Narrative on ‘The Ring’ Q1) What makes this an effective opening? The opening of this film is effective as it begins in a domestic setting of a teenage girl’s bedroom, and the darkness outside along with the bad weather make the opening seem slightly haunting. The domestic situation, in which the two teenage girls sit in the bedroom gossiping and telling a ghost story, is one that most teenagers, especially girls, and even adults, can relate to. This makes the opening effective in the way the audience can easily imagine themselves in a similar circumstance. This also makes the rest of the opening and film more threatening and forbidding as it creates an emotion of what it would be like for the audience to be in that situation. Q2) How does the audience know who is the hero (victim) and who is the villain? In the opening of the film, the audience is given the impression that the two girls are both going to be the victims, or at least are innocent. Although they discuss a horror story, and one seems quite sinister, it is obvious that they are just playing around and are normal, everyday teenagers. However, the story one of them tells leaves an uncertain and eerie mood within the opening and creates a feeling of something bad about to happen within the audience. We soon learn that the girls are home alone, and so the fear of what is to come, as well as the strange things that happen, like the TV turning itself on, become the villains themselves; haunting the girls and creating fear and apprehension. Q3) What genre is the film going to be? How do you know? The genre is quite obviously horror, particularly psychological horror, right from the start of the film. The opening has typical connotations of a psychological horror in the way it includes a big dark house, rain, darkness, and the introduction of a scary story being told by one of the characters. The audience instantly knows that eventually something strange and eerie is going to happen, and so uncertainty and fear begins to build immediately. Q4) Where is the story set? What does this tell you about the genre of the film? The opening is set in a big dark house, filmed from a low angle making it appear bigger and more intimidating. Outside the house it is night time and it is raining, there is also an old tree in the corner. Then the films moves in to the girl’s bedroom, where the only light is from the lamp, and the TV you presume is there, as one girl sits with a remote pointing it towards the camera. This setting, especially the big dark house, is typical of a psychological horror film, and so these things connote this idea to an audience instantaneously. Q5) How many principle characters? There are two girls in the opening of the film, so they are firstly presented as the two major characters, however, we get a feeling that one of them is more important than the other as; the opening is set in her house, her mother rings to check up on her and the girls are mostly talking about her. Also, the other girl disappears out of the action at one point, leaving the other girl by herself. This builds fear as she thinks her friend is playing a trick on her, and then strange things start to happen to her. Q6) How is the story told? Chronologically? What is the effect? The opening two minutes are told chronologically, not missing out much of the action. The effect of this is that the audience is still waiting for something to happen, and that the film may change in mood and chronology in later parts of the film. However, the opening being told chronologically and in quite a lot of detail helps to present the ideas and atmosphere of the film as a whole. Q7) What questions are you left with? The questions the audience are left with are mostly to do with what is going to be the effect of this opening on the rest of the film, and how this will effect the rest of the storyline and perhaps characters later on. The audience may also ask what is causing the strange things to happen, and whether they are real or just a matter of chance or imagination.