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”.
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).
So what made this film much creepier than the original? Let’s get started.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I pause the film and reach for the phone, shakily saying hello as its ringing scared the bejeezus out of me.
It was just my sister. She had an idea for something and wanted to bounce it off me.
So I go back to watching the film. As I reach the part when Samarra comes out of the TV
My door starts to open.
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.
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.
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.
And I’m not just trying to pass it off to save myself from being killed. LOL
So welcome to another Screamin’ Saturday. Yep, every Saturday this month we are going to cover the Scream franchise. Go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie? to read about the first one.
**** Contains Spoliers ****
Now the first Scream film was a parody of horror films. Scream 2 is similar, but takes it one step further by making this a parody of horror sequels, and sequels in general. Kevin Williamson actually came up with the ideas for Scream 2 while writing the script for Scream. Scream 2 began principal photography just six months after the release of Scream, and it was released less than a year after its predecessor.
So Scream takes place two years since the last film, and Gale Weathers has not only written her book about the Woodsboro murders, but her book has been turned into a film, Stab. They are having a midnight showing for the film in which all those who attend receive a free ghostface mask + costume.
So we open with a boyfriend and girlfriend going to see the film. She’s not really into it, but her boyfriend is all over the slasher flick. The two start watching the film, when her boyfriend goes off to the bathroom. Just like in Friday the 13th, he meets his end.
Making it body #1
Back at the theater, his date is chilling, watching the film, when she too meets her end.
Everyone hears her screams, but does nothing as they think it was just a publicity stunt.
The next day we go to Windsor College, where the dead boy and girl attended school; and also the place that Randy and Sidney go to. Randy is in his film class where they are discussing whether or not violent films really encourages people to become killers. The reason this plays such a crucial role in the film, was because after the first film came out there were a ton of people trying to copy the murders and they way they killed people in the film. In fact many tried to blame it on scary movies and try to get directors like Wes Craven to be held responsible for it.
“Film Teacher: You could say that what happened in that theatre was a direct result of the movie itself.
Cici: That is so Moral Majority. You can’t blame real life violence on entertainment.
Film Class Guy #1: Yes you can. Don’t you ever watch the news?
Film Class Guy #2: Hello? The murderer was wearing a ghost mask just like in the movie. It’s directly responsible.
Cici: No, it’s not. Movies are not responsible for our actions.
Mickey: Its a classic case of life, imitating art, imitating life.
Film Class Mopey Girl: Its not hypothetical, it’s not about art. I had biology with that girl. This is reality.
Randy: Thank you. I agree with you. Let me tell you about reality, Mickey. I lived through this, okay? Life is life. It doesn’t imitate anything.
Mickey: Oh come on Randy, with all due respect, the killer obviously patterned himself after two serial killers who were immortalized on film.
Film Class Guy #2: Thank you!
Film Teacher: So, you’re suggesting that someone is trying to make a real life sequel?
Randy: Stab 2? Who would wanna do that? Sequels suck! Oh please, please! By definition alone, sequels are inferior films!
Thank you Randy!
And this spurns a debate on whether or not sequels are horrible films. I have to say that I usually hate sequels, but there are some that are better than the original, such as Aliens, or just as good, like Terminator 2. Anyways, as they are debating, one student, Mickey, says that Godfather II is so much better than the original. Mickey you are stupid. Godfather II is no where near as awesome as the original Godfather. The Godfather was an amazing film about this family and one man’s struggle to get free, but getting trapped in something he does not want. It is AWESOME! The second one isn’t bad, but the plot is a little scattered with the juxtaposition between Vito’s start in America, and Michael’s life. I don’t think it’s awful, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the original. Mickey, I only have one thing to say to you:
Don’t mess with me!
Sorry! Back to the film…
So Randy still is in love with Sidney, and I personally hate how the directors never put them together. I wanted Randy to win the girl. But sadly, that’s not in his future.
He checks up on Sidney who is scared about everything happening again.
