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As a big fan of horror films I'm always looking for a film that will really scare me and leave a lasting impression and The Ring was definitely one of them!
The film stars Naomi Watts as Rachel, a journalist who's niece Katie is found dead in suspicious circumstances and appears to have been scared to death (the image of that is something to haunt your nightmares)
Rachel discovers from Katie's friends that she had watched a mysterious video tape at a cabin with her friends, and received a phone call saying she will die in 7 days.
Rachel sets out to investigate and after finding the video and watching it (it's a very eerie collection of video clips!) she receives the same phone call, giving her 7 days to find the origins of the video and discovers the story of an unusual girl named Samara.
There are some very creepy moments in the film and the way parts of the film are shot, add to that creepiness.
Naomi Watts plays her part very feel and there are some other great actors in this film in supporting roles that really add to the story.
The only thing that lets this film down for me is that the ending almost seems a bit rushed, I would have liked to have known more about the background story, how the tape came to be etc as I felt like parts of the story were skimmed over when more detail could have been included.
All in all though, as modern horror films go this one is a winner for me. If the phone had rung while I was watching it I'm telling you now I wouldn't have answered it!
The Ring is a remake of a Japanese film, but the concept remains the same. The film opens with two girls talking about this secret video tape - if you watch it, then you'll die within 7 days. Needless to say, one of them watched it almost exactly a week ago, and pops in in horrible style.
We then meet up with our main protagonists, young journalist Rachel and her family. She comes across the story and pretty soon she has watched the video as well. Knowing that her time is running out, we then get a very frantic hour and a half where she tries to unravel the mystery of the footage on the tape and hopefully get to the bottom of it before it's too late for her, her partner and their son. However, this is a horror film, and things aren't likely to be as smooth as you'd expect.
It's very dark and morose throughout, with plenty of open mouthed confusion from Naomi Watts, who plays Rachel. There's a lot of atmospheric music as well, and when it all combines with some quite eerie flashbacks, snap visuals of things you think you saw but weren't sure of and correlations between the footage and the real world, the promises are all there throughout the film. In fact, the mystery surrounding the video would almost be interesting enough to support the film even if the seven day thing weren't applied.
But the key word here for me is 'almost'. It's almost enough, the horror is almost believable, the acting is almost on top, and the delivery of the whole thing almost works completely. But it's disjointed and drags enough to prevent the horror from having the full effect that I thought it could have had. There are some scenes where it's really effective and I was riveted to the screen, but they're intermingled with scenes where my interest wavered. The story itself holds true and is impressive, but sadly its impact was lost due to trying too hard to make sure the horror element is adhered to as much as the story.
Watts is well supported, with Martin Henderson and David Dorfman convincing as doting family members. There are strong cameos from the recognisable such as Albert Finney, while the scariness of the girl in the video and involved in the story is very offputting and done very well. But I felt that Watts herself overacted the role, and brought so much angst and open mouthed confusion to it that it became less believable and contributed to the stuttering nature I felt it had.
There are some impressive moments here, and I think its potential and skill abilities far outweighed the negatives. The problem is that with a film like this, reaching potential is so key to its success that I felt somewhat let down, as if there was an excellent horror remake waiting to come out but they just couldn't manage it. I'm usually of the opinion that remaking foreign language films is rather annoying, as they generally tend to do them better than the English speaking world and with the gravitas and originality that it needs. This is a prime example for me of a film where it meets the average and entertaining mark, but falls short on the potential by a long shot. This always had the chance of being a top film, but merely ends up being effective. I'd recommend it, but by no means expect something special.
- Cast/Credits -
- Story -
The movie starts with a scene involving two teen girls, one talking about a videotape they watched a week before that, rumour has it, you'll die exactly seven days after watching it, having received a phone call shortly after viewing it which confirms this. Shortly after the conversation, things take a sinister turn and indeed, she's killed in a very sinister way shortly after.
Having heard about the recent deaths of four teenagers in particularly strange circumstances, a reporter, Rachel, decides to investigate further and discovers the tape. Her and a friend, Noah, decide to watch the tape, which include some unsettling footage and she laughs off the notion that somehow she'll die a week after watching it but that inevitable phone call does happen and slowly and surely strange things start to happen which make her take this chilling myth more seriously. What is it all about? can a video tape really kill somebody? what does whats on the tape mean? can Rachel and Noah somehow stop this cursed tape from carrying out its deadly deed? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -
I'd like to start off by saying that this is one of those movies that I watched purely based on a curiosity factor (I just made that up lol). Its a movie along the same lines as the Blair Witch Project, whereby people talked about it quite alot and it got hyped up, the story sounded intriguing and so you wanted to watch it and decide for yourself whether it was as good as the hype indicated. I was aware that this movie is an American remake of a popular Asian (I think Japanese) movie, similar to movies such as The Grudge which was also originally an Asian movie which became very popular and America took note of this and chose to try and remake it into a movie to suit Western audiences. I have to say that I'm aware that such movies as these, which are often labelled as being horror movies, don't tend to 'go down' too well with me personally but yet that aforementioned 'curiosity factor' tends to get to me in the end and I'll end up watching these movies anyway as the premise interests me enough to see what its all about, so to speak. I remember being particularly dissapointed with The Blair Witch Project, with its ending making me want to shout 'is that it?!' at the TV screen at the time but I'm happy to say that I feel that this movie was slightly better, although I can't say that I was overly keen on the ending.
