I am a huge baby. I don’t try to hide this. When Kalie and I began dating two years ago I’d only seen one or two horror movies. Why? I don’t like being scared so I didn’t like them. However, apparently part of being in a relationship is sharing each other’s interests soooo now I spend a lot of time watching horror movies. Aaaagggh!!! As I’ve embarked on this frightful foray into the world of horror (beginning with Annabelle and most recently A Cure For Wellness) I’ve come to appreciate and even enjoy the genre in my own way. I’ve also developed a series of coping mechanisms so I can survive watching these films. So, if you’re like me and you’re forced to watch you enjoy horror movies but are TERRIFIED while watching them, try these tricks!
So, I wrote about the sometimes-blasé nature of contemporary horror in a recent piece on The Bye Bye Man, a much hyped movie that turned out to be a dull, formulaic disappointment. Shortly after, I embarked on a Shyamal-a-thon to mix things up; contrary to the flack he gets, I think M. Night makes a great, original movie with a unique vision. But if you really want unique – and, that is, unique with a side of extra fucked-up (there’s no eloquent way to encapsulate the reality of this film) – look no further than Gore Verbinski’s A Cure For Wellness, which crawls under your skin like a festering amoeba and provokes distinct discomfort throughout what is, for horror, an epic-scale movie length: two and a half hours. A Cure for Wellness is also a cure for boredom, for the common moviegoer and the volatile sadist alike. But even as I write this, I find myself torn: do I spend a post emphasizing how uncomfortable and unconventional the film was, or do I explore some reasonably intelligent questions the film raises? This, then, is my disclaimer: I have no idea how to begin to discuss this movie, so I can’t predict where this post will go. I’ll try not to divulge the film’s big secret, but beyond that effort, I make no promises about anything.
I don’t remember the first time I saw The Ring, but it was probably in college over ten years ago. Then there was a sequel that didn’t get much attention (I’ve never seen it). Since a more advertised, more acclaimed sequel, Rings, came out yesterday (I intend to see it tonight and write about it thereafter) I thought it would be appropriate to dive into the American original, which is based off the utterly eerie Japanese Ringu. Perhaps in part because its origin is Japanese – and thus beyond our cultural sphere – The Ring is a highly original horror and suspense classic, mixing an investigative mystery plot-line with sheer horror and eschewing a lot of horror film conventions for its own original storytelling. But I intend to do more than sing The Ring’s praises in this piece – although I will, assuredly, do that. I plan on looking at some binaries that construct the storytelling behind The Ring and examine what the film implies about our culture’s relationship to technology. Continue reading “The Ring: Technophobia or Technophilia?”→