You Will Die in Seven Days: The Ring (2002)

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“You will die in seven days…”

So many of you might remember the post I did a year ago on Ringu, the original Japanese film. I had watched Ringu because I had heard that it was far creepier and better version that the American one. However, I found that to be false, with The Ring being the creepier one of the two. This was mostly due to the actors, some story changes, and a better explanation of Samarra. But more than anything else, my own personal connection to the film (I’ll mention that at the end).

So I was home alone one night (my roommates were all out of town for the weekend) and decided that I would spend the night in watching films. I had spotted this at the library and decided that it was perfect film for the occasion. I decided that instead of watching it alone in the living room, I would watch it in my room with the lights off. You know, set the “creepy mood”.

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you're chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

So the story is pretty similar to the Japanese film. You have two girls who are talking about a cabin weekend that one of the girls, Katie, had gone to. Suddenly the topic of a cursed videotape comes up. If you watch this tape you will die in seven days. After her niece dies, the main character, Rachel (Naomi Watts) starts tracking down what caused her death and gets caught up in a supernatural mystery. (For more info check out Ringu or watch the film).

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So what made this film much creepier than the original? Let’s get started.

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1. Lighting/Set Design

I’m not sure where the story takes place but it is always raining and gloomy. Plus the camera crew gave the whole movie this blue tint when filming which also adds to the creepiness/horror film feel to it.

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2. The Kid

In the first film Yoshi wasn’t really in the film that much. He had the nightmares and could hear his cousin “calling” to him, but that was mostly it. He watches the video, which leads his mother to try even harder to discover how to stop it. He then gets dropped off at his grandfather’s house for a bit and we don’t see him until the end of the film.

In the remake this kid is SUPER CREEPY

Gilmore girls creep

He’s kinda like Cole from The Sixth Sense, that is if Cole wasn’t a cutie. I mean this kid is an uber creep as he only talks in monotone, and doesn’t act like a kid at all-more like a 30 year old man. To top it off he even draws strange murderous pictures. Horrifying.

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AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

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3) The Video

So The Ring came out four years after Ringu and had much better special effects, not gonna lie about that. And the video was much more creepy in this film. Freaky, emphasis on the FREAK.

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4. Samara/Background Explanation

So in the original film we don’t get a full background on her. We find out that a professor was looking into studies of mental telepathy and other things like that. He found a woman that has this ability and the two end up having a child that for some reason is more powerful, and CRAZY! The main character’s ex-husband also just happens to have this ability. That’s it. That’s all we get.

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How does it pass down? Why does the husband have it? Is that why they got a divorce? Why was the girl so much stronger? Why did she kill all the horses?

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In the remake they give her a weirder background that explains her murderous tendencies. She was almost drowned as a baby, taken away from her family, and then put into social services. She has a history of trying to get attention/be the center of attention. She was adopted by a couple that really wanted kids but she was unlike anything they had ever seen. She started to develop these powers that freaked out her parents as she was getting into their minds.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She goes to a psychiatric hospital and is questioned and treated, causing her to react as a kid would with anger. She kills her doctor and gets sent back home to the horse ranch.

To prevent her from harming anyone, they put her up in the barn away from everyone else with only a TV set. This makes her very angry.

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She gets very jealous and kills all the horses by making them go insane. To her adoptive mother, Anna, those were her children. She loved them and cared for them. She has a complete mental breakdown and gets sent to a sanatarium. After she is released the family goes to the mountains and she kills Samarra by throwing her down a well, and them committing suicide herself.

It may be strange, but explains things a whole lot more than the original. Plus it is very creepy.

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So personal connection.

As I mentioned earlier, I was home alone. I had 5 housemates; 3 were staying the night at their boyfriends house and 2 had gone home to see her parents. My actual roommate had gone home to see her parents and wasn’t coming back until the next day. Instead of chilling in the living room, I took my food into my bedroom, along with the film.

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you're chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

So I was watching the film and had just gotten to the part when Rachel has watched the tape and received the call that in seven days she will die. Just as she has hung up her phone, my phone rings!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I pause the film and reach for the phone, shakily saying hello as its ringing scared the bejeezus out of me.

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It was just my sister. She had an idea for something and wanted to bounce it off me.

Phew!

Phew!

