Earlier this week, I revisited the original Japanese RING movies, RINGU and RINGU 2 for my weekly edition of “Double Take.” It brought me right back to that era of vibrant scary Asian cinema that was coming out in the late 90’s / early 2000’s. And naturally, where there’s any spurt of creativity, Hollywood is right there to fully exploit and remake it!
In retrospect, I don’t think a lot of the American versions of these films work, and a big part of it is something from those original myths gets lost in translation. I think the following pranks will help illustrate that point.
The first is actually referred to as “scary girl prank” in Korea. But it’s obviously meant to emulate Sadako from THE RING. For the average American, the mere sight of a long black haired girl isn’t too spooky. I think we’d just assume it’s a goth girl. But I love what just a glimpse of her does for these people. Have a look:
And there’s that fun little kick in the butt at the end there.
Just to put into context how much THE RING movies permeated the Japanese pop culture, check out this, my favorite of the prank videos. A group of young Japanese girls going bonkers at the mere sight of a scene from the movie! Plus a little surprise right after!
Fun and crazy, right? There are girls straight up crying at Sadako’s appearance.
Here’s one of “Samara Morgan,” the American version of THE RING’s vengeful spirit done by SA Wardega.
Yeah… see what I mean? That one doesn’t work at all. Maybe because it’s a pretty big dude dressed as “Samara,” and he just comes across as a frat guy trying to elicit any reaction rather than being genuinely scary? Or maybe it’s just not something that’s deeply affected our pop culture the way Sadako did for the Japanese?
You can jump on YouTube and literally find dozen of other RING pranks and spoofs. Most aren’t that good. The best are probably the top two I embedded here. But hey, we’re all entitled to one good scare, right?