RING AROUND THE ROSIE
Directed by Rubi Zack
Produced by Rubi Zack, Lawrence Silverstein, and Alex Barder
Written by Jeff McArthur, Michael Tabb, Rubi Zack, Jim Suthers, Alex Barder
Director of Photograpy Mark Woods
Music by John Massari
Cast: Gina Philips, Tom Sizemore, Randall Batinkoff, Jenny Mollen
2006/88 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD
I don't know, maybe I need to do a better job of picking movies. Recently, it seems that I find myself saying "This is the worst movie that I've ever seen." far too much. Of course, this is an overstatement, but it doesn't change the fact that I've watched some really bad movies in recent months. The latest film to receive this distinction is RING AROUND THE ROSIE, an exercise in tedium which would test the patience of even the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" crew.
Gina Philips of JEEPERS CREEPERS stars in RING AROUND THE ROSIE as Karen, an ad executive. Following the death of her Grandmother (Frances Bay), Karen must visit her Grandmother's house and prepare the property to be sold. Her boyfriend, Jeff (Randall Batinkoff), accompanies her to the property, where she spent her summers up until she was 13. They arrive and begin to catalog and pack the items in the house. Karen soon finds herself plagued by disturbing visions and dreams. She meets Pierce (Tom Sizemore), the property's caretaker, a simple man who seems pleasant enough. Soon, Jeff has to leave to return to the city, but Karen's sister Wendy (Jenny Mollen) arrives to assist her. However, their joyous reunion is short-lived, as Karen's visions become more vivid and Karen exhibits some odd behavior. What is happening in Grandma's house?
What is happening in Grandma's house? Not a whole hell of a lot, that's what. RING AROUND THE ROSIE is almost tough to review, as it's one of the most pointless movies that I've seen in a while. (But, I'll give it a shot.) The bulk of the film consists of Gina Philips wandering through a house, which judging by its deep red walls, was once owned by Dario Argento. We are also treated to scenes in which Philips talks to the three other characters in the film, or has visions of a little girl with sad eyes. Other than that, nothing else happens in the movie. There is one scene of violence at the end, but that's it. The movie doesn't contain any shots which are particularly creepy and there aren't even any "jump" scares.
As I know nothing about the production of RING AROUND THE ROSIE (there are no extras on the DVD), I can only guess at the filmmaker's intentions or goals. Director Rubi Zack teeters on creating an experimental film here, as there are enough scenes of Philips wandering around the house to make one wander if the whole affair isn't a metaphor for something else. I mentioned above that RING AROUND THE ROSIE isn't scary, but I was shocked to see FIVE writers listed in the credits. How can this be?! There aren't five memorable scenes in the film. The movie does offer a twist ending, but it feels very hollow and doesn't go very far in explaining the proceeding 80 minutes. The low-budget nature of RING AROUND THE ROSIE isn't hard to miss, especially considering the miniscule cast (I wonder if this was a work release project for Sizemore.) I got the feeling that one of the producers had access to the house used in the movie and convinced others to make a movie there. (For record, Grandma's house doesn't look very old...) The movie also contains some noticeable technical errors, such as problems with focus and Karen's shape-shifting wardrobe.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has scored in the past with unknown, low-budget horror films (DEAD BIRDS immediately comes to mind), so I felt comfortable taking a chance on RING AROUND THE ROSIE. Boy was I wrong. Put a ring around this title on your "DO NOT RENT!" list.
RING AROUND THE ROSIE wanders onto DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. Despite the obvious shoddiness of the production, this transfer looks quite good, as the image is sharp and clear. The image has a nice depth of field and the colors look good. The image is never overly dark and the framing appears to be accurate. There is some mild video noise on the image, but it's not too distracting. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The rear speakers are put to use with the sounds of a thunderstorm and eerie sound effects. The subwoofer gets in on the action with thunder and the "shock" sounds. There are no extra features on this DVD.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©