Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ring 2

So The Ring 2 suffers from the same terminal afflictions that have caused many other horror film franchises to linger on for a few painful and awkward years before dying. Let's list them:

*scenes or ideas from the first film--interesting and effective the first time--redone with slight variations

*soap opera plot twists involving a newly discovered family member sharing a cursed past

*a painfully stupid "rah-rah!" moment when the heroine pauses to say "fuck you!" to her nemesis before defeating her

*A series of done-to-death cinematic cliches, including:

A)an eerie music box in the basement which starts playing when touched

B)a mother, aware that her child is in supernatural danger, who inexplicably and continually decides to leave him somewhere to fetch something from the car, or from another house, or from another room

C)a mother--hearing dreadful noises upstairs where her supernaturally beset son has been left alone--who goes to investigate said noises but instead asks him questions from the bottom of the steps, including my personal favorite: "Is that you, Aidan?" I'm surprised we didn't get the king of horror cliche: "Stop kidding around, guys, this isn't funny"--oh, never mind, we did!

D)thinly disguised elements from good horror films which have little to do with the plot: The Omen, The Shining, The Exorcist, the first Ring, etc.

Of course afficionados of horror will accept a certain number of these elements, much as readers of romance and mystery will accept certain obviously contrived scenes over and over; part of the pleasure of genre fandom lies in their comforting recurrence. I actually enjoyed Ring 2 despite its obviousness--it had enough flair, enough directorial style, to keep me engaged even whilst grumbling at the occasional over-obvious moment. The Senator was largely empty during our Tuesday evening showing--but ten people are enough of a crowd to have two different cellphones go off at two different times, and to contain idiots who have to ask questions about what's happening. To the young lady seated in front of me and her moronic boyfriend: (*mini spoiler alert*) Yes, a syringe filled with nothing but air and injected into the juggler is deadly, so shut the fuck up! We had to endure a five minute discussion along the lines of: "Oh my God, there's no poison in that needle--like she'd die from nothing!"


Nick said...

jump right in...

Sometimes redone ideas/scenes are unjustly maligned. In the right hands they can just get better and better. A recurring theme, if you will.

I can't defend lame plot twists. Has to have good writing.

An example of a painfully GREAT "rah-rah!" moment was in ROTK when Eowyn unleashed her brutal one-liner upon the witch-king. I had tears in my eyes.

Don't most music boxes start eerily playing when touched? The last few notes are always jiggled loose...

Subconscious workings. Deep down she really wants to get the heck outta Dodge. Reflection of protagonist's poor character.

Have you ever been in a dangerous supernatural situation? I haven't; who knows what stupid things one would say when confronted by the Unknown.

Borrowing without purpose is pretty shabby.

I thought there were strict rules in the Senator; specifically NO MORONS. How can anyone make a decent movie these days when you have to talk down to these atavistic low-brow bores?

geoff said...

Let's list my dangerous supernatural situations:

At age 10 my bedroom was in the basement of our Reisterstown house and I was lying in bed reading. I heard a whispering noise, and then something heavy and invisible sat on my chest and I started doing spastic sit-ups and could not stop, even after my stepdad tried holding my shoulders down. All I did was yell until I could hardly breathe.

This long before I ever saw the Exorcist!

Then my buddy E. and I were drinking beer in the church parking lot in Millers MD and I saw a woman dressed in white float down from the church door toward the 18th-century tombstones. I thought "well, I've had enough to drink" and then E. asked if I saw her. There was no one there, of course, and it was after 1am.

Then I was house and dog-sitting for friends of my folks; they had a doberman, a beagle, and a rottweiler who all slept in the bedroom with me. Around 3am I was awakened by music and started fumbling to turn off the alarm clock, then quickly realized the music wasn't coming from there. There was a piano playing downstairs--this is in Seven Valleys, PA, in the middle of fucking nowhere, in a 150-year-old house. The rottweiler had its hackles up and was dropping foamy spit as it barked at the door, the beagle was whimpering under the bed, and the doberman was at the door which came up from the kitchen to the master bedroom, scratching and growling. I was FREAKED OUT, but I didn't get a candle and open either door to investigate or say "Quit playing around guys, it's not funny" or something asinine like that.

Only a partial list--I'm sure there's an explanation for most or all of this stuff, but if you think you're in a supernatural situation, you may as well be so far as charting reactions.

Nick said...

SHIT I've never had anything like that happen, but it seems like everyone else I know has. What's wrong with me? I want to believe in that stuff but I need something to show me. I need to go talk to Spidey.

Anonymous said...

yo ooooouuuuu.... lliaaarrrrr.....
I distinctly remember you making a request for "Tie a Yellow Ribbon"!!!!

The Seven Valleys Spectre

geoff said...

Runs in the family I guess. Great Gramps was a hex healer and gramma had visions and talked in tongues.

All I have is a sense of places as "ok" or "not ok," and that may or may not have anything to do with the supernatural--it could be decided by what I ate for lunch.

And it's good to hear from the Seven Valleys Spectre again--still doing the chains/moldering clothes thing?

Anonymous said...

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Stay away froom the HAs OR ELSE it wiilll falll offffff!!!

wooooooooooooo I have spooken.

geoff said...

The Seven Valleys Spectre would never use 21st century vernacular (like "crapass").

She'd use "filthy drawers" or something...