We are then introduced to the rest of the crew. Sidney’s new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell), his best friend Mickey (Timothy Olyphant) and…wait a sec. Timothy Olyphant? the sexy guy from Deadwood and Justified? He’s in this film???? Woaaaaaah!! This dude is one incredible actor. He goes from yucky creep:
Excuse me again. Sorry! And Sydney’s best friend Hallie (Elise Neal). (Funny it mimics the old crew. In Scream: Sidney, Randy, Billy, Stu, & Tatum. Scream 2: Sidney, Randy, Derek, Mickey, & Hallie. 3 boys and 2 girls). Soon to join them is Deputy Dewey, as he wants to watch over Sidney and make sure she is okay. He does suffer from a limp and other ailments, as his stabbing almost killed him. Following after him is Gale, who is once again, not received well.
Meanwhile Sidney continues to get harassed on the phone:
“Sydney: Hello? Hello?
Phone Voice: Hello Sidney.
Phone Voice: What’s your favorite scary movie?
Sydney: Who is this?
Phone Voice: You tell me.
Sydney: [picks up caller ID] Cory Gillis, 555-0176.
Phone Voice: S***!
Sydney: Hot flash Cory…
Phone Voice: S***!
Sydney: …prank calls are a criminal offense prosecuted under penal code 653M.
[caller hangs up]
Sydney: Hope you enjoyed the movie.”
Meanwhile, that night in a sorority house, Cici, the girl from the film class (and played by Sarah Michelle Geller) recieves a lot of phone calls and is attacked that night.
That night Sidney gets attacked by ghostface, and just manages to get out okay with Derek’s help. He saves her but gets a flesh wound in the process. She is then is given two policemen bodyguards to protect her.
The next day, Sidney is totally freaking out, as she herself also gets attacked. Derek tries to make her feel better by singing her a Partridge Family song, I Think I Love You:
This is one of my all time favorite songs! I find it so incredibly romantic!
And gives her his Greek letters for protection.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, Derek NO!
Have you not seen any horror films?!!!!
This is why Randy is awesome, he would know about this and he would not make this stupid mistake. OMG movie heroes make this mistake all the freakin’ time. The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Dracula, etc. If you have been given a necklace just for you DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT GIVE IT AWAY! IF YOU DO YOU WILL DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every single time! I mean it is true that this is just Greek letters and not something given by Van Helsing, or a Gypsy ,or whatever, but still. If you hadn’t given it away you wouldn’t have marked yourself as a dead man. Just saying.
Randy and Dewey meet up to try and figure out who the killer might be. While they are discussing it, they see clips from the film Stab. Now I do have to say I love the movie within the movie as they show scenes from the film. And good job Wes on continuity. In Scream, Sidney mentions how she wouldn’t be lucky to have a great actress play her, she’d probably end up with Tori Spelling.
Randy also goes over the rules for sequels.
And also discusses our potential killers. Is it Derek, the boyfriend? Could Sydney have made the same mistake twice? How about creepy Mickey? Or the supposedly sweet Hallie?
Everyone’s a suspect!
Sidney, meanwhile is suffering from PTSD. She is supposed to be the star of the school play, but has a complete breakdown in rehearsal.
And this is something that makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I know Wes did it this way so that when Ghostface is attacking her she can go all loca, but still who would ever be in a play where people in freakin’ masks are attacking you? There is no way whatsoever that someone with that much trauma would dare even do that. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe it.
Now I want to take a brief sidebar from the film (I know again…sorry!) But let me just say that I love how this film is such a great representation of the ’90s. You have that one side of the culture with the dark clothing very goth (Sidney and Gale). And on the other hand you have the prep look with floral and pastels (Derek and Hallie). You have everyone running around in denim, stonewash of course. Ah, it’s such a throwback. They even give a Saved By the Bell reference, and call each other bonehead. Oh ’90s.
Anyways back to the film. So Randy, Dewey, and Gale have now teamed up to try and find the killer. Poor Randy. He loves Sidney so much, but she won’t give him the time of day. Now I cannot understand why Sidney won’t date Randy. Randy is awesome. He has great taste in film. He is tall and buff. He does a great British accent. Why Sid? Why? He’s perfect.
So they get a call, and while Randy talks to ghostface, Dewey and Gale hunt around the area trying to find the murderer.