Unlike The Blair Witch Project, The Ring doesn't entirely rely on your mind conjuring up your own images of 'the boogie man' who you somehow know is there but yet cannot see, in this movie said 'boogie man' is actually a young girl with long black hair, whom you can barely see her face and little is known about her for some time into the movie. However, similar to said other movie, this movie doesn't feature a great amount of action scenes, of true horror material I'd say and I would, to an extent, dispute the label it seems to have been given as being a horror movie, instead I'd say its more a sort of a mix of a psychological thriller and even a partial ghost story. There are definitely scenes that will make some people jump and there is indeed a smattering of moderate violence and unsettling images, mainly in the footage on the infamous tape which is shown in the movie, so I wouldn't say that its not at all scary, although I didn't feel scared personally, it was more...unsettling I think is the word. For example, there is one very brief scene in 'the tape' whereby you can see that somebody's finger is about to be impaled on a nail - lovely(!) unsettling and makes you flinch but not really scary as such. It should probably be said that there are other scenes further into the movie which are more likely to make you jump but its mainly spooky and unsettling rather than being at all gory.
I found the movie pretty engrossing, although I found myself surprised by the plot to an exent. The story wasn't quite what I expected, with the emphasis being on Rachel trying to identify and trace the locations that appear on 'the tape' thus hoping to unravel the mystery behind its origins, which does, slowly but surely, happen but in a way its a shame as it becomes more human in a sense (does that make sense?) and there aren't too many real 'shock factor' scenes in the middle of the movie, as the mystery unravels, by that point in the movie its more like a crime thriller than it is a horror movie really and I found myself struggling a bit to fully grasp the plot turns, particularly in the final scene, which is rather gimmicky and I felt was a bit of a let down, although I would say that overall this, to me, was a better movie than The Blair Witch Project, I felt it was more entertaining and engrossing overall but it certainly wasn't without its 'quirks' shall I say.
Sometimes I wonder if its just me, perhaps I rely too much on TV shows and movies that spell things out a bit too clearly so when it comes to movies that are somewhat steeped in mystery and have sinister turns and where the main character(s) will have the usual 'eureka!' moments whereby something suddenly becomes clear to them, I'm left thinking eh? - it maybe doesn't say much about me but of course this is my review and I can only comment on my take, my experiences on the movie and while I wouldn't say that I couldn't understand the story, of course I understood the main parts of it, yet I can't deny that there were some parts that I didn't fully follow, which was a little frustrating. To summarise, I'd say that this isn't the worst movie of its type, certainly that I've seen, yet at the same time it has its issues - its engrossing but a little confusing and a bit slow moving, plot wise, mid way through. Some people would probably be a bit disappointed in the lack of scares roughly, again, mid way through the movie but on the other hand, I never felt compelled to switch it off and I felt like even though it has flaws, its still entertaining and somewhat intriguing somehow.
- Would I Reccomend It? -
This is a difficult question to answer in this case, I have to say. I know that perhaps I have a slight personal bias in that I don't seem to entirely 'get' movies of this type, to an exent anyway and as much as I felt that I was left a bit confused and somewhat cynical after the ending, I can't deny that I still found it rather engrossing and I suppose entertaining while watching it and I'm sure people who are perhaps more keen on such movies will find a few scenes that will 'creep them out'. I feel that this isn't the worst movie of its type, though its not for me it probably will be enjoyed more by others, indeed I've seen someone else give it a 5 star rating, so I suppose I'd cautiously recommend it, although if your not sure if this is something that would appeal to you too much then you may be better off waiting until its shown on TV or otherwise hang fire on purchasing it unless you see it on offer at a particularly good price. I hope this makes sense and that my review is useful, I've attempted to make this a bit more detailed than perhaps a few of my more recent reviews, I'm trying to improve and if anyone has any comments/suggestions for things I could maybe add to future reviews or just generally about such reviews then feel free to comment below, I can take it (I think lol).
For me, this is more of a 3 star movie but I'm sure others would enjoy it more and I feel a bit mean to not label it as good, as its definitely better than other movies, yet its far from great, so again this is a movie which makes me wish for a 3.5 rating but as there isn't one, im cautiously being kind and going for the 4 star rating.
