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The Ring (2002)
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Review Date: October 12, 2002
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Producers: Laurie McDonald, Walter Parkes
Actors:
Naomi Watts as Rachel Keller
Martin Henderson as Noah
David Dorfmann as Aidan Keller
Plot:
It's pretty simple actually. If you happen to watch this specific videotape, you will receive a phone call from a creepy voice immediately afterwards and you will die seven days later. No questions asked. A few kids have already bit the big one and now a reporter is on the case to uncover the mystery of the tape. She too watches it and...ring!! Creepiness ensues.
Critique:
Brrrrrrrrrrrr...definitely the scariest movie that I've seen so far this year, I suspect that a lot of people will be comparing this spine-chiller to the much-ballyhooed THE SIXTH SENSE and you know what...it deserves it! Here's a genre flick with a creepy premise, a creepy story, creepy imagery, a creepy score, creepy atmosphere and just a whole lot of creepiness all around. Nice job, Mr. Verbinski! And it's not your typical "horror movie" either, as much as it is a mystery with plenty of well-developed horror elements intertwined. One of its strongest attributes is that it actually manages to maintain a real deep sense of dread throughout, beginning with its eerie opening sequence, with two girls alone in a house...with a TV set. And by the way, if this movie doesn't give you the willies the next time you walk by a television set and it suddenly gets all fuzzy on your ass, you might just be made of stone. I can just imagine folks watching this flick when it comes out on video, all alone at home, late at night and suddenly...the TV goes grainy! I'd shoot myself in the left temple if that happened to me. So yes, if you love movies that get under your skin, provide many a goosebump, sustain palpable suspense, an intriguing detective story, some boo scares and an engaging lead in an unsettling world...you gotta check out THE RING! If at all possible, try to see it at night with a loved one and expect to feel uneasy throughout and if you're lucky like me...to be deeply disturbed by it all. Naomi Watts, who dazzled the world as one half of the lesbo team in David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DRIVE, proves once again that she's an actress to be reckoned with and that she's here to stay. Looking a lot like her good friend and Aussie counterpart, Nicole Kidman, in several scenes, Watts manages to draw you into her mounting sense of frustration, helplessness and yup, you guessed it...fear!

Her son in the film, David Dorfman, is decent, although I didn't think he gelled with the material as well as everyone else (and you can't help but compare him to the kid who set the bar so high for the genre...Haley Joel Osment), while the one other "lead" in the film, Martin Henderson, portrayed a serviceable partner. The film moves slowly, but builds clues and patterns as it creeps along and ultimately drives home one of the lesser commercial endings that I've seen come out of Hollywood this year, and for that...I offer even more props. In fact, kudos to Dreamworks for not pussying out on this one. For anyone who doesn't already know, this film is a remake of the Japanese cult classic RING (read the Arrow's review of that film here), which I haven't seen, but by which many were also genuinely frightened. And to be honest, even if you don't like this film, it still manages to offer various other elements that click like a brooding score, awesome visuals, many of which are surreal and ghostly, a dark and grungy atmosphere (loved that constant rain!), as well as a memorable play with sound. I will also admit to not having all of my questions answered by the end of the movie, but you know what...it didn't really bother me so much. I got the gist of it all and like many of my other favorites from the past few years, it's just one of those flicks that needs to be seen again in order to be fully digested (and will most certainly lead to more discussions with your buddies afterwards-I was flying solo on this one). This film is very original on its own terms, doesn't compromise, provides for many twists and revelations, is wrapped in darkness and offers plenty to contemplate the next day. I also loved the special effects in one of its final sequences...disturbing, to say the least. And did I mention how creepy it all was? Shit me...I ain't picking up my phone tonight, that's fer sure!! (J-Lo...please call me next week, ayight?)
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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11:48AM on 12/30/2005
The thing that drives this kickass movie is the story. I don't know who or why somebody came up with this thing but they deserve some praise cuz it doesn't get much more original or creative than this.

