The Ring (2002)

This is the main reason why they stopped making VHS tapes.

A strange videotape makes it way around a circle of friends. Strangely, everyone who views the tape seems to die exactly one week afterward. After believing this to be a strange urban legend worthy of an article, cynical reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) watches the tape and shortly thereafter unsettling occurrences begin to happen to her. Is she slated to be the next victim of some kind of bizarre and seemingly supernatural force?

After seeing almost all of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ flicks, it’s very strange to see director Gore Verbinski doing a horror film that originated from Japanese. I also have to say that seeing this film for about the 7th time, it still remains quite freaky.

What works here so well is when it comes to the horror that this film has to deliver, it doesn’t feel cheap or something we’ve seen before. Verbinski is all about creating suspense rather than just throwing things right at you with the constant jump-scares just about horror flick has nowadays. You don’t know what’s going to happen next at most points and right when you think something is about to happen, Verbinski pulls the rug underneath you completely and every single time he does it, its something that works.

Another cool element about this flick is that it’s not only a horror flick but a mystery film as well. As the film moves on, we start to find out more about the story that lies behind the type and why all of the crazy shit that happens in it, happens in it and what it exactly means. Speaking about that tape, it’s freaky as hell and probably one of the freakiest things that I have ever really seen in a film in the past decade. If I woke up in the middle of the night and my TV had static on it, I would throw that damn thing out right away.

The problem with the story that is behind the whole video, is that it doesn’t really make much sense. It’s never explained why the mother does what she does to the daughter and why, and another thing I never understood is where the hell that the tapes of the girl in the psych-ward came from, if she was apparently dead. Still, without giving way too much away I just have to say that this film doesn’t hold up when it comes to its plot.

Another problem I had with this flick was that when you watch it for as many times as I have, it starts to lose it’s freshness. I won’t lie and say that barely any of the scares work, because I still got a little bit scared here and there by what I saw but to be honest, I couldn’t really get terrified when I knew everything that was going to happen. Also, why the hell would a mother leave a tape that if it is watched will result in a death sentence, around the house where her young son can watch it? Mommy of the year everybody!

Naomi Watts is fine as the slightly-bitchy but also very determined reporter, Rachel; Martin Henderson is a lot of fun to watch as her ex-boyfriend and investigative partner if you know what I mean, Noah; and let’s not also forget to mention the little cameo by Brian Cox who is always the man in no matter what he does. The one performance that seemed pretty blank was the one given by the kid who plays Aidan, David Dorfman. He seems more like a copy of the usual creepy little kid we see in every horror film and he just seems to be put in the film for that matter. But then again, he is just a kid so I guess I’m kind of a dick for beating this kid up.

Consensus: The Ring has its fair share of plot holes that don’t make sense, but Gore Verbinski creates suspense to the point of where you don’t know what’s going to happen next, and the mystery behind the whole story is pretty interesting as well. Don’t go see the sequel though. It blows.



  1. Nice review for one of my all time favorite horror films. I think the sequel, as bad as it was, was made to fill in those plot gaps that you write of. It definitely helps to explain the actions and the story of the first film. Anywho, great review.

  2. But can you fault a movie like this for losing its freshness after multiple rewatch? At the end of the day, most horror movies only work once. That just comes with the genre.

    • True, I mean I don’t know there are so many flicks that I see that never stop getting good but I guess I just judged this a little too harshly. Thanks for waking me up Castor!

  3. Never liked this over the Japanese orginal ‘Ringu’. Just one simple reason: the origial never showed the girl’s face …
    Naomi Watts is quite good in it though, but then I’m a Naomi Watts fan, so I’m biased.

  4. Freaky is a good word to describe this film. After all the hype, I finally saw The Ring and I didn’t find it particularly scary. It creeped me out a bit, and that’s all. The mystery aspect of it adds something, but you’re right, the explanation of said mystery is lacking.

  5. I thought this was a very effective horror film and it proved that you can have a scary film without blood and gore. For a fun extra, there is an Easter Egg on the DVD that plays all the images in sequence from the tape. While doing this it disables all the other remote features so you can’t stop it once it starts. I used that to freak out a friend one time. (The fact that he was sitting right next to my phone when the phone ringing sound happened at the end of it was an added bonus,)

  6. I thought Gore Verbinski did a good job with this one. I enjoyed it immensely when I first saw it but I don’t think it holds up as well today. That said, it is a creepy story and Verbinski’s visual style is terrific.

  7. Love this movie. Only seen it once (unless you count the scene with the girl crawling of of the TV), but along with The Others, Insidious, and The Sixth Sense, it’s the one film that makes me think before judging PG-13 horror.

  8. Hello there, You’ve carried out an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my buddies. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

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