Why, why why!!!!!! Why did Randy have to die? Why?????????!!!!!!!!! Just like the garage scene was the biggest mistake of Scream, killing Randy was the biggest mistake you could make for the sequel. Randy was awesome. Randy was hot. Randy was the only one who had seen horror films. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So Sidney, even though her life is threatened, has schoolwork to do. She goes to the library and her guards go to the other side of the building.
WHY AREN’T THEY NEXT TO HER?
Then Sidney gets threatened and her bodyguards take off to investigate.
So what is up with Sidney’s bodyguards? Do they want her to die? She gets threatened and they live her alone to investigate. SHE WAS JUST THREATENED!!!!! DO YOU WANT HER TO DIE??????? Ugh! One of you should have stayed while the other went out looking.
While they are gone Cotton Weary comes onto Sidney. I’m sure you guys remember Cotton. He was played by Liev Schreiber, and was the man that Sidney thought had murdered her mother. He had been released after the whole Stu & Billy issue. He’s been trying to reach Sidney to have her go on TV with him and discuss the past, but she has been ignoring him.
Okay Cotton is a real creep. The way he just pops out of nowhere and how he is obsessed with Sidney, I’m having Phantoms flashbacks. Let me just say that I don’t like Liev Schieber. I think he is creepy in everything! (Well except Kate & Leopold).
So after that they decide to take Sydney and Hallie to a safe house. She stops to say good-bye to Derek, but it turns out he gets kidnapped by his frat brothers as he is going to get a beat down for giving away his letters.
Okay this is a weird scene. Seriously what is with all the Troy references? They are doing a Greek tragedy about Troy as their school play. The Greek frat/Sorority yells about how this is for Troy and call themselves gods. Who talks like that? What is their obsession with Troy in this film?
Anyways, so the four of them are on their way to a safe house, when Sydney asks the cops where they are going. They tell her that they can’t, because if they tell her, then they’ll have to kill her.
Sydney is being threatened BY A KILLER AND YOU THINK MAKING A JOKE ABOUT KILLING HER IS FUNNY?
Like dude really? Bad form, bad form
I mean like
Anyways, back to the film.
So as they are driving they get attacked by Ghostface.
Now this makes no sense to me. How did Ghostface know where they were going? I mean they were taking her to a secure location, a safe house, yet he reaches the intersection way before them. I mean he could have guessed they would exit and go down that way, but every campus has at least four exits, how did he know they weren’t going to double back? And how did he make it there on foot? And what was his plan if they didn’t happen to get a red light? I mean he is on foot, and they will be driving at least 35m/hr, maybe faster.
Shame on you!
So the two take a really long time, trying to get out of the car without disturbing ghostface. They make it out and start running away. When Sidney decides to go back and take a look at who the killer is.
This isn’t the time to stay there, this is the time to RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!
She goes back, but the killer has magically disappeared and kills Hallie. Bringing our total to:
Victim #5, 6, & 7
The body count is racking up!
Sidney, finally takes the right advice and runs away, toward the theater/film department/building.
Meanwhile, Gale and Dewey go are in the theater to check out the film department and look at some tapes.
While their things get a little heated. Now Dewey and Gale, tsk. tsk. What is this Twin Peaks? You are going to sex while there is a killer loose?
But they get interrupted by a tape that shows images from Cici’s murder, Randy’s, and then the two of them. Ghostface then chases them around stabbing Dewey in the process. Now Gale manages to outrun him for quite a while and it is pretty B.A. how Gale is attacking and trying to take Ghostface down. The whole chase scene with Gale and the killer is very reminiscent of Jurassic Park. The raptors and Ghostface could be best buds.
Sidney has reached the stage, where she sees Derek tied up. She goes to help him when ghostface comes upon her and reveals himself to be……….
Yep, Mickey is crazy and the killer. He tells Sidney that he isn’t working alone, but has a partner.
“Mickey: Don’t you know, history repeats itself? Hmm, Sid? [removes mask to reveal Mickey; uses voice-changer] Surprise, Sidney.
Derek: What the f***?
Mickey: Since Derek here disappeared on my a**, I’ve been on my own, all f****** night. Thanks a lot, partner.
Derek: You motherf*****! Sid, you know me better than that. Untie me.
