May 11, 2017 by Kareem Youssef
The Ring (2002)
Where to start with The Ring? An American remake of the Japanese Ring which debuted back in 1998 it was one of the few remakes to get it right. This year (2017) a third movie was released; Rings and it was universally panned and dubbed “a franchise killer.” It is perhaps the ultimate irony that the infamous Samara finally met her death at her own film.
This is the ideal time to remember how great a film the original was/is. To not let Rings eclipse The Ring. So it’s time to resurrect Samara once again and go back to 2002.
Despite being 15 years old the cinematography holds up to this day. The special effects are crisp, the grey/blue saturation on the film wonderfully supports the menacing tone of the story. And finally the score ties it all together; like a fine rug.
I believe one reason the third movie failed is that the story was utterly convoluted and unnecessary. Perhaps its worst crime was to sloppily shoehorn scenes from the first Ring and paste it in with no particular reason other than to waste time. I want to forget the sequels; the only reason I mention this is to highlight what the first film got so right namely it’s simplicity.
The story; watch a tape and the phone rings (landline) to say you have 7 days to live. Our Heroine, Racheal is a reporter who begins to investigate the deaths related to the tape. The Ring has almost no blood, or gore, and yet the film excels on the much more difficult to create creep factor. Racheal watches the tape and follows the breadcrumbs to its origins Impossible visuals from the tape appear in her life. Chilling hallucinations, her reflection is blurred on digital media’s. The clock begins to tick when her son watches the tape as well.
At times the dialogue seems hackneyed and dated but its more than forgivable. Most of the fear comes from nuance. A statement out of context or an absent minded scribble, some scenes are pure brilliance. Water have never looked so foreboding.
Samara, creator of the tapes is a cruel entity that want to inflict misery on everything showing people horrific visions. Again simple; the film successfully draws strength from simplicity be it; the colors, song notes, story and characters. Simple is smart.
The ending which often times falters and blemishes a good horror movie have a deliciously malevolent twist, it’s truly satisfying. To this day many images illicit in me a visceral effect, much like the scene below which I sometimes forget about when watching.