So I go back to watching the film. As I reach the part when Samarra comes out of the TV

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My door starts to open.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So let me explain campus security. The dorms I was living in were like townhouses. They had 4 bedrooms-2 singles & 2 doubles. Every student was given an ID card that held campus money, allowed us to check out books, go into the rec center & dining hall, and most importantly our rooms. We had two doors to the dorms that were set to only accept the cards of the people of the house. Besides running your card through the slot (like a debit card) each member of the house had a unique four-digit number to gain access. A card wasn’t enough, you had to use your code as well. Plus the code had to match the card or else you were out of luck.

keanu Whoa

To make that even more impressive, every room was encoded to only accept the occupant’s card. My roommate and I were the only ones who could into my room, unless someone had one of our cards. (The codes were only for the front & back doors.)

So you can see why I was freaked out. Everyone had made plans to be gone, defintely be gone. But yet here was my door opening and someone or something entering.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It being really dark and the fact that the rooms were L-shaped (therefore making it hard to see “who” was exactly coming in through the door) didn’t help that much.

Of course, as I’m sure you all have figured out by now it was just my roommate. It turns out she had changed her mind and decided to come home early.

This experience made the film much more exciting, although anything that happened in the film afterward that last scare was pretty anti-climatic.

So It was a pretty great film and I suggest you check it out.

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And I’m not just trying to pass it off to save myself from being killed. LOL

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to You Think You Know Something, Do You?

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For more on Ringu, go to That Video…Is Not of This World

For more on real life mimicking horror films, go to Krueger Town 

For more evil children, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more on remakes, go to Let Them Fight

For more films that spanned sequels, go to It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?

For more on Supernatural, go to I’m Batman!

I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper: The Black Cauldron (1985)

I’m no warrior…I’m an assistant pig-keeper

So I was never allowed to watch this film as a kid. My mother thought it would scare me. I grew up liking the author Lloyd Alexander, as I have read his book Time Cat. This year I decided that I would finally read The Chronicles of Prydain series, of which The Black Cauldron is a part of. The book series was really good except I wish the Horned King was in more of it and as the series wraps itself up, the books don’t hold up to the beginning ones.

So the film The Black Cauldron is a compilation of the first two books in the series; The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron. I thought the film was okay. Some parts of the film were good; while others a tad corny. I do recommend it to everyone as the end was really good.

Taran was perfect! They made him in that awkward age of when a boy wants to be a man, but hasn’t quite reached the right age of maturity. They depicted his superior side, as he thinks he’s better than Eilonwy; along with showing him leaving behind his immature side and becoming a real man.

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As he makes the right decision of giving up his magic sword to get the black cauldron and destroy it.

Eilonwy was also fantastic. They captured her attitude of trying to do everything and being extremely brave; but at the same time not always listening to others or doing what needs to be done. She can be really impulsive and imagine slights that aren’t there. She is also kind; along with not only helping Taran, but leading him as well.

Fflewddur Fflam was also perfect. He was older than I imagined him; but captured the boasting, brave, singer. I loved him at the end. He was hilarious as he tries to bargain with the witches.
Gurgi was adorable, I actually had a toy figure of him that I got from McDonalds, but I never knew who he was until I watched the film. They captured his constant hunger and good heart; but he was unfortunately much more cowardly than he was ever in the book. When he sacrifices himself, it was so sad. It made you feel guilty for originally thinking him annoying. This was never how I saw Gurgi, as I always imagined him more like this pokemon:
For some reason he always brought the image of a monkey-like creature to my mind.
Sorry, this is the only pic I could find of Doli. I thought they captured his character so well. He was a grumpy, complaining, elf. The only thing I wish they had done was make him a bit bigger and have him turn invisible.
The witches were also good. I did notice that Orddu resembles Madame Medusa from The Rescuers. I wish I had a better pic of it, but I couldn’t find one. If you watch the film you will notice the resemblance.
Of course there was the pièce de résistance. the Horned King!
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He was extremely creepy! I loved it. He probably would have freaked me out as a kid. He is on par with the Headless Horseman. He was so creepy and scary!
Check out the trailer!
So that’s today’s frightful Friday. More posts to come.
Here’s a cover page/poster I made for my facebook as part of my countdown to Halloween
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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World
To go to the previous post, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men
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For more on The Black Cauldron, go to A Hidden Wonder
For more Disney Animated Film, go to A Fright on Halloween Night
For more films based on books, go to I Bid You Welcome
For more ’80s film, go to Boom Box of Love
For more on Emma, go to Bad Penny
For more on Lloyd Alexander, go to Pot o’ Gold

A Very Scary Story: The Even Stevens Special (2001)

Wait. Stop. I, I can’t take it, I’m just a little kid!