All great suspense movies need that soundtrack that helps freak people out of their seats, spill their popcorn, and make sure they're still breathing after the moment has past. This movie is no exception; the "appropriate" music does intensify corresponding scenes, whether they turn out to be
The thing that drives this kickass movie is the story. I don't know who or why somebody came up with this thing but they deserve some praise cuz it doesn't get much more original or creative than this.

All great suspense movies need that soundtrack that helps freak people out of their seats, spill their popcorn, and make sure they're still breathing after the moment has past. This movie is no exception; the "appropriate" music does intensify corresponding scenes, whether they turn out to be scary or not. But again, the suspense all lies within the mystery of the tape. The music helps.

The shots and style of the movie were also great. Like The Shining, this movie enjoys its share of hallways with a wide-angle lens so that it feels like the character take forever to walk down it. It's very dark and creepy, but not black dark - more gray and green.
I'd like to say something about the tape, its contents, and the whole symbolism of it in the movie, but I'm afraid that I'll give something away about the movie. So I won't. I want to, but I won't.

Naomi Watts is hot. There is no question or argument. She's hot. The fact that she can act and carry this movie makes her even more attractive. I fell in love with her in Mulholland Drive; although I don't think this role was as deep as MD, she still nailed the role. The young actor that played her son was also fan-freakin-tastic. He doesn't play some cute little everyday kid that has lots of friends, goes trick-or-treating, and asks for a puppy every Christmas. This kid is exceptional, probably bored at school, and would probably prefer something like a tarantula as a pet or something. Anyway, he was part of a great supporting cast - including an appearance by Brian Cox.

But again, I liked how the story unfolded. It didn't feel like your typical suspense thriller. It had that horror-type of suspense, but without a killer really. I especially liked the ending and the fact that it didn't turn out all mushy like it was appearing to do. I'll admit there were a few things I don't understand, but I think I'll figure them out with a few more viewings of the movie.

Overall, kick ass movie. People need to see this. Before they die.
Your Reply:



9:29AM on 11/04/2005

WAT ...and 8 (you've got to be kidding

I saw this movie when it hit Cable, so what if i'm a bit late. It was lame very lame, i don't know if i got caught up in my friends freaking out over it or what but i know for sure that it wasn't scary, it was an original plot even though it was a remake, but nothing about that film was good, the girl coming out of the tv at the end wasn't scary, plus u never saw how she killed people, they just died deformed and no one decided to tell us how it happened other than the little girl in the tv did
I saw this movie when it hit Cable, so what if i'm a bit late. It was lame very lame, i don't know if i got caught up in my friends freaking out over it or what but i know for sure that it wasn't scary, it was an original plot even though it was a remake, but nothing about that film was good, the girl coming out of the tv at the end wasn't scary, plus u never saw how she killed people, they just died deformed and no one decided to tell us how it happened other than the little girl in the tv did it. Joblo of all your fantastic reveiws that i back 100% this sure as hell isn't one
Your Reply:



9:27AM on 11/04/2005

WAT ...and 8 (you've got to be kidding

I saw this movie when it hit Cable, so what if i'm a bit late. It was lame very lame, i don't know if i got caught up in my friends freaking out over it or what but i know for sure that it wasn't scary, it was an original plot even though it was a remake, but nothing about that film was good, the girl coming out of the tv at the end wasn't scary, plus u never saw how she killed people, they just died deformed and no one decided to tell us how it happened other than the little girl in the tv.
I saw this movie when it hit Cable, so what if i'm a bit late. It was lame very lame, i don't know if i got caught up in my friends freaking out over it or what but i know for sure that it wasn't scary, it was an original plot even though it was a remake, but nothing about that film was good, the girl coming out of the tv at the end wasn't scary, plus u never saw how she killed people, they just died deformed and no one decided to tell us how it happened other than the little girl in the tv. Joblo of all your fantastic reveiws that i back 100% this sure as hell isn't one
Your Reply:



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