Once again, thanks for all r/r/c's. This review was originally posted on Ciao UK under the same username.
When I first put on this movie the opening scene looked promising, i really wanted to be scared and thought that this could be the film, to actually scare me even if it's just a little bit. But as the opening scene progressed on it was getting more predictable by the minute and more obvious that this might not be all that great
I just think that whats the point of watching a movie if you know whats going to happen next. In a horror movie the music is mostly what scares you because it's the build up to the point, and as much as this had some good music there was no build up.
The plot was (how do I put it) bland, I could see what they were trying to do but it was just lacking in effort.
To really scare people you need to do an unexpected thing, just because one style has worked for so many years doesn't mean it's going to keep working.
Rachel Keller, a journalist and a mother is asked by her sister Ruth to investigate her daughter Katie's mysterious death. As she investigates she hears about a tape that once you watch it you die seven days later after receiving a phone call from a little girl saying "Seven Days". Rachel puts it down as nothing much more than kids over active imaginations. But as she works the investigation it leads her to a cabin where Katie watched the tape. Rachel finds this tape and decides to watch it (as you do) well after watching the tape she receives a phone call saying "Seven Days" this starts to freak her out, she then decides to call her ex boyfriend and father to her little boy to have a look at the tape as his work is media related. He gets her to make a copy of the tape so he can work with it which she does.
Later at home while she is out of the room she discovers that Aiden (her son) has watched the video and receives the same phone call.
She is now fighting against the clock trying to get to the origins of this curse so she can fight it and stop it. For her sake and the sake of her son.
Gore Verbinski the director of all the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies which I loved. Rumour has it that his doing the movie "Rango" starring Johnny Depp and he has this film tied to his name.
The acting was mediocre. There was noone that just took the bull by the horns and ran with it, it was almost like people were just being safe with it.
The part in the movie that did make me feel something positive was when she came through the t.v set but apart from that, not good.
I saw the original Film which is an older Japanese movie called "Ringu" and lets just say that the Japanese know how to make horror films, it must be in there blood or something because America also done a remake of the grudge and that didn't do too well either but if you watch the original Japanese version of the grudge again... they scare pretty well.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writers: Ehren Kruger
Naomi Watts as Rachel Keller
Martin Henderson as Noah Clay
David Dorfman as Aidan Keller
Daveigh Chase as Samara Morgan
Brian Cox as Richard Morgan
Jane Alexander as Dr. Grasnik
Lindsay Frost as Ruth Embry
Amber Tamblyn as Katie Embry
Rachael Bella as Rebecca "Becca" Kotler
Pauley Perrette as Beth
Shannon Cochran as Anna Morgan
Sandra Thigpen as Teacher
Richard Lineback as Innkeeper
Adam Brody as Kellen
The story The Ring
The story starts with two teenagers Becca and Katie who are watching television when Becca starts to tell about this videotape she has heard of. Apparently on this videotape you see these strange images and this strange woman looking at you and when the video stops playing your phone will ring and somebody knows you have been watching the movie. This person also tells you that you will die seven days from now. Her friend Katie is suddenly dead quiet and confesses that she has seen this tape just last weekend! But then she starts to laugh and doesn't believe in the story. Only it isn't that funny anymore when she actually dies that night. Her aunt Rachel is a journalist and after Katies dead, she tries to find out how she has died. Becca saw Katie dying and had to be hospitalised after what she has seen. Rachel goes to the room where they saw the videotape and she finds the tape and watch it her self. Suddenly the telephones rings and she's told she also will die within seven days! Rachel doesn't believe anything of this, but when she gets strange nightmares and nosebleeds, she starts to doubt that it could be actually true! Who made this tape? Where is it coming from and more important how can she survive this!?
I really enjoyed the actors in this movie. Naomi Watss plays the lead as Rachel Keller, the aunt of Katie. Naomi has played the lead before in movies such as King Kong. In this movie she plays a totally different character but she puts it off really well. She plays a convincing journalist and she looks actually scared at moments. First she very sceptical about the tape, but then when she get the strange nightmares she realises it might be true. Rachel has a friend who helps her. Noah Clay, a photographer, played by Martin Henderson, an actor I don't really know. But also he is unbelievable and nice to watch at. The performances are good in this movie and the actors bring the fear they feel across the screen. They can certainly scream!
There are a few extras on the DVD. You got a preview of the second and third movie in the series The Ring. Also there are deleted scenes, but they don't really tell why these scenes never made the movie. A more interesting extra is the making off the movie where actors and crew of the movie tell about their experiences. There are also a few trailers on the DVD.
This movie is actually a remake of the Japanese movie Ringu and is certainly a movie for people who like horror movies. I know people who had nightmares after watching this one, although I never had any. But there are more then enough scary moments in this movie. The movie is really well put together with the strange videotape as lead during the movie. The images that Rachel saw on the videotape is hunting her