So I know this isn’t a movie, but I’m strapped for time and making an exception.

I loved Even Stevens as a kid, and thought it was the best show ever. This was back when Shia LaBeouf wasn’t weird or annoying. I remember that this episode was freaky and funny, the best thing for getting you in the Halloween mood.

So the film starts out with Ren watching a horror movie.

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you’re chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

All of a sudden the phone rings, and in a very Scream-esque/When a Stranger Calls way the caller harasses her telling her he can see her and stuff.

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What’s your favorite scary movie?

 

Ren very angry and freaked out promptly hangs up.

But instead of feeling safer, Ren hears sounds abounding from all over the house. She is extremely frightened as she traces the noises back to the closet.

Killer Scary Movie

 

She opens the door and there is……….

Louis

I’m a penguin jockey! NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NAH!

Ren of course is as uptight as always and extremely angry that Louis would play such a prank on her. She screams at him and they go their separate ways.

The next day, Ren is planning on giving out eye exams while Louis wants to plant fake eyes in the gravy at school. He plans to meet up with his friends; Tom, Twitty, and Tawny (I always thought it was funny how they all had T names) later to gross out the cafeteria crowd.

After their littke pow-wow Tom heads off to get his eyes examined. There he finds Principal Wexler dressed as a mad scientist and Coach Tugnut as Igor; alluding to the film Frankenstein.

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Later Louis finds out that all his friends have ditched their plans to prank the school. In fact all they care about is drinking milk and bad things going on their permanent record

Tom Gribalski: suddenly got quite the hankering for the moo juice. It’s an excellent source of calcium for overall skeletal health…if something like [the prank] that went down on our permanent record, it would follow us for the rest of our lives.

In fact everyone in the school is walking around drinking milk, talking about permanant records, and trying to get Louis to get his eyes examined. What is going on in that room, will Louis survive or succumb to this mad Halloween nightmare?

You’ll have to watch and find out! Let me just say I absolutely loved the end! I’m sure you guys will to.

To check out the previous post go here. Have a scraretasticly good Sunday. More posts to come as we are nearing the halfway mark to completion.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

To go to the previous post, go to A Deliciously Creepy Tale

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For more on Disney, go to A Fright on Halloween Night

For more on Frankenstein, go to A Monster Race

For more mad scientists, go to It’s Alive, It’s ALIVE!

For more on bad milk, go to Disnified Horror

For more on phone harassment, go to Do You Know Where Alex Is?

A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988)

Ah but soon there will be a new monster inside, the moon is moving quickly into position…we must turn Shaggy into a werewolf!

Like I mentioned Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, this is a movie I used to watch all the time as a kid; and still do as my nieces and nephew are always bugging me to watch it with them. We’re big Scooby fans.

They used to show this all the time in October on Cartoon Network, during their Saturday night Creature Double Feature.  They would also show Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, and Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. My sister and I used to watch these all the time.

So the story starts out with Dracula getting ready for his grand monster race. He has a multitude of monsters assembked; Frankenstein and his wife Repulsa, The Mummy, The Witch Sisters, Mr. Bonejangles the skeleton, Dr. Jackal/Mr. Synde (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), The Swamp Thing, and Dreadonia. The only person missing is the Wolfman. It turns out that he retired and is vacationing in Florida.

“Dracula: What I want to know is, where’s my werewolf?

Screamer: He’s in Florida your majesty, he sent this postcard.
Dracula: Hmmmm… [reading] ‘Dear Drac, am having wonderful time in retirement, glad you’re not here, Wolfy.’ Bah! How dare he retire just before the Monster Road Rally? Doesn’t he know all the monsters of my realm have to be in the race?”

They can’t have a monster race without all the monsters present.

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Everything seems hopeless until Vanna Pira (Vanna White/Vampira), asks why they can’t just get a new one. So Dracula pulls out his book of possible people to become monsters, and finds that the next person who can become a werewolf is none other than Shaggy. Dracula sends the Hunch Bunch to go and make sure he turns into one. They have three days to do it.

We switch to Shaggy and the gang, who at this point is Scooby-Doo, Scrappy, and Shaggy’s girlfriend Googy. This suprised me as Shaggy has never had a girlfriend in the series/movies before, and after this video, we never see her again.

Anyways, so in this movie they are no longer P.E. instructors but are race car drivers. Shaggy and Scooby are actually really good and have a cool car that is all tricked out. They struggle through the race for a bit, but are able to defeat the other teams and win. They are happily celebrating, not knowing what is about to occur.

