Wednesday, August 06, 2003

 

Nightmares

I just finished watching "The Ring." I'm ok with horror/thriller movies (grew up on stuff like this and this), but watching this one right before bed probably wasn't the smartest of ideas.

(disclaimer: if you haven't seen the movie and want to without some plot points being spoiled, stop here. I hate it when people reveal things about movies I havne't seen. I had the secrets from "The Sixth Sense" and "Fight Club" told to me on the same night, before I'd seen either movie)

I liked this movie - it did scare me, and I confess to watching certain portions of it through my hands, but I have problems with some of the plot elements. Why, exactly, is the little girl evil, for example? There's not really a good back story for the kid, even though there is, somewhat, for the mother. A lot is left to be inferred. There's certainly something to be said for subtlety and for being able to lead an audience to a conclusion rather than explicitly revealing information, but there are some plot points that need to be foregrounded a bit more. Also annoying, unnecessary, and not explained well: people affected by the ring all make horses freak out - um, why? And why is it necessary?

The DVD version of the movie includes a short that adds more background information. What it did for me was create a bit more confusion. There are things that just don't jive: characters in the short contradict earlier statements by characters in the feature film, and it's implied that the girl, Samara, is "unnatural," abnormal, even evil - and concieved through questionable methods. Why does the doctor say Samara was supposedly adopted, while the group of people in the short specifically say that the parents went away and when they returned the woman was pregnant? The doctor also says that the girl was institutionalized and, for all she knew, was still in the same facility, while the group in the short contradict again, saying that the parents returned from their winter home wiithout the child one year: supposedly a fire had destroyed their winter home and had killed Samara, as well. These contradictions serve no point, as far as I can see.

I do want to watch the movie again, but with the subtitles on. We had them on for part of this run through, and there's a lot of whispering and barely-audible lines that are hard to distinguish from the soundtrack and background noises, but are subtitled. I want to go back and see if there are any more of these subtle, almost subliminal, lines.

I suppose that's enough analysis for the night. Sometimes I overdo it on the analysis: it is, after all, only a movie. And now, having reminded myself of that, I'm going to attempt to get some sleep.

--oh, p.s. - I'd like to see the movie on which this was based: is this a "Vanilla Sky" parallel: remake (with very few differences) the cool foriegn film for an American audience because we, as a nation, hate subtitles?

- posted by laurie @ 8/06/2003 10:48:00 PM
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