Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Grudge vs. The Ring

We picked up a whole bunch of horror movies discounted for Halloween.  I'm not a big fan of horror, but I like a well-made suspense.  I even watched The Others in the theater.  One of the few movies that's actually made me jump.  It still makes me jump about 50% of the time.  It's not the best horror movie I've seen, but it's up there.
Anyway, the boy and the girl are seeing these for the first time.  It's fun watching their fresh, no-preconceptions reactions to the movies.  We've been rating them, which is scarier than which, and two have floated to the top.  The Grudge, and The Ring.  (I want to get Ringu also so they can compare.)

So of course we came up with The Grudge vs. The Ring (though I doubt we're the first.)

Scenario:  Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) finds out about the tape.  She takes it to the grudge house, plugs in the tape, sets it to play, and runs.
Curious, the ghost woman of the house comes over, sits down, and watches.  After she watches the images (largely baffled rather than creeped out,) the phone rings.  She walks over and answers.  One eye is showing.  
"Seven days," the voice on the phone says.
"Uhhhhhhhh" she replies.

And mayhem ensues.


The Moody Minstrel said...

The Grudge and The Ring...

Two decent American remakes of excellent Japanese movies.

I still like the original version of "Ring" better, though. It's much more subtle, i.e. there's just this sense of vague malevolence that permeates everything, and the drama is intentionally understated.

I never saw the American "Grudge", but the Japanese original, while definitely fun to watch, struck me too much as just a cornucopia of freak-out, shock-horror scenes loosely stitched together with a plot woven in as an afterthought.

I also had to wonder about all those people that just got grabbed and yanked out of existence. it so easy to pull someone into the world of the dead? And if they can get in, can they get back out?

Kami said...

I haven't seen the Japanese Grudge, but the American Grudge, plot-wise, held together, at least for me.

So now I have to see the Japanese Grudge ...

I preferred Ringu over The Ring as well. It's my understanding that there are other Ring-related movies, but I've gotten burned on sequels so many times ... has anyone seen them? Are they any good?

The Moody Minstrel said...

Well, as far as Japanese sequels are concerned:

The official 1st sequel to "Ringu" was "Rassen" (based on the novel of the same name, the same author as "Ringu"). Many people said it wasn't as good, and it didn't have quite the fear factor, but it was freaky! I enjoyed it.

The official 2nd sequel, again based on a novel of the same name by the same author, was called "Basudei (Birthday)". It was actually a prequel, dramatizing the story of what really happened to Sadako. It was weird, but it was more of a drama than a horror movie. There were some shocking bits, but mostly it was just freaky...and sad. My wife said she was disappointed. I appreciated it for what it was.

At the same time "Basudei" came out, the producers of "Ringu" also released another movie called "Ringu 2". It was NOT written by the same author. In fact, it was a parallel sequel that completely ignored "Rassen" (which pissed off a lot of people) even though it used some of the same characters played by the same actors. It was also a more cliche, commercial horror flick, i.e. lots of shock factor but not a whole lot of plot. I thought it was stupid, though I admit it was kind of fun to watch.

Apparently a group of purists got mad at the changes the producers of "Ringu" made to the original novel, so they commissioned a movie by a different producer called "Ringu, Ankatto (Ring, Uncut)". It was much closer to the original novel, which is more twisted and more sexual than the first "Ringu" movie. It was...disturbing. I guess it was only available in video, because I never heard mention of it as a cinema of TV production.

There were also TV miniseries versions of both "Ringu" and "Rassen". They took MASSIVE liberties with the plots, but they were very well done and well worth watching. The soundtrack and camera work were outstandingly chilling, especially for a prime time soap, but without being overdone. They were well appreciated, even by the author of the original novels!

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