Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Moesko Island Lighthouse

NOTE: Since so many people are finding this post my searching for the phrase "Moesko Island" — nearly fifty a day, by the count of — I thought I'd drop links to two other "Ring"-related posts that you might not find otherwise: "Spreading It Like Sickness" and "Rewind, Rewound."

So I'm writing a review for the "Ring" sequel for Brenna to run in Artsweek this week. I didn't hate it as much as I thought I might. Sequels generally disappoint, and while I think I could have lived happily without seeing this film, it didn't bastardize the original. It seems like the people behind "The Ring Two" actually understood the original, even if they did break the rule of Samara only showing up by popping out of TV sets when some unlucky fucker's seven days are up.

Most anyone who knows me knows I really liked "The Ring," even if a lot of people didn't care for it much. It genuinely scared me and I find it hard to believe it only got a PG-13, even with its lack of gore or raunch. In the neverending fight against writer's block, I re-watched the original when I got home from work. Whether or not you thought the movie worked, I think it's beautiful. The look of it — this gray-blue haze, like some low-lying rainstorm. IMDb says Gore Verbinski looked to the paintings of Andrew Wyeth for visual inspiration, and you can really see it. There's something crisp and cold and vaguely lonely about these and I get that from the movie. (See Christina's World, Wind from the Sea and Fed, all by Wyeth.)

Anyway, watching it again, I realized that aside from being a neat little horror mystery, this movie has a theme of art and creativity and creation in it. All the main characters are make things that could be considered art, in one way or another. Rachel, the Naomi Watts character, is a newspaper reporter and a writer. It's her propensity for words that drives the film's central investigation. I know a news story isn't generally considered art, but it's definitely a creative process — and one that ultimately leads to her survival. Journalism versus Evil: Round One, as bygone Artsweek editor DJ Fatkid headlined my review for the original two years ago. Rachel's ex-husband, Noah, is a photographer. Before he finally believes Rachel's story about a cursed video tape, he uses his camera to conduct his own little investigation. The creepy son is a little artist too. In his first scene, he's drawing a morbid little picture with crayons. He keeps doing this throughout the movie, and one of his doodles eventually provides a pivotal clue for Rachel.

And then we have Samara. Oh Samara, the little dickens who re-affirmed my general fear of children, dead or not. In the movie, we learn that Samara had freaky psychic powers, even before she died. She could create images on negatives just by thinking about them. She burned a perfect image of a burning tree into the wall of her bedroom. And she, after all, is the one who put the images on that damned video tape together. (You could also say that Samara is a bit of a sculptor, too — whatever the fuck she does to people sure leaves their corpses in a memorably horrifying state.)

The most interesting artist figure, I guess, would have to be the film's director himself. Not Gore Verbinski himself — though "The Ring" sure springboarded him to bigger and better things — but the idea of a director — the director as an abstract figure. "The Ring" suggests that a film is so powerful that it actually can kill a person — make them feel an emotion so profoundly that it overrides every other bodily impulse and shuts the whole system down. When Samara emerges from the TV to kill one of her viewers, it's like the person has gotten so into the movie that the lines between art and life completely disappears. They let the art in, and when Samara reconfigures their corpse into some horrible death posture, they become art themselves.

Maybe I'm overthinking this, but it got to me, this movie. It did before. It does now.

By the way, here's the first picture I ever took with my digital. Last Christmas, I drove out to the edge of where I lived and snapped some shots of this creepy area where people's area stops and it turns into countryside. They always reminded me of "The Ring." Just a little bit.


  1. Anonymous2:13 PM

    I thought the Ring was like the best thing that ever happened to the world I mean really. It's the best movie in the world. No other PG-13 movie has scared me like The Ring.

  2. Anonymous4:48 PM

    but where is Moesko Island? Is it a real place in Washington State? Is there really a lighthouse there? A horse farm? I wonder.

    - - Kevin

    1. Yes. It's a real place on the coast of Washington usa. And yup, there's a real lighthouse :) the same one as in the movie :)

    2. Wups. Nevermind. I thought it was

  3. according to IMDB: The Moesko Island Lighthouse is a fictional name for a real lighthouse located in Newport, Oregon. Built in 1873, the real lighthouse is named Yaquina Head Lighthouse and is still currently an active aid to navigation.

