With Rings opening up tomorrow nationwide, I was reminded of my first exposure to the franchise back in 2002 with The Ring. I didn’t know the film was a remake of a Japanese horror film until the day before I saw it in theaters. In fact, I didn’t see its 1998 inspiration Ringu, until a year after viewing the American remake for the first time. I’ll be the first to admit that I used to shy away from foreign films but thankfully I’ve become more wise with age. I was struck by how seemingly the film translated to a ghost story that would be familiar to American audiences but also how it maintained the core style of the film that spawned it.
As we know, The Ring became a huge word of mouth hit when it made north of $129 million at the box office after debuting to a mere $15 million on opening weekend. We also know that Hollywood likes winners and nothing says winner more than a proven brand that can bring in a nice profit for the studio. In 1996 Scream revived the teen slasher sub-genre of horror and it ushered in a slew of imitators that resulted in a windfall for various studios before the new thing became the big thing. The new thing appeared in 1999 when The Blair Witch Project became one of the most profitable films ever made by exploiting the found footage concept while it was still in infancy. The attention span of