naomi Watts even spouts some exposition.  It’s a little overdone.

To be honest, this movie is a chilling good time even though it probably has more weaknesses than most of my favorites.  Usually, a movie’s weaknesses make me hate it, but I forgive this one for some reason.  I think the atmosphere, the violins, and the visuals help it overcome these weaknesses. Like any good urban legend, this movie plays with what we take for granted and use everyday.  The good thing about The Ring is that it relies on suspense to build its story.  



31 Days of Halloween Movie Marathon

1 – Frankenstein and the Monster from HELL (1974)
2 – Dracula has risen from the grave (1968)
3 – The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)
4 – Evil Dead II (1987)
5 – Dawn of the Dead (1978)
6 – Les Diaboliques (1955)
7 – The Howling (1981)
8 – Friday the 13th (1980)
9 – Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
10 – Hellraiser (1987)
11 – Let the Right One in (2008)
12 – Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1984)
13 – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
14 – The Strangers (2008)
15 – The House of the Devil (2009)
16 – Psycho (1960)
17 – The Orphanage (2007)
18 – The Amityville Horror (1979)
19 – The Raven (1963)
20 – Blue Velvet (1986)
21 – Repulsion (1965)
22 – Dementia 13 (1963)
23 – The Vanishing (2008)
24 – Halloween (1978)
25 – Shaun of the Dead (2004)
26 – The Silence of the Lambs (1988)
27 – An American Werewolf in London (1981)
28 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
29 – The Exorcist (1973)
30 – The Ring (2002)
31 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)