Kate and I saw the film “The Ring” last night, and let me tell you THAT is a creepy movie. We discussed the film afterward and came to the conclusion that it is not scary in the conventional chainsaw-wielding-murderer, jump out of your seat sort of way. It is scary in a much more close-to-home sort of way. Alien was a scary movie (okay, I was 10 when I saw it and it was the scariest thing at the time), but you could distance yourself from it because it was SciFi. Red Dragon was scary, but you can distance yourself from it because you are Joe Average American, not a criminal psychologist and not a likely target for the killer. The Exorcist was scary, but can easily be logic'ed away. You could come up with similar arguments for The Shining, etc. (I cannot come up with an explanation for why Plan 9 From Outer Space is so scary, but that is a different kind of scary). The Ring successfully does what movies like Blair Witch and various movies based on [existing and contrived] urban myth tried to do. It is a scary plot, played out in a creepy and unnerving manner, that becomes more believable as the movie unfolds. It is part scary movie, part mystery (which gets unraveled, piece by piece, allowing you to become even more sucked into the plot), part creepy surreal foreign art film–think Brothers' Quay, “Street of Crocodiles” where the rusty screws undo themselves, or “Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies” (I believe is the one) with the big ladder, or “The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer” (again, I believe this is the name), with the fly.
Some of the scariest things about The Ring is what they did not show. For instance, no opening credits. You get the Dreamworks logo (slightly messed up with VCR static, of course), then the movie begins. You are just thrown into the story without any preparation. The story starts a little cheezy (high school girls at a sleepover discussing an urban legend), but very quickly wins over your acceptance as things happen. Another thing they do not show is excessive (or really any) gore. Everything is played out through creepy imagery that just plain works. Another thing they do not show are exhaustive details of the back-story. They show you enough, as it unfolds, so you know what is going on any why most everything is happening, but leave out just enough so that you are still sucked into the story and plot after the movie finishes–you have something to talk about and discuss.
On a different note, my laptop is fixed. Toshiba dispatched some dude to come out to the place I work and fix it right then-and-there. It took about half a day to get GNU Linux reinstalled and my backups restored (thankfully, I had recent backups!). Unfortunately, it looks like I may have to get Windows running on this too, since all the power management stuff is Windows based. I HATE having the computer beep when I close the lid, and that cannot be changed in BIOS, it can only be changed through the “Toshiba Power Settings” Windows control panel. Bleh!
For a good number of seconds yesterday, I could have SWORN I saw a monkey. A lady at the supermarket was backing out, and I stopped to let her go. In the passenger seat, just tall enough to poke its head over the car windowsill (if that is the correct term), was a chimpanzee! It took a good 5 to 10 seconds for me to realize that it was really an 80-year-old shriveled woman with a big protruding mouth/gums/something that just happened to have the same face shape and body size as a chimp.
Well…time to get out of bed, take a shower, and venture to the mall.