Leigh Butler did not say this. Leigh Butler was not here:
> On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 21:32:57 +0200, Johan Gustafsson
> <***@e-bostad.net> wrote:
>>>> So, I watched "The Ring" the other night on cable, and I enjoyed
>>>> it even if it did scare the bejeezus out of me, but upon
>>>> retropesction, I am absolutely baffled.
>>>> Can someone please explain to me what the hell was going on?
>>>> Obviously, spoilers are being addressed below...
>>> Another thing I didn't really realize until I saw it the second time
>>> was that the TV in the cabin was directly over the well, and that
>>> she clearly "made" that video as those kids were trying to tape the
>>> football game. So they were the first ones to see it. Maybe that was
>>> obvious to everyone else, but that confused me the first time
>> Of course, the "tape legend" seems rather developed if it started
>> that week. Neither tape nor phone call specifies what's going to
>> happen after seven days.
> The phone call doesn't? I thought it did. Doesn't it say something
> like "in seven days you will see the ring, and then you die"? Or was
> that only for the trailer?
Must only have been the trailer. It's definitely just "Seven days..." in
>>>> Also, even though Rachel "rescued" Samora, she's still pissed off
>>>> and Evil(tm)?
>>> Well, that was actually the one part of the movie I had a problem
>>> with. Rachel's son  is all, "You helped her? You weren't supposed
>>> to help her!" and then we get that completely awesome and
>>> scary-as-hell scene of Samara climbing out of the TV to kill Noah
>>> (which freaked me right the fuck out, I don't mind saying),
>> You and me both, although I was desensitized from watching the
>> (almost identical) scene in the Japanese original.
> Haven't seen the original. Don't think I'm going to, just because I
> always tend to favor the version I see first over anything later,
> regardless, and it gets annoying.
That's a pity. Ring US is a bit of a mishmash of Ring Japan and Ring 2.
The original Japanese version is cleaner and with less distractions from the
story - plus, you find out who she's planning on having her son show the
> Splatter flicks almost never scare me. Gross out, sure, but scare, no.
> I _snickered_ through both Hellraisers and the two or three Nightmare
> on Elm Streets I saw (including the first one).
There was one jump in the original NOES; when the dead girl appears in class
in the body bag. I saw that film when it was first released on video,
though, so I saw it a bit earlier than you (and I was probably younger,
> _The Ring_, though, scared me. _The Others_ scared me. _What Lies
> Beneath_, though not the most stellar film, had some good nervous
> tension going in the second act. _Alien_, that scared the crap out of
Alien? It's a great movie (and I look forward to the enhanced cut), but
plotwise it's no more than Friday the 13th In Space.
> I think what all those films did, that I don't find your average
> horror film does all that well, is (a) build excruciating tension in
> lieu of (or at least for a good long while before) explosive violence,
> and (b) let the audience's imagination do most of the work in building
> that tension before finally giving them the payoff.
Event Horizon did that *extremely* well until it bottled it in the last act.
I have friends - not particularly weak-stomached friends - who had to leave
before it got that far.
> Also, now that I look at it, most or all of those films that really
> got to me did not have the standard "group of college kids/high school
> kids/random pretty people find themselves in conveniently hemmed-in
> situation with serial killer/monster/alien/mutant bunny on the loose;
> wacky gore and mayhem hijinks ensue" type set-up.
Because such films are not scary, as a rule. The only exceptions seem to be
John Carpenter's remake of The Thing - actually, Carpenter does
claustrophobia pretty well in general - and My Little Eye.
> Instead they are
> tightly focused on one central protagonist who has almost exclusive
> command of the camera throughout, and everything is gradually revealed
> only as she (they all seem to be female, too) discovers it.
Seemed pretty obvious to me. You've got three things working there:
1) You're more likely to be afraid for a protagonist if you can identify
with them. If there's only one protagonist, you get to know them better and
so can identify more closely. Of course, being female helps this as well.
2) That which is not known is more frightening than that which is. The
hardest part of a horror film to do is the reveal; it's hard to be scared
when you know everything. And of course, if you know no more than the
protagonist you have another point of identification.
3) Female protagonists inspire a sympathetic fear in female viewers and a
protective response in male viewers.
Now, one interesting thing you *didn't* notice was the thing that connects
the protagonists of What Lies Beneath, The Exorcist, The Ring and The
Others. I'll put in a bit of blank space here, so you can have a quick
guess before you read on.
The answer is that they're all parents - as, for that matter, is Lynn Sear
in The Sixth Sense. Also, four of those five films concern *single* mothers
and the last has the mother in jeopardy. This adds yet another level of
fear response; the fear of what will happen to the children if the parents
are taken away. (Ripley is also a mother, as it happens, but we don't find
that out until Aliens - which is why I didn't count it above. It does,
however, add to the surrogate mother relationship she has with Newt.)
I spent six months in the cheese bin!