Sydney: Oh my god, Derek!
Derek: No, no, no… Sid.
Mickey: It’s okay, Derek. We got her.
Derek: No, no, Sid, listen to me. You know me better than that. He’s lying.
Mickey: What do you think, Derek? Sidney’s experiencing a little deja vu?
Derek: Sid, he’s lying! The man is lying! Sid, untie me! Untie me!”
So now Sidney is caught between the two. Could she have made the same mistake?
What to do
Before Sidney can make a decision Mickey shoots Derek in the chest. Bringing us to:
“Mickey: You should really deal with your trust issues Sid: I mean, poor Derek. He’s completely innocent and such a nice boy too. He’s bright and funny and handsome. Decent singing voice. And he was going to be a doctor. This is just the kinda boy you’d like to take home to mom. If you had a mom.”
Mickey tells Sidney to look behind her and she his partner. She does and it is Gale
But behind Gale is another reporter who had been around earlier, Debbie Salt. The women who Sidney recognizes as Mrs. Loomis, Billy’s mom.
Now what’s really interesting about Scream 2 is that the cast didn’t know who the killer was until the last day. They had kept it a big secret and had actually gone through multiple endings with different killers. Everyone from Derek, Hallie, Mrs. Loomis, and Cotton; before settling on the deadly duo of Mickey and Mrs. Loomis.
Anyways, so Billy’s mom and Mickey have been working together. Mickey wanted to kill because he wanted to get caught and use horror films as his defense at trial. Mrs. Loomis, shoots Mickey who shoots Gale and knocks her off the stage. She then turns to Sidney and explains her real reasons behind it all. Pulling a Mrs. Voorhees, she wants to get back at the person who killed her son.
Pamela Voorhees: [high voice] Kill her, Mommy! Kill her! Don’t let her get away, Mommy! Don’t let her live! [normal voice] I won’t, Jason. I won’t!
After Mrs. Voor…Loomis is about to slit Sidney’s throat, when Cotton comes on the scene.
I love this ending. Even though Cotton is a total creep and this is the meanest thing ever, I just love that he blackmails her into giving him the interview.
Gale is alive and after she joins the group. Mickey seems to wake up, but Sidney shoots both Mickey and Mrs. Precott.
Dewey is alive and gets taken to the hospital and Cotton gets his interview as the hero of the night.
So tell me Wes Craven, how does Dewey survive another extreme stabbing and live? How does he live and not Randy? Randy is awesome, why’d he have to die? Why. I’m still not over that. Wes Craven you break my heart.
“This alpha predator of yours, doctor, do you really think he has a chance? The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around. Let them fight.”
So when this film came out I had mixed feelings. I was a huge Godzilla fan when I was a kid and saw all the films growing up, and after the 1998 debacle I wasn’t too excited. My friend, however, really wanted to see the midnight showing, so we did. After I saw the film, I had even more mixed feelings of it. So here we are the pros & cons
1) Opening Credits
These beginning credits were amazing! I loved how they had pictures from old drawing of plesiosaurus, dinosaurs, disaster headlines, and pictures from the 1940s-50s atomic testing. I thought it was a great idea to overlay it by blacking out words and names to reveal the director, producers, actors, etc.
2) Half the Film Was Set in Japan.
I loved that the beginning to middle of the film was set in Japan as it made it much closer to the original film. I felt it also made Godzilla seem more authentic having it set in Japan. And I absolutely loved that unlike the “whitewashed” Godzilla (1998) they had lots of Asians in the film who actually spoke in Japanese.
3) Increased Diversity
I also loved that when they moved through different locations, the diversity continued. In Japan we have Japanese; in Hawaii, we see Asians, Whites, and Pacific Islanders; and in California we have a huge increase in Latino actors. This was great as even in 2014, films tend to be centered on one ethnic group.
4) Godzilla Was Actually Godzilla-(Ravaged the City while Protecting it)
This is extremely important, as who wants a Godzilla that doesn’t do anything? The earlier Godzilla films caused countless destruction, but at the same time were trying to “save” the city from other monsters. A type of “I’m the only one who can ruin this city”-type thing. You know, like when you have an older sibling that picks on you, but protects you from everyone else? Well in the 1998 Godzilla, not only was it an incredibly dumb storyline (and oh Matthew Broderick was incredibly stupid in that film!) but he just destroyed. He wasn’t fighting anything.
