Weekender Bahrain, Monday, May 20 2019

Samara doesn’t scare...let her retire already!

admin 16-Feb-2017

Samara doesn’t scare...let her retire already!

When it comes to getting our movie urges fulfilled, we as film fanatics welcome with open arms what Hollywood offers- at least most of the time. But in no way, does that mean a production house can pick up a decomposing title, long forgotten and moved on from, shake it up a bit and then voila- present it off as a remake we could have easily gone without.

When I heard the third instalment from The Ring horror franchise was coming out, the first thought that entered my mind was: “When exactly did the second instalment feature and what was the story again?” Based on the famous Japanese films, I thought maybe, just maybe a whole new edge might be explored with this latest release.  We are yet again introduced to the ghostly girl ‘Samara’ with her signature long dark hair, and crawling out of the television set antics. Well, you know what, that isn’t as scary as it used to be. Horror genre has definitely evolved and it might be one of the hardest kinds through which a viewer can be easily satisfied. Every director wishing to give his viewers the creeps knows the audience and their judgment has advanced- we don’t let things get to us that easily!

The film basically starts of how in order to save her boyfriend, a woman called Julia watches the ‘cursed videotape’ that kills its viewer within the next seven days. As per the tape’s rule, Julia gets a phone call soon after warning the same. Turns out, what Julia sees is a never-seen-before extended version of the footage.  Yes, that and probably the trailer was what led me to the cinema and I kept on waiting for the twist to unfold, a fresh outlook into the franchise, probably even a close look into Samara’s deathly existence and why can’t she cross over- alas, it wasn’t meant to be, because it wasn’t there. You feel like you are taking a ride on the merry go round- there isn’t new exploration material really.  It also doesn’t help that it gets much of its enactments as an imitation of the ‘Final Destination’ death pace and sensibility. We see people die in various ways and even the uninspiring investigation that takes place quite later in the film, fails to arouse interest. It also doesn’t help the protagonist who kept the previous titles strongly rooted wasn’t there anymore. Naomi Watts you were greatly missed! Her presence would have certainly helped this already sunken and depressive excuse of a movie.   

And since that wasn’t there (perhaps she knew too, to let Samara rest in peace now), it might have worked if the film was approached with a fresher perspective. Nothing about Samara’s character manages to intrigue; probably safe to say that the parodies on the film, shown in ‘Scary Movie’ series were far more entertaining. Can’t we just let the girl rest in peace already?  The plot is clichéd at great lengths and things have been unnecessarily made complicated.  As a sucker for horror movies, I couldn’t help myself and had to watch it, but when I left the cinemas, I felt rather cheated, as for a team of brilliant writers and film-makers, the series could have been presented in a much better, scarier and interesting way.  For those who wish to revisit Samara’s doom of despair, they might want to revisit the 2002 and 2005 films instead.