    So no -- there is no Moesko Island and you can't go the farmhouse there, but there is a lighthouse.

  4. oh my good! i never thought about that's things that you sayd! i just loved! hahaha. yeah, the ring is the best movie ever!! everything have something. i don't like the second movie a lot, i mean, the second is very cool, but i think that they could put more somethings abot the tape!!! i mean, the movie calls The Ring, and not Samara Wan't to Be Aidan, can you understand me? So, i don't like very mutch the second...

  5. Anonymous11:29 PM

    totoo b yang lighthouse??sa moesko island??

  6. Yes, that is a picture of a lighthouse.

  7. Anonymous4:42 PM

    I saw both movies am I'm not dead yet.

  8. Really flippin' old article, I know, but I stumbled upon your blog for... whatever reason. Reading your interesting video game articles was one thing, but now I see you're an avid Ring fan. The Ring is my favorite horror movie of all time. I watched The Exorcist when I was like, 4 or 5, and laughed at it. Watching The Ring... for the first time ever, a movie gave me chills. I don't know what it was... the surreal images on the video tape, the idea of Samara coming out of the TV screen to claim another victim, Rachel plucking the fly off of the monitor, or just the fact that a bulk of the film takes place just a few miles away in Seattle... whatever it was, it creeped me out. I first watched the movie when it released on DVD, and I've been hooked ever since.

    Some will argue that the Japanese films are better, but honestly, both interpretations are just as effective, in different ways (I didn't much care, however, for the Korean version, titled "Ring Virus" in North America). I also believe that while not as impacting as the original, was still a damn good film, and much better than some of the tripe out there (like the American versions of The Grudge).

    If you haven't come across them already, I highly recommend reading the Koji Suzuki novels that the series is based on. All of them have been translated into English and are relatively cheap on Amazon. They're a bit different from the films - for one thing, Sadako doesn't come out of TVs to kill, unfortunately - but they're a bit more profound. The second book, Spiral, turns some things on its head and makes you look at previous events in a different light. Then book three, Loop, just completely skullfucks you and makes you question everything you thought you knew about the series - especially the plot twist involving Loop's protagonist. Then there's Birthday, a three story anthology that includes a prequel, midquel, and sequel to the previous three. Then, there's Promanade of the Gods, which supposedly includes a minor character from Ring, but I've not read it yet so I can't really comment (though I do own it). Anyway, I enjoy your blog and look forward to browsing through some of your other articles.

  9. Anonymous9:18 PM

    I just watched "the ring" remake again. First version. I have to say, the first time I watched it, years ago, it was the most profound movie experience I have ever had.

    Now I'm not some 18 year old kid who still lives with his parents and is in bed before 10:00 pm. I'm 50. Seen a few things been a few places and done some weird and wonderful shit.

    As far as movies go though, this one really baked my cake. I had trouble sleeping for at least a week the first time around and that was years ago.

    Good fun.

  10. Anonymous10:54 PM

    But where is this Farm?

  11. It's actually in Yemen. If you go to the Yemen International Airport and ask people at the help desk, they can assist you.

  12. Anonymous2:00 PM

    omg i am only 12 and i love it i watch it oer and over again but is all off it reallt the lighthouse the horse ranch anna morgan but i love it !!!

  13. Anonymous10:40 AM

    anna morgan this a love your ranch horse , ih your too be prefert , and but light horse '

  14. Anonymous9:37 AM

    This is the website the website they used in the film but its got a few things the film has that the real website doesnt, kinda spooky to say the very least lol.

  15. Anonymous10:43 PM

    can u answer me that how people really believe the ghost stories.

  16. Anonymous12:06 PM

    The farm used in The Ring is located in Monroe, WA called Emerald Glen Farm. We used to board our horses there... I remember when they were filming in 2001 that the production company didn't want us to step on or touch the grass since it had grow. Here is a silly student film made at the location with a slight parody element:

    Upon filming, the crew compensated the owners by re-roofing the barn and home of Samara. They also left the loft, still with original wallpaper (in the movie, they tore it down in a sound stage)

  17. Sorry I know this is a really old post, but I just think this description of the film is beautiful and I agree with every word.

    Brittanie |

  18. thanks for this