1) WHERE WAS GODZILLA???
GODZILLA WAS BARELY EVEN IN THE FILM!!!!! It takes 55 minutes, HALF THE FILM!!!!, before we even SEE GODZILLA!!!!! I mean I know they wanted to surprise us and throw us for a loop by having the first creature be the MUTO (Moving Unidentified Terrestrial Object), instead of Godzilla; but really? REALLY?????THEY ARE ONLY GOING TO SHOW THE BACK OF GODZILLA???!!!! WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE FILM???!!! GODZILLA!!! NOT MUTO!!!
2) Fight? More Like Flight!
WHAT WAS UP WITH THE FIGHT SCENES???!!! We get a millisecond of him fighting the male MUTO and a glimpse of the female. Then that’s it, game over. Really, really now? Why do you think I even came to see this film, I wanted to see the freakin’ monsters fight!!!
3) MUTO? Better Name WIT (What is This?)
What was up with the MUTOs? What the heck were those things?
I get the teasing of Mothra. We see it on the poster in Ford Brady’s room and it is the name of one of his pet insects. But then its not Mothra, and I’m okay with that if only they WOULD TELL US WHAT IT IS!!! They give us a male bat/moth thing and a female bat/ape thing? What are they? Where did they come from? Tell us! TELL US!!!
4) The Wife
I FREAKIN’ HATED THE WIFE!! SHE WAS SOOO HORRIBLE!!
She did not act like one happy to see the person they have been apart from. I mean she hasn’t seen him in IN OVER 14 MONTHS and he has a job where HE COULD DIE EVERY DAY!!! They are back together and she’s like “nope I need to answer the phone.” “Oh you have to leave, I’ll see you soon. Good-bye!” I mean her husband just got back and she’s pushing him off!!!! She should have been like “I don’t want you to go but your dad needs you so you need to go” or something.
Then there is when she thinks her husband is hurt in the destruction of Japan by the MUTO. THERE IS NO WAY THAT SHE WOULD HAVE LEFT HER PHONE IN THE OTHER ROOM AND ON VIBRATE. SHE WOULD HAVE THAT THING LOUD AND ON HER 24/7 IN CASE HE CALLED!!!
Then she is at the hospital, and let me do one quick reminder. Her husband has returned after being away over 14 months. He immediately had to go to Japan where there has been all kinds of destruction (as MUTO escaped) and she hasn’t heard from him. Then she gets a call on the hospital phone while she is at work (she’s a nurse) AND DOESN’T ANSWER THE PHONE??? SHE HASN’T SPOKEN TO HER HUSBAND IN OVER 24 HOURS!!! SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN RUSHING TO THAT PHONE TO SEE IF IT WAS HER HUSBAND!!!
I thought she was having an affair or something the way she acted.
5) We Can Kill Them- They’re Just Tourists
They kill sooooooooooo many people.
When they are in Hawaii, one of the largest tourist attractions ever, and they don’t even clear the beaches before they start bombing and shooting? That was like Waikiki, do you know how many people are there on vacations?
In San Francisco, they just bomb and shoot everything!
There is no way they could do that. They could never get away with that much killing of U.S. citizens, no way!!
If you really want a closer look at the issues with it, check out Everything Wrong With. They are spot on!
But no matter what issues it face it was far, far, far better than that travesty of a Broderick film, and that in itself is enough for me.
This kind of thing… it doesn’t start by one person telling a story. It’s more like everyone’s fear just takes on a life of its own
On April 13, 2011; I was chilling with my friends when I suddenly recalled it was Friday, April 13th!
Friday the 13th? We must watch a scary movie! We weren’t satisfied with what we had in the dorm so we headed out to the library and checked out what they had. We were looking out the horror section, when my friend spotted Ringu and said that we should watch it since she had heard it was really creepy. I was totally down for that, and I have to agree that it was pretty creepy, but did have a few dull moments.
So the film starts out with two girls hanging out one night.
