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Don't watch this.
July 31, 2002 2:54 AM   Subscribe

Don't watch this. Dreamworks is starting up the hype machine for their remake of the Japanese horror film Ringu (aka The Ring), and it looks like they're taking the A.I. route with it. The movie centers on a mysterious videotape that causes those who watch it to die seven days later. Websites are popping up all over the place that seem to connect to the 'mystery'. The first link up top goes to a flash teaser of the actual video from the film, but if you're brave, you can watch the whole thing at iFilm. I'm curious if this will indeed turn out to be an online game like the Evan Chan mystery from A.I., or just some better-than-average Web marketing for what looks to be a damn creepy movie.
posted by toddshot (29 comments total)

 
Looks like a game. 3 of the 4 sites were registered on the same day, and 2 of the 4 by the same person.

The original is supposed to be very scary. My cinephile friend in Hong Kong saw it in a theater, and he said it was the only movie he ever saw that made him sorta afraid to walk home alone that night after the showing.

The iFilm video (only 1.5 minutes long, BTW) is beautiful and creepy, but I tend to be a major wuss when it comes to jumpy horror films. Visually it reminded me of both Minority Report's precog visions and Death in Vegas's Dirt video.
posted by shortfuse at 3:39 AM on July 31, 2002


they're gonna remake the ring? why? [no, really, why??]

first time i watched it, I couldn't sleep a wink. At four in the morning, my door-buzzer rang. It wouldn't stop. I had to run down five flights of stairs in the dark to un-buzz it. Freaky.

spent the rest of my week making all my friends watch it in order to save my life [i was that shaken] . I'm still here. Ring 2 wasn't at all as scary.
posted by dabitch at 3:44 AM on July 31, 2002 [1 favorite]


I saw the original on telly a couple of months ago and I loved it. No doubt, Hollywood will completely massacre it.
posted by salmacis at 3:55 AM on July 31, 2002


aye, salmacis, sortof like they did with three men and a baby [laff] and Nikita?
That's why i'm wondering why are they making a remake? Anyone else that admires good films from foreign lands starting to feel a little insulted with Hollywoods remakes? If it ain't broke - don't fix it. Subtitle it.
posted by dabitch at 5:53 AM on July 31, 2002


that's odd, the premise bears a similarity to David Foster Wallace's _Infinite Jest_... at least from this description.
posted by n9 at 5:54 AM on July 31, 2002


The movie centers on a mysterious videotape that causes those who watch it to die seven days later.

Is that like a slow-acting blipvert?
posted by ao4047 at 6:27 AM on July 31, 2002


That clip reminds me of Un Chien Andalou . All those random images make my brain hurt this early in the morning.
posted by bradth27 at 6:31 AM on July 31, 2002


n9, I would be curious to read your similiarities between this film and Infinite Jest. What exactly is it that you see is similiar?
posted by bradth27 at 6:41 AM on July 31, 2002


It appears that Naomi Watts plays the reporter who is trying to solve the mystery and outlive the creepy video. If her work is anything like what she did in Mulholland Drive, then I have high hopes.
posted by mariko at 7:11 AM on July 31, 2002


n9: i agree -- damn french-canadian wheelchair terrorists are at it again.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:17 AM on July 31, 2002


In "Infinite Jest", there's a videotape of something called the Entertainment, and when people look at it, they're frozen solid, watching it.

Other people come to see what happened to the first people, and they too are mesmerized by it, whatever it is.

And so on, ad infinitum, apparently.

(This is from my memories of reading the book five or six years ago, so I may be fudgy on the details).

Good book. I got it signed, too (woo hoo for me). Took for freakin' ever to read, though, and turning back and forth to read the endnotes nearly drove me mad.
posted by beth at 7:33 AM on July 31, 2002


has already been re-made in Korea... (and closer to the original book, even)
posted by dorian at 7:36 AM on July 31, 2002


otoh i thought the birdcage was better than la cage aux folles :) but yeah the history of hollywood remakes is not good... i was trying to track down an r1 copy of ringu, but alas there aren't any. i think a friend might have it on vcd, but i guess it'd be without subtitles... aaaaugh! so my only hope is that it'll be released after the remake is out, kind of like open your eyes or something.
posted by kliuless at 7:41 AM on July 31, 2002


Ring is an excellent film. There is one scene that I found nearly unwatchable, yet it had zero FX, just a TV and video, woman and child.

What I find sort of rough about most of these Hollywood remakes (although, thank the baby Jesus, it looks like Chris Nolan's 'Insomnia' might be a cool exception :oD) is that hey, okay, they might attract a few more people to see the original, but at the end of the day, no matter about the quality, they'll have 'assimilated the brand' of the original... i.e. probably sullied its name.

