Movie #310 The Ring
(2002, US, d. Gore Verbinski)
One of the defining horror films of our generation, The Ring, in my opinion, is also the film that marked the transition horror films would take from the traditional “R” rating to a more affordable PG-13 rating. This would allow their budgets to skyrocket, because of more sure filled seats in the theater. A blessing and a curse, this movement would not have been possible without the originality and success of The Ring. A lot of people don’t give this film the credit it deserves. For though it now possesses the cheap horror tricks audiences expect from any outing to a scary movie, The Ring is the film that patented them. It took cheap scares to a new level, infusing them with directorial ingenuity and visual explorations. It is a story that is at once intriguing, unique, and highly disturbing, and that makes for excellent cinema. Bolstered by the presence of then the bigger star Naomi Watts, The Ring also happens to be one of the scariest films you’ll watch with a PG-13 rating. But the real star of the entire piece is the visual storytelling. Using the camera as a storytelling technique is a rare feat and as cheap as it sounds, that is accomplished here. Through the right framing of shots, the right camera movement, and just right tad of visual effects enhancement, the quality of the picture is increased exponentially. It is a scary as hell sort of film, but everyone should watch it at least once. And then make a copy and pass it on.