FearTASTIC Vault O’FUN #62
The Ring (2002)
Writer(s):Ehren Kruger, Koji Suzuki
Starring:Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox, Daveigh Chase
Another month in exile from my FearTastic Vault! The dessert gives comfort to the wicked…
Let me first start this off by saying that The Ringis based off of a horror movie from Japan titled, Ringuthat was released four years earlier and YES, it is superior to its American counter part. Like I’ve mentioned in previous installments of the FearTastic Vault, I’ll always be in favor of any horror flick that has more practical than computer generated effects. However, 2002’s The Ring will always have a special place in my heart because it was released at a time when I was younger, dumber (arguably) and inspired me to concoct one of the best pranks in my mischievous career!
Cut to Freshman year in college. Your FearTastic Vault Keeper was dressed in Dickie’s pants, some sort of skate shoe and sporting a band shirt (most likely pop punk/ emo). Since no one else from my high school ended up going to my college of choice, I didn’t know anyone in my dorm room. I was lucky enough to cajole one fine gentleman into being my friend during freshman orientation and we both realized we had the same wicked sense of humor. Moving into a dorm room with all new people seemed to be challenge at first but surprisingly, our sense of rebellion and shared irreverence brought us pretty close together in a short time. One of our first real outings presented itself when The Ringwas released and one of the ladies in our little gang made it QUITE clear that she was not going to partake in this event due to the trailer already scaring the soul from her body. I took it upon myself being the horror aficionado and concerned friend (*ahem) to convince her otherwise. I brought up that this was going to be the group’s first outing and it set precedence on how the rest of our year would go. I mentioned that the comradery of this group would be a key factor on how the rest of our first year of college would turn out and that she was a very essential part of the group. I also stated that my arm would be at her service whether it be hiding from the scary things on the screen or a substitute for a stress ball that she can squeeze whenever she felt anxious. After much discussion and cajoling, she finally agreed to joint he group for a screening of The Ring.
The movie itself is a solid horror remake that focuses on a videotape that allegedly causes the death of anyone who views it seven days later courtesy of the ghost demon child of my nightmares, Samara. Pretty simple premise but what made this movie interesting is how the scares present themselves. What I love about Asian horror flicks is their ability to take the arbitrary and make them terrifying. Like taking a shower? Not when fingers start to come out of your scalp! Innocent looking closet? Try having a pale ghost sitting in the corner when you open the door! I have to give a hand to the character of Samara in this movie because like the Japanese counterpart, the iconic child with long black hair crawling out of the television screen still gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it over 15 years later! The American version of this concept works just as well…with just a dash more CGI than I would have wanted but regardless, it’s a solid entry that paved the way for other remakes of Asian horror flicks that would soon become a trend due to the massive success of The Ring(yes, as I typed that I’m still deciding whether that was a good or bad call). Since most folks hadn’t seen the Japanese version of this flick, the style and types of scares this movie provided was completely new and innovative, which expectedly scared the crap out of the audience. A particular scene where a closet door was opened to reveal a corpse made me jump more than any other movie inside of a theater so needless to say I was quite impressed with the final result. Now back to my prank story!
With everyone in tact, the group went to go see The Ring on a weekend night. As promised I sat next to the lady that was terrified at the trailer of this flick so as the movie began the only thing I could feel is her nails digging into my skin while her face burrowed into into my shoulder. Roughly about two hours later, we made it through the movie. The credits had rolled and what used to be my right arm was now a pinched, soggy mess. As we all chatted about the flick throughout the week after the viewing, I thought now was the time to have a bit of fun. As I mentioned, Samara was the real star of this flick but also nightmare fuel for my (unlucky) friend. We decided it would be fun to set up pictures of Samara throughout her area while she was away. From what I heard from her friends who saw the series of events first hand, she had turned on her computer screen and shrieked when she saw an image of Samara staring right back at her so she proceeded to run into the restroom which, yes, also contained a huge picture of Samara so the next natural place to run to is her bed for security right? There was also a nice picture of Samara waiting for her in the sheets. I did not see this first hand, but I do remember the screams and with that, another piece of your FearTastic Vault Keeper was born. Horror is entertainment, but yes, it could also be inspiring!
Which brings me to my 2017 inductee to the FearTASTIC Legends Vault, congratulations to the character of Samara from The Ring! You are simultaneously a horror icon and a personal inspiration to me for creating ruckus throughout my young adulthood. Thank you my darling and a standing ovation for you!
FearTASTIC Legends Vault 2018 Inductee – Samara from The Ring