The next day Shaggy and Scooby are hanging out at home trying to watch a monster movie when the Hunch Bunch arrive. Only Scooby sees them, and he tries to tell Shaggy and Scrappy but neither of them believe him.

Shaggy: Monsters through the roof, huh? 
Scooby- Doo: That’s right. 
Shaggy: Okay so then where’s the hole? 
Scooby- Doo: [points up] Up there. 
Shaggy: Where? 
Scooby- Doo: Right up… [looks up and sees the ceiling in one piece] Huh? 
Scrappy Doo: Don’t worry Uncle Scooby, we still love ya, even if ya are a wacko.”

The Hunch Bunch are foiled in their plan tonight, but eagerly await the next day to try again. This time the Doos and Shaggy are at the supermarket; once again the Hunch Bunch Brothers fail, but both Shaggy and Scrappy think that Scooby is crazy

The next night, Shaggy and Googie are on a date at the drive-in. Scooby and Scrappy also came along.

“Scrappy Doo: Thanks for taking us on your date with Googie to the drive-in, Shag. 
Shaggy: Confidentially I didn’t want to leave your Uncle Scooby home alone, you know how he’s been seeing things that aren’t there lately?” 

Meanwhile, the Hunch Bunch twins are finally sucessful, positioning Shaggy just right s that he becomes a werewolf!

The only problem is, Shaggy has the hiccups! Everytime he hiccups he switches from human to werewolf. 

No one notices that he is a werewolf, but he leaves to get something from the snack bar to settle his stomach. He ends up scaring everyone there, as they all  start trying to chase him down. He finally gets set as a werewolf, and realizes that he is the one everyone is after. At first his friends don’t believe him, but he is finally able to convince them he’s Shaggy. Dracula & Co come after them, spraying them with knockout spray and whisking them away to Dracula’s castle.

Here in the castle, Drac wakes them up and introduces them to the crew.

They are of course freaked out and try to get away. Shaggy tries to get Dracula to change him back, but Dracula doesn’t want to. Eventually they strike a deal where if Shaggy races and wins then he can be human again.

Dracula wants Shaggy to fail, so first he tries to get them to spend all night at the pre-race party. When that doesn’t work he sends the Hunch Bunch to keep him up all night. That also fails and Dracula decides to wreck the Wolfmobile.

All of Dracula’s attempts fail as Shaggy and Scooby are able to fix everything.

“Dracula: I thought I told you to fix that werewolf car so that he couldn’t win the race. 
Brunch: Ah yes master, but Shaggy unfixed it. 
Dracula: Well then you un-unfix it. “

The race ensues with everyone cheating to win. Each car has tricks up their sleeves and they use them Throughout the film many cars crash and are totaled, but in the next scene they will show up as good as new.

Ah! If only I was a cartoon

Throughout the whole race Dracula does everything in his power to try and stop Shaggy, but everything fails. Googy and Scrappy really lend a hand in helping him out, even bringing him a spare engine. At one point Dracula sends Genghis Kong their way, but they are even able to get out of that mess!

Everyone: A nightmare called Genghis Kong!
Scrappy: He’s got uncle Scooby. You let go of my uncle, or I’m going to ring your gong, Kong.

Eventually the best racer, Shaggy, wins!

He demands that Dracula changes him back, but he doesn’t want to. He tells Shaggy there is no way to change back, but Vanna Pira reveals that the Book of Grim has the words that can change him into a human.

They gang has to defeat Dracula and then Shaggy is turned back into a human.

Shaggy: Oogly boogly wobbly wye, no more a werewolf am i, I’m [gulp] going to be a normal guy.

Everything is back to normal and the gang returns home.

They are just hanging out watching a scary movie when Shaggy starts eating too fast and getting the hiccups again. Googy warns him that he might become a werewolf again, but Shaggy is sure that they won’t go through any of that again.

Shaggy: Oh, come on Googy, lighten up. Believe me, we’re through with those werewolves and vampires and monsters forever.

Dracula: That’s what he thinks.

Dracula and the Hunch Bunch: [In Chorus] ♪♪ We’re Back!♪♪”

Hope you enjoyed that second Scooby movie. More film reviews to come.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

 To go to the previous film, go to Grimwood Ghoul’s Gym Teacher

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For more on monster movies, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more on The Bride of Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more on Dracula, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more on Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE

For more on The Mummy, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket

For more on The Wolf Man, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on witches, go to The Two Witch Sisters

For more on Mr. Bonejangles, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men

For more on racing, go to Sucky Sequels