Ring a Ding Ding

Yeah, Ring was pretty good, but I think I’d rather have seen the original, where the tape kills you without applying Rick Baker’s over-the-top corpse make-up. Apparently, you don’t just die, but you decompose super fast.

And how on earth did the first victims, the high school students, build up the whole urban legend about dying seven days after seeing the tape? How did Becca, the girl who ends up in the loony bin, know about it?

For those of you that got through the first Silent Hill, the resolution of The Ring had some similarities: weird little girls with freaky psychic powers wreaking havoc on reality and making people go insane. Except that The Ring tied it up with a neat little bow, but Silent Hill took the more Japanese approach of just being disturbing instead of making sense.*

As a horror movie which is essentially about someone doing research, The Ring was much better than it should have been. Who’d have thought the director of Mouse Hunt would come so far?

  • At least, I figure this is a Japanese approach based on my limited familiarity with anime where everything turns into a giant mass of goo in the end instead of making any kind of sense.

Gotta agree with your opening paragraph. The “first victim” well, I’m no Medical Examiner now, but I don’t think I would have said “Flesh Eating Virus” before leaping to “Heart Attack”.

I think the high school students weren’t the first victims Tom. But yeah, that sort of hung around mt subconscious bothering me too.

Yeah, Mouse Hunt. The Mexican too! God I hated the 45 minutes or so I actually watched of The Mexican. IMBD says Pirates of the Carribean is next for him. Scary.

Anyway I enjoyed the stunt casting of Brian Cox (Dr. Guggenheim!). He brought a nice gravity to the picture.


Is this an accurate review? I’ve been wondering whether to spend theater time on this flick.

I’ve been wondering whether to spend theater time on this flick.


It’s a decent horror movie, but there are probably a half dozen better things out right now. Although it’s pretty harsh, that Filthy Critic review isn’t too far off base.

However, if you do plan on seeing it, don’t read the next post.


What makes you think the four high school students weren’t the first? I thought the whole idea was [spoiler!!!] this little girl gets shoved into a well and dies after seven days. Among her mysterious evil powers is the ability to thermally burn images onto material. One medium is an unlabeled video tape in a cabin built over the well. The tape sits unwatched until these four kids happen to grab it from the shelf.

Anyway I enjoyed the stunt casting of Brian Cox (Dr. Guggenheim!). He brought a nice gravity to the picture.

Assuming you’re not kidding and this whole post is a joke that I’m not savvy enough to catch…stunt casting? I think the word you’re looking for is cameo. Unless you consider actors from the UK dropping their accents ‘stunt casting’.

And I hardly consider brandishing a hook and then all that business with the surge protectors and the metal bit in the bathtub “gravity”. If you want to experience Cox’s gravity, rent The Minus Man.


And speaking of evil powers, it wasn’t clear to me what evil she had unleashed and which caused her parents to have her in the barn (which is where her disdain for horses stemmed from) and subsequently shoved into the well. To me, it sounds like she could also burn images into the subconscious (re that dialog from her dad to Rieko) as well as onto material.

I’m sure I missed something, but I dunno what. :!:

This is a spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen the film, or for those who have seen the American version and don’t want to know what’s been changed, story-wise. What I’m about to say will honestly ruin the film if you haven’t seen it.

The Japanese version is better in many ways, mostly because it doesn’t look as high-tech. But the plot makes a little more sense as well.

The girl (Sadako) was the daughter of a known psychic, and it is implied that her father was a demon. Sadako was much more powerful than her mother, and could kill people with her mind. The people who die in Ringu don’t look as horrible - they basically look scared, giving more credence to the “heart attack” diagnosis (I will say, though, they they look scarier in the US version). Sadako’s mother married a researcher, who later threw Sadako down a well for obvious reasons.

Other reasons the Japanese version is better: Both the video and the crawling-out-of-the-TV scene are much, much creepier. The video is particularly good, mostly because you see it less, it is shorter, and as a result there are very few “clues” that need to be explained. (When the bug crawled out of the files in the US version, it was like they were just ticking things off a check-list.) The TV scene in Ringu is one of the scariest things I have ever seen, right up there with the subliminal face in The Exorcist.

The son is a very minor character, and doesn’t have a psychic link with Sadako. Less subplots on the whole, including all that Brian Cox nonsense. It features a similar fake ending, but it’s less drawn-out and uses a little trick that is so great I can’t believe they didn’t steal it for the remake - it’s one of the best moments in the original film.