One starts joking with the other, telling her about a story she heard about these people watching a strange video, and later they recieved a call saying they would die in seven days. It quickly goes from funny to serious when the other girl, Tomoko, tells her friend that she saw the video and got the call. Her seventh day ends tonight. Tomoko then says she was just kidding, and that it’s no big deal, she’s going to be fine. However, the two go downstairs, and Tomoko is killed by some unseen force. Her friend then goes into shock and has to be put in a mental institution. This scene is pretty creepy.
Tomoko’s aunt Reiko Asakawa is a journalist and comes over for the memorial, bringing her son.
She feels that something is not right, as there has to be more to this story. She starts going through some of Tomoko’s stuff and finds a strange picture of Tomoko and her and friends at a cabin in Izu. In the photo all the kids’ faces are blurred out. All the kids in the photo are also dead.
Reiko goes down to the cabin in Izu and finds a strange tape, but interestingly it is not the orginal piece but a copy. Reiko watches it and it is full of strange images that don’t seem to make any sense. At the end the image cuts off and snow flurries take over the screen.
Immediately after it ended, the phone rings and the voice on the phone says she only has seven days to live.
The rest of the film is now counted in days as Reiko’s time is limited.
Reiko goes to see her ex-husband, Ryūji Takayama. One thing they never explain is that Ryūji is a psychic (they call him that but all I observe is telepathic tendencies, i.e. reading her mind.) This is part of the reason why the two broke up as Reiko couldn’t deal with it his “abilities”. Reiko goes to him to tell him he might have to care for their son if she should die. Ryūji doesn’t believe her, so she forces him to take a picture of her. In the pic her face is blurred.
Ryūji works with media and asks to see the video hoping to figure something out. Reiko doesn’t want to show it to him but gives in. After they view it he gets a call too. She also makes him a copy to study.
Ryūji is able to discover a phrase “frolic in brine, goblins be thine” hidden in the video, a saying that came from Izu Ōshima Island. That night, Reiko catches her son watching the tape and is now more than ever determined to discover how to defeat the thing that is killing people. Reiko and Ryūji team up and travel to the island to find out more.
On the island they discover that there used to be a great psychic Shizuko Yamamura. A doctor was working with her, showcasing her powers, but she was denounced a fake and disappered from sight.
The two find the doctor who was training Shizuko and discover that the doctor had a deeper relationship with Shizuko than just studying her; he was also her lover. Shizuko and him sired a child, Sadako, who was uncontrollable. She killed all the horses because they were disturbing her, killed people, etc. The father couldn’t handle her after the mom died and killed her by throwing her down a well. However, that didn’t completely kill Sadako as she psionically put her vengeful spirit into a tape. This spirit or Onryō killed the teenagers.
The two go back to the Cabin because that is where the videotape surfaced. They uncover a well and try to empty it to appease her spirit. Minutes before the seven days are up, Reiko finally finds Sadako’s corpse at the bottom. She hugs her and kisses her forehead, giving her “a mother’s love”. When nothing happens to Reiko, they believe that the curse is broken.
All seems fine until the next day. Ryūji is at his home and his TV switches on by itself showing the image of a well. The ghost of Sadako crawls out of the well and out of Ryūji’s TV set.
This wasn’t very creepy which disappointed me. I mean that was the whole buildup right? Well it just seemed very fake to me as she takes FOREVER to crawl across the floor.
So as Ryūji is dying he manages to dial Reiko’s number. She realizes the curse wasn’t broken and tries to figure out wat she did differently from her ex. She goes over everything she’s did in the past seven days and realizes what she did that Ryūji didn’t–copying the tape and showing it to Ryuji. Reiko figures out that by having her son make a copy and giving it to someone, it is the only way to save her son. The last shot is her driving to her father’s and talking to him on the phone letting him know that her son has a video to show him. (I know HORRIBLE BETRAYAL)
It was pretty creepy and compelling, but the last part when Sadako comes was just not creepy enough. But this film is definitely worth a watch!
What’s also really interesting is that the director Kôji Suzuki got his inspiration for the Ringu novel, which this film is based on, from his favorite horror movie Poltergeist.
Here is a cover page/poster for facebook I made as part of my countdown to Halloween.