Mr. Benzedrine reviews Ring Around The Rosie

Ring Around The Rosie 87 min., 2006
Written by Alex Barder/Jim Suthers/Michael Tabb/Rubi Zack
Directed by Rubi Zack
Language: English
My rating: ★

More like Ring Around the No-sie…bad pun, worse movie.

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As many of you may already know, I am the site’s resident horror novice. For the most part, my reviews have strayed from pure horror and have focused on films treading the line between horror and other genres, or are just one big stretch (i.e. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure). So, last week, The Drudgeon dragged me down to his dungeon, strapped me to his damp, sticky chair, and covered me in whipped cream…which is perfectly normal for any Tuesday night, but it got truly terrifying when he turned on Ring Around the Rosie and I wished he had just electroshocked my testicles like he usually does.

Watching this movie was a chore. Reviewing this movie was a chore. It is the cinematic equivalent of running to the grocery store last minute because you really want to warm up that turkey burger from yesterday but you need buns and it’s just not the same eating it on its own. It’s not even that it’s bad, which is kind of is, it’s that it is so devastatingly boring that I would much rather be watching a much WORSE movie. Give me Cheerleader Massacre or Birdemic any day over this.

This might be one of the most meaningless stories I’ve ever seen acted out since The Number 23. For starters, the title has absolutely nothing to do with the story at all. Sure, the movie’s protagonist Karen (Gina Philips) has flashbacks in her deceased grandmother’s summerhome to when she and her sister Wendy (Jenny Mollen) were children, and “ring around the rosie” is a children’s nursery rhyme, but it’s not a focal point of the movie whatsoever! There’s no “ring” symbolism, no traumatic experience related to the game…hell, I don’t even think they played “ring around the rosie” once! That’s like naming Friday the Thirteenth “I’ve Got Your Nose”.

Additionally, nothing in the story leads anywhere of value. Karen is a big-shot publicist – this leads nowhere. Her boyfriend Jeff (Randall Batinkoff) wants to get married but she doesn’t – this leads nowhere. While staying in the cabin by herself, she sees visions of herself and Wendy as children – nowhere. Her next-door neighbor is a socially awkward Tom Sizemore who doesn’t like to travel because he’ll be disappointed – nowhere! Wendy comes to visit and Sizemore and becomes obsessive and violent with them. This leads…somewhere slightly interesting (and provides the only source of interesting dialogue and acting in the entire movie), but is instantly negated by the film’s bullshit ending that leaves many more questions than answers; not in a “gee, this is making me think” kind of way, rather a “I just wasted 87 minutes of my life” kind of way.

Visually, hardly anything interesting happens either. There are a few decent camera angles during the film’s climax, but most scenes are an absolute bore to sit through. All the of slow motion scenes are edited using that choppy, smeary effect that only proves the filmmakers couldn’t afford a slow-motion camera. Inversely, I recall a fast-paced scene where Karen and Sizemore’s character… and Sizemore’s character Pierce (who I’m pretty sure they only named because he has a bunch of knives) are riding his horse and it simply looked like someone sat on the fast-forward button. Minor complaints, but when there’s nothing good left to focus on, I can’t help but become easily annoyed by the half-assed visual presentation.

By the time I was finished with this movie, I was writhing beneath my restraints as The Drudgeon laughed hysterically, then said, “I’ll make a horror fan out of you yet! Let’s have an encore!” I couldn’t bear sitting through this again – I burst out of my shackles and climbed out of the dungeon, a beaten and bored shell of a man.

Dear readers, don’t make the same mistake I did: Stay far away from this one. And if a man calling himself The Drudgeon comes up to you waving a DVD saying he wants to play some “ring around the rosie”, knee him in the happy sack, take the DVD and snap it in a million pieces.

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