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Ring, The (2002)
Movie Review by The Undertaker

Ring, The (2002) I wasted some time recently crying over some of the recent remakes Hollywood thought necessary to force down the throat of mainstream and horror fans a few years back. Psycho, The Haunting, and House on Haunted Hill faced the unenviable task of trying to recreate the magic of highly respected classic scare films and failed. With all their money and special FX, only House on... seemed to do anything pleasurable and worthwhile with the chance at a makeover. Fans, even casual film fans, knew these films well and did anyone even want aspects of the original changed? No, not at all. So when exactly is it a good idea to remake a film? Hell if I know, however I think that in the case of a foreign film that has remained mostly a cult item since its release, perhaps stealing the story and showing it to a wider audience can be a decent idea. Enter The Ring as exhibit A. American filmmakers have seen before that a great Japanese story works well with a few modifications. Ever see The Magnificent Seven and its parent film Seven Samurai? They used gun-slinging outlaws in place of ronin samurai and hey it worked fine. The power of Ring the original lies with the story. A great story can transcend cultural differences. It does that here rather well. The film seems carbon copied with honkies for the most part. The best parts of the original remain very much intact and effective here though. I feel like this remake is a good thing as it will expose people to a story that's very creepy, even with the Americanized changes which do offer some creepy touches of their own. Short question long and more rehash, it's good for us to have a Ring, though why couldn't the Japanese film just get a release here? It would never work as mainstreamers don't read subs. and dubbing it would be an even worse tragedy. The big money that controls the film industry won't ever let you see a good foreign film, horror or otherwise, on its multiplex screens. A fact is a fact. The Ring does succeed for the most part in capturing the feel of the original and have it's own style and tidbits of originality thrown in here and there. It did not recreate the director's style or quite as much of the darkness felt in the 1st, but you will never do that from film to film. I don't know if The Ring will be very popular or gross a billion zillion dollars, but I'm glad it was done and hope it scares the shit out of those that do see it. The child playing the lead role in this one creeped me out. The eyes were just scary. The ending still packs about the same punch as its predecessor. The theatre I saw it in remained hushed throughout the film (were they actually paying attention?). The well scenes and the finale got expected gasps and jumps. The great story worked. The downbeat ending looked to have left folks puzzled and cold, a good thing. Curses and ghosts don't die in ninety minutes. The one great change to the storyline involving the mystery of the tape's origin worked fine to me. I personally just love that ending, for both films, and when the 'hero' gets informed that her actions have actually worsened the situation, well what can ya do? Makin' copies.... The Ring offers some excellent cinematography. I still prefer the original, 'cuase it's the original. Its look and tone can't be duplicated. Our Ring copies the best parts and grants easy access for the masses. If nothing else perhaps it will inspire some interest in the 1st and later films in the series that followed. Luckily your ass can see a Ring now, hopefully you'll never hear it.
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Rating: 9.6 out of 10.0 - 37 votes cast total
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