I'm not saying they shouldn't, just saying I wish that they wouldn't (most of the time). Hello 'Get Carter', exit please, Mr. Stallone)
posted by boneybaloney at 7:57 AM on July 31, 2002


errr bye bye ), hello . (*blushes*)
posted by boneybaloney at 7:59 AM on July 31, 2002


Wow... I haven't seen the original (though I plan to track it down as soon as I can now!) But I really like the way theaters have been promoting their upcoming films... I particularly like the Kabbalah of Television part...
posted by darian at 8:03 AM on July 31, 2002


i'm afraid that ifilm clip has only confirmed my suspicion that dreamworks are going to do a thoroughly uninspired job of screwing up the film. the video tape in ringu was truly chilling, perhaps most of all because it wasn't at all graphic. putting in squirming maggots and snakes simply makes it seem overdone and schlocky. it's also far too slick for my liking - the shaky, grainy film worked much better. to my eyes it looks more like a pretentious arty scream clone than the exercise in psychological horror that ringu was.

i suppose my real objection is that this a film that doesn't need to be remade. not that it's ever stopped them before when they smell cash (hoping for artistic integrity from dreamworks has got to be a waste of time), but some things really are best left alone.
posted by zygoticmynci at 8:04 AM on July 31, 2002


I saw this movie a couple weeks back, with one of my friend's brother saying it was high up there on the scare meter. Maybe I shouldn't have had that warning beforehand, or something, because I just didn't see the awesome creepiness of this movie. Maybe it was the subtitles, maybe it was the pre-viewing hype, or maybe it's just that I don't get scared all too easy.

The Ring did have it's moments, though, and after seeing the original, I'm interested to see what an American studio would do with it (should be at least a couple more FX).
posted by JaxJaggywires at 8:18 AM on July 31, 2002


I gotta be honest with you guys - I'm intrigued mightily, but how does a video that kills you unless you solve the "mystery" equate into the scariest movie ever? Sounds like a B reel from Saturday morning Creature Features, to be honest...?
posted by UncleFes at 8:44 AM on July 31, 2002


Actually, the current consensus over on ARGN is that this is merely a semi-static web promotion, not a full-on Alternate Reality Game as was the Beast (the AI web-game). However, as a promotion, it is fairly well done and did have us going for a while. For more information on the original Ring movie, as well as the multitude of other movies, television shows, cartoons, and upcoming DreamWorks version, check out the Ringworld. Those 'ringworms' are all over everything Ring.
posted by SpaceBass at 9:49 AM on July 31, 2002


Well, since it's a big Hollywood remake of a foreign cult film I would suspect that a: it will suck compared to the original b: will star some musclehead like Schwarzenegger or Stallone or worse yet, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and c: they'll try to pad it with some really huge explosions.

I haven't seen the original. Does it have explosions?

beth:

In "Infinite Jest", there's a videotape of something called the Entertainment, and when people look at it, they're frozen solid, watching it. Other people come to see what happened to the first people, and they too are mesmerized by it, whatever it is. And so on, ad infinitum, apparently.

Sounds like that horrifying Rocky and Bullwinkle movie from a couple of years back.
posted by mark13 at 10:06 AM on July 31, 2002


where did you rent it from JaxJaggywires??
posted by kliuless at 11:31 AM on July 31, 2002


Read 'Infinite Jest', saw 'The Ring', have to say that although they both revolve around a video the execution is different enough I didn't see a similarity until it was mentioned here. I would lump 'Infinite Jest' in with 'Snow Crash' in which they revolve around something that you watch that destroys your mind.

'The Ring' on the other hand, it's more of a 'curse' than just the content. Good movie, you shouldn't be reading this thread if you haven't seen it though. It gets it's creepiness from mood rather than special effects, like 'The Sixth Sense'.
posted by bobo123 at 12:16 PM on July 31, 2002


btw! just noticed The Dream of Evan and Chan :) um, you wouldn't happen to be in region 1, would you bobo123?
posted by kliuless at 12:46 PM on July 31, 2002


I rented it on bootleg subtitled video, I don't want to get my video store in trouble, but the ringworld site lists lots of places you can find or order it.

As for regions, i use xine with a DeCSS plugin as my last resort if it's not my region.
posted by bobo123 at 1:23 PM on July 31, 2002


what was the original book called? who wrote it?
posted by Satapher at 1:35 PM on July 31, 2002


the ringworld site has that, too! keke :) "2 July, 2002: Amazon now lists the English translation of the Ring as available for pre- order! Release date is September, 2002. See it here."
posted by kliuless at 2:01 PM on July 31, 2002


The movie centers on a mysterious videotape that causes those who watch it to die seven days later.
Is that like a slow-acting blipvert?


Or Videodrome?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:05 PM on July 31, 2002


The movie centers on a mysterious videotape that causes those who watch it to die seven days later.
Is that like a slow-acting blipvert?

Or Videodrome?


From what I hear, it's not actually the video that does the killing. And I also hear, from test screening reviews, that this remake is surprisingly good and genuinely scary. Apparently they've managed to break the chain of awful horror remakes (can you say Psycho? ouch).
posted by toddshot at 3:31 PM on July 31, 2002


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