Cate Blanchett Had A Very Relatable Experience With Her First Time Watching The Ring

While promoting the 2022 psychological drama Tár, Cate Blanchett sat down with Sean Evans on First We Feast, an interview series with pop culture figures who answer questions while they eat progressively spicier food. In between bites of spicy Hot Ones wings, Evans asks Blanchett what her "scariest, quintessential" movie to watch on Halloween is. She replies the original version of "The Ring," "Ringu" directed by Hideo Nakata. Blanchett discusses her first experience watching the eerie film: 

"We got so scared, we're in the house by ourselves, we got so scared back in the days of VHS that we had to, we turned the sound down, and then we watched it fast-forwarded, and we were still s****ing our pants. But that's how scary it was."

/Film's 20th anniversary retrospective piece about the American remake "The Ring" describes it as a powerful work with an "impactful horror story, one that has made an imprint on millennials and anyone who appreciates what came of the genre in the early aughts." Just about everyone who watches "The Ring" or "Ringu" has a memory leaves a lasting impression on them. After seeing "The Ring" in elementary school, I was afraid to open my closet door thanks to that infamous jump scare. I couldn't look at mirrors because I thought that the long-haired Samara would be staring back at me. I legitimately didn't get over my fears of "The Ring" until my last year of high school. 

What is it about "The Ring" and "Ringu" that has such a persisting effect on people, even famous actors such as Cate Blanchett? 

What makes The Ring so scary?

On First We Feast, Blanchett tells Evans that she was frightened of "Ringu" even though there was no blood; "I don't actually know what the film was about, but it was terrifying," she laughs. In this interview, she touches on what makes "Ringu" such an enduring film in the horror canon. The chills are entirely supernatural, not gory. 

The original film is mostly the same as the American version, involving a curse passed through a video tape from the vengeful spirit of a young girl who was thrown down a well. The tape is a collection of macabre, surrealistic images that are confusing at first. We see a woman brushing her hair in a mirror, a blinking eye, a view of the sky from the bottom of the well. These images are more mundane than shocking, but still very unsettling. As the film goes on, it becomes clear that the uncanny montage is an imprint of Sadako's rage and memories of a tragic life. 

What likely scared Blanchett the most is the horrifying final scene where Sadako crawls out of the television set. The idea that she can so easily tear through the fabric of film and reality is quite spooky. Who can forget that dreadful image of Sadako's long, black hair concealing her face as she slowly but determinedly crawls to bring certain death to her latest victim? The shot of her eye glaring downwards at Ryūji with such deep malice is incredibly upsetting, and different than the American version which shows her entire face; there's something more creepy about only seeing this small part of her. Cate Blanchett's recommendation of the profoundly haunting "Ringu" is perfect for Halloween, especially if you're looking for a life-changing viewing experience.