Reasons the US version is better: The horse-on-the-ferry scene.

This is also clearer in the Japanese version. Spoilers, etc. The protagonist is already investigating the urban legend when her niece dies. She’s interviewing school kids about it, and the story varies from kid to kid. What’s most interesting is that they all mention the voice on the phone, but when the phone rings in the cabin, all she hears is static.

Hey Ron, any idea where someone can buy a copy of Ringu? Aside from the horse scene on the ferry, which I also liked, it sounds like a better movie. (I agree about the centipede and really didn’t care for the little kid.) I thought the ending, with the girl crawling out the TV, was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen on film (and this surprised me because had someone described it to me I would have thought it obvious and stupid). If it’s been done better, as you say, I wanna see it!

It isn’t out on handy-to-buy DVD is it?

You can easily find VHS dubs of the Japanese DVD on eBay. Ringu also just played here in NYC, so it might make the art house rounds. And I’m sure that Dreamworks will eventually give the original a domestic release, even if only on video/DVD.

The Japanese original’s available on a Region 2 DVD (i.e. Europe and some other places), along with the prequel Ring 0 (a truly fine name) and Ring 2…

That was me. I forgot to lawg in.*

I understand the second Ringu is about the lead character investigating her boyfriend’s death. Bleh. I would have liked it to have been about how she and her son passed the tapes on.

The third, err, zero Ringu, is apparently about the weird little girl’s background. I don’t know Japanese, but I’m guessing the subtitle , “Baasudei”, means “birthday”.


*Not really. You can tell I was kidding because I misspelled ‘log’.

I thought the crawling out of the tv was kind of cheesy… but I can see how it can be freaky. I wish the movie distorted the reality of the characters more. For me the best part of the movie was the distorting of reality… like the messed up photos, the video from hell that messes up the vcr counter, and shivering ghostlike forms in the background. I was dissapointed in the ‘crawl out of the tv’ end. I would have LOVED if they just showed the girl just messing with the people’s minds more and more and more.


You can get non-region DVDs of all three Ring movies on eBay. Ordered the first one last week for a reasonable $19.99 plus $3 shipping. Person I ordered from had 50 of them going in a Dutch auction, so there may still be some left. Hmm, forget that. Just took a look…prices have definitely gone up since last week, and the person I ordered from only has Ring 2 and Ring 0 in her store now.

uhm, right but wasn’t it the mother who threw her down the well?

Not in the original.

Thought the creepiest part was just before coming out of the TV. Seeing her climb out of the well and walking forward with the use of B&W worked great. Since before when the tape is shown it stops right before you see anything and are thinking…darnit whats there.

The son is a very minor character, and doesn’t have a psychic link with Sadako.

In Ring, that is true - however, in Ring 2, the son does.

  • spoilers - of course *

Man, maybe I’m jaded, but I didn’t find The Ring all that creepy. The coming out of the well and crawling through the TV was rather expected. I mean, they already let the cat out of the bag that they didn’t stop the little girl, so obviously the guy is going to die. Now had they killed Noah and THEN explained that all the protagonist did was release the girl, well, that might have caught me off guard and creeped me out.

And having the timer set at 7 days basically gave you 6 days of knowing nothing was going to happen. They tried to build tension numerous times, but it’s only day 5, so I know nothing is going to happen.

They really needed to do a better job explaining just what the girl was doing to the island. Having a doctor say “we’ve had hard winters and meager harvests. Things are better with the girl gone”. You sure it wasn’t just El Nino? How about people on the island going insane? Babies being stillborn? Freak accidents leaving people maimed? Nope, gotta go with a cold winter and a bad harvest. Doesn’t exactly inspire fear of the girl’s power to me.

So anyway, on the whole, I feel like I wasted the $22 we spent on tickets and pop this weekend. Should’ve saved it for buying the Spiderman DVD.

You sure it wasn’t just El Nino?

Nice one!

“Oops, we killed the creepy girl because of El Nino! Oh well, better spin out a ghost story around it so we don’t look like idiots…”

So anyway, on the whole, I feel like I wasted the $22 we spent on tickets and pop this weekend.

The real question here, Jim F., is what the hell are you doing actually buying Cokes at the theatre? You’re supposed to smuggle them in in your pockets or your wife’s purse.