Thursday, February 9, 2017

Movie Review: "The Ring" (2002)

Image Source
Movie"The Ring"
Director: Gore Verbinski
Year: 2002
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

A journalist looking into the death of her niece comes into possession of a cursed videotape that kills people seven days after watching it. After watching it herself, she now has to unravel the mystery in order to save her life before times runs out. 

"The Ring" is directed by Gore Verbinski and is based on the novel "The Ring" by Kôji Suzuki, which was adapted previously into the Japanese horror film "Ringu." It stars Naomi Watts as a journalist named Rachel. After her niece Katie, played by Amber Tamblyn, mysteriously dies, Rachel's sister/Katie's mom asks her to look into how she could have passed away at such a young age. Rachel's investigation leads her to a cabin where she finds a strange videotape that she discovers her niece and her friends had watched during a secret trip to the woods. This tape holds a curse, and anyone who watches it will seven days after viewing it. Now, having watched it herself, Rachel must find a way to stop the curse before her own time runs out.

"The Ring" is a horror mystery about a killer VHS tape. For all of you young readers out there, VHS tapes came before DVDs and we're used to play videos. Please tell us you know what a VCR player is or we'll lose our minds because of how old we are. There is a lot of creepy imagery in this flick, much of which comes from the cursed tape itself. The contents of this tape kind of looks like a David Lynch student film, only slightly less bizarre. For a PG-13 movie, there is some genuinely unsettling stuff found in the contents of this tape, featuring horses that have washed up dead on shore, fingertips going through bent, rusty nails, a woman jumping off of a cliff, and much more. Naomi Watts offers a solid performance in her leading role as she tries to unravel the puzzle of this killer tape, all while trying to ensure that her young son Aidan, played by David Dorfman, doesn't watch it. Martin Henderson also does a competent job as Rachel's friend and fellow cursed tape viewer Noah, who may have more in common with Rachel than the movie lets on. It's good to have an actual adult(s) protagonist(s) in this type of film, making what would seem to be understandable reasoning when it comes to the investigation. All too often, films like this are full teenagers and/or teenager protagonists who make constant idiotic and contrived decisions for no reason and to a movie's detriment. "The Ring" has well thought out narrative with a few good twists and turns.

It has been many years since "The Ring" has come out, and though we know all the twists and turns by now, it still holds up well upon revisit, especially for a PG-13 horror movie. If you have never seen it, it's absolutely worth your time. Even if you have viewed it in the past, it's good to revisit before seeing any long oft sequels that may be hovering around the theater. The antagonist is a well designed, sufficiently scary supernatural entity. We'd even go as far as saying Samara has truly become an iconic horror villain.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 72%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching this in theaters. I was impressed with the cinematography. I felt like the look of the film was an actual character.

    That ending. I remember seeing that and being like, "oh hell no."