2000’s | The Ring (2002)
Film 8 of 8 (yes the last one), representing the 2000s, The Paranormal, the 2000s Remake Fetish, and the Influence of J-Horror
Expectations: I haven’t seen this since its theatrical release (which rather terrifyingly was 8 tears ago). I’m on the look out here for a few things. Technological advances to the extent where I’m watching a ‘new’ horror film, this will be mainly down to filmmakers being able to control the use of CGI and use it well (many still can’t). I’ll also be on the look out for the influence of J-Horror (Japanese) on the 2000’s, and importantly the remake trend. What does it say about horror that the vast majority of studio marquee output is now a remake or a reimagining? And is this as bad as people say it is?
1931 to 2002.., The journey is almost complete.
Reflection: This is a perfect example of modern studio horror. Well made, high production values, big budget (for horror), and star billing, horror in the 2000s looks like a mainstream movie, able to command mainstream budgets from mainstream studios. That perhaps is how we arrive at the remake craze. Studios and producers want a safe bet for all that cheddar. and what safer bet than something that’s already cleaned up o the international market. As of September 2010, The Ring is the highest grossing horror remake of all time, with a worldwide box-office total gross of over $249 million. Why produce original horror if you can make that kind of money? The Ring is an example of a pretty sturdy remake, not as effective as the original, but far better than many of its remake counterparts.
Indie horror and low budget horror is still being made every day, but the main horror output is certainly now an output of big studios. No longer is horror a studios dirty little side project or farmed out to a subsidiary distributor. Strangely enough, horror is probably as important today to studios as it was in the 30s and 40s. If only the millions were put into developing new icons, legends, stars, franchises, and most of all stories. Instead we’re kind of stuck in a rut of well made, high quality productions, which sadly use all of these resources on recycled content. And that’s exactly what The Ring represents.