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Halloween is just around the corner. For some people that means trips to local "haunted houses," indulging in cheap, pre-trick-or-treating candy or terrorizing the neighborhood with stupid pranks. For me it meant roping my friends into what I thought was a great idea-"The Super Spooky Halloween Double Feature." So we went to see Red Dragon and The Ring, which scared me so badly, I was afraid to close my eyes and didn't fall asleep until 2:30 the next morning.

Red Dragon, the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, is chilling. In the film, Edward Norton (Death to Smoochy, Keeping the Faith) plays Will Graham, the FBI agent, who catches everyone's favorite cannibal, Hannibal Lector (Sir Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal), after nearly being killed by him. Now that there is another serial killer on the loose, Graham comes out of retirement to aid in the capture of "The Tooth Fairy" (Ralph Fiennes, The English Patient), a killer who idolizes Dr. Lector.

In my opinion, Red Dragon is as good as The Silence of the Lambs, but way scarier. The content of the film may be on the gruesome side, but the acting is on the Academy Award winning side. Hopkins is amazing, which doesn't really surprise me, because he portrayed Hannibal Lector to perfection in The Silence of The Lambs. Norton is incredible, his acting is so natural in situations that are anything but natural. The film is beautifully shot and thoroughly frightening.

Red Dragon, however, was a bed-time story compared to The Ring. This film is the most frightening thing I have ever seen. Typically, I am hard to really scare, but I saw more of the palms of my hands than I saw of the movie. I even considered leaving several times, but I just had to stick it out to see (more like hear) how the story ended.

The Ring involves an urban legend about a video tape that contains disturbing images. All who watch this tape receive a phone call letting them know that they have seven days to live. After her niece dies unexpectedly and unexplainably, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts, Mulholland Drive) decides to investigate. She comes across the tape and watches it, then gets the phone call. She shows the tape to her ex-husband, an A/V expert, and then her son watches the tape, not knowing what it is. Rachel now has seven days to find out where the tape came from in order to save all of their lives.

Red Dragon and The Ring are both amazing movies. The actors are talented, as are the directors (Brett Ratner, Red Dragon, and Gore Verbinski, The Ring). I recommend them both, just not in one evening, or after dark. If one is scared easily, I would wait until the films are released on video. If one does not scare easily, I dare ya not to cover your eyes.‑


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