The Ring

Finally rented The Ring this weekend. Technically, I rented it before it even came out, but this weekend they finally got a copy in at Netflix when I wanted it. So I watched it Friday night… I think. My days just blur together sometimes.

I might start doing more formal reviews, right now I’d just like to say that I really enjoyed the movie. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was certainly fun to watch. It was more than just a horror movie, there were elements of mystery and suspense in it. Rather than simply running around trying to avoid some killer, Rachel (Naomi Watts) studies this supposedly killer tape and tries to figure out what it all means. That storyline really kept me interested, and the ending was very well done. There were some typical “Why the hell are you doing that?” moments – like any horror movie – but I had no problem accepting most of what the characters did as fairly normal human responses. Personally, I think the biggest problem with the film was the effects were a tad overdone. The movie itself was scary enough that there was no real need for making the bodies look so grotesque. I definitely recommend this film for most moviegoers.

On Sunday, I had managed to download a copy of Ring (or Ringu), the original Japanese version of the movie. Actually, it’s not even the first one, since there was a made-for-tv movie done back in ’95 that aparently sucked. All of these are based on a book that will soon be release in an English translation. Now, I normally dislike remakes – as a general rule of thumb American remakes of foreign films lose a lot in the translation. But there’s always room for exceptions. In this case, I found the original Ring rather unfulfilling. The storyline just wasn’t that interesting. There was all this stuff about psychic abilities and ESP that they pretty much just glossed over. I know people seem to feel that Americans need things spelled out for them, but personally I just like a coherent story. I mean, they wait until over halfway thru the movie to mention that the main characters are psychic, which comes totally out of leftfield. It felt completely immaterial to the story, but there it is. And all of the mystery that was in the remake was barely in the original. Not to mention the weak characters. If you want to see a full breakdown of the comparison I had a discussion on IMDb.

Personally, I’d say just go rent The Ring and enjoy it.