Directed By: Gore Verbinski
Witten By: Ehren Kruger (screenplay) Koji Suzuki (Novel)
I was young when this movie came out and remember watching it with Amber while we were dating. Despite all my fearless pride I had to admit after seeing it that it had scared me. This is an effective movie and that is the impression it has always left on me. I was disappointed to find out it was a remake of a Japanese film because even in 2002 I was disappointed with the lack of quality horror films being released. Here was a good one and it wasn’t even original but simply an Americanized version of a foreign film that was probably better. That’s all beside the point because as I sit down to watch this again now I find myself jumping at the intended moments. This movie may have not been an original idea from Hollywood but it is a scary and effective movie nonetheless and I like that about it.
Another thing I have always found distinctly impressive about this film was that I had a preconceived idea about it before watching it that was overcome by the fact that the film was so good. This movie is rated PG-13 and at the age of 18 I couldn’t imagine that a horror movie suitable enough for a 13 year old could be scary at all. I went in with my newly acquired graduation from high school and unrealistic sense of adulthood thinking I was above such a movie. I learned something about myself when I realized I was wrong. This movie did scare me, and it wasn’t even rated R!!!! This movie didn’t need excessive profanity, or nudity, or gore to be scary. While I tend to enjoy all those things in horror films I admire this one all the more for not needing it.
This movie is interesting to see now as it features a technology we have passed over entirely today. Back in 2002 casette tapes were just beginning to start fading out and at that time most people still had VCRs. Something I love to do these days is ask, “what’s a V..C..R..??” whenever the opportunity arises. It is such a quickly forgotten technology that some of the younger kids I work with are actually entirely unaware of it’s existence. It’s interesting to a see a movie like this made only 13 years ago that reminds me it wasn’t that long ago that things were so different.
I always had my eye on up and coming directors in 2002 and I remember noting the name Gore Verbinski after seeing this film. I expected big things from him and really enjoyed another one of his films, The Weather Man, a couple of years later. Unfortunately in all the years since he was seemingly gobbled up by Disney and responsible for many Johnny Depp make-up fests at their behest. I am referring to the Pirate films as well as The Lone Ranger and I was never a fan. Of course I haven’t seen the later but the tales of the eye-liner swashbuckler made me develop a severe dislike for an actor I was once very fond of. Nevertheless I still think what he did with this film was very impressive and I enjoy it.
The climax in this film is very scary as it brings us into the resolution of the mystery. It explains what happens to the evil girl if not exactly what makes the evil girl evil. A little bit of mystery left over for us to puzzle out isn’t a bad thing however. The best part about this movie is that when you find yourself fulfilled with understanding and think it is all said and done you are sorely mistaken. The most fearful scene in the movie is left for last and it sends you walking away thoroughly shaken. As is exactly what a good horror film should do.
One thing that occurred to me while I was watching this movie struck me as kind of silly. As scary as the notion of being thrown in a well and left to die may be I find myself wondering how practical that is. Granted you kill and dispose of the demon in one motion but wouldn’t this just soil the fresh water in which they probably rely on living on an island? I have been drinking quite a bit of coffee as I finish this movie this morning and caffeine can spark odd thoughts in my head. It may be foolish to leave your murdered demon spawn to decay in the well of drinking water you rely on to live, but The Ring turning out to be the Sun’s outline on a closed well is still really cool and scary. The ring is the last thing the little demon girl saw before she died, and it’s the last thing you will see before you die too!
I think this movie is worth your time and I think that even with a PG-13 rating it is capable of scaring anyone. If you are looking for a scary movie this Halloween then you can’t go wrong with this one. Despite that I don’t really feel like this movie is right for the season. I jumped ahead and the alphabetical order on the rack to do it during the Halloween season but it doesn’t have the holiday vibe to it at all. The coloring is a bluish gray which is great for the tone of the film but far from the orange and black of All Hallow’s Eve. The whole point of the horror film festivals of the season though is to find something scary and in that case this one qualifies. If you haven’t seen it then you have missed out on something scary.