REVIEW: The Ring

“You don’t really want to hurt people”

“Oh but I do. I am sorry”

***

The other night, whilst harassing K*Mart employees about wiffle ball bat theft, I purchased “The Ring” (widescreen with DTS) on DVD. I have to say, I’ve seen my share of horror in my day, but this is, by far, the most disturbing piece of film I’ve ever watched, blowing the former titleholder Requiem for a Dream out of the water. The movie is a US remake of a Japanese film called “Ringu” which I am told is even MORE horrifying than its gaijin cousin. How this is possible escapes me. I’m no neophyte when it comes to horror, and as such, I’ve learned to recognize the signs and patterns of horror, (Remember the movie geek in Scream, I make him look clueless). Regardless however, to the fact that I knew character X was going to die in this scene, and die he did, it was still horrible, frightening and unexpected. This, I believe, is a sign of genius.

The basic plot to the ring is as follows; The is a tape of various disturbing images and scenes, including but not limited to; dead horses on a beach, a woman committing suicide, a pile of maggots and an unseen hand deliberately impaling a finger onto a nail. Now that’s good entertainment. Well on top of being number #1 on the family film channel, this video that did in fact begin with a glowing ring, had one other minor side effect. Death. Yes, you received a phone call immediately after watching in which a young female voice says “Seven days”. That’s it. Like clockwork, seven days later, you cash in your chips, and always in the most horrible way imaginable. I’m not going into details onto the exact method, but the audience actually watches… and it is horrific.

The film itself was visually appealing and the soundtrack was beautiful, all in all it was an outstanding film. Your next question may be, this is all nice Matt, but what does it have to do with Lovecraft or Cthulhu? Read The Yellow Sign. Now replace the play with a mysterious underground videotape. Now replace the paranoid horror with genuine malice. There you go. I was silently chanting the entire time, she’s an avatar of Hastur, she’s an avatar of Hastur. Hell, as you watch the movie, they even seem to hint at this. If you ever need inspiration of how a Modern Cthulhu story should go, or how a Cthulhu Now genre game should be run, watch the ring, And if you’re still able to watch TV or use a phone again, call your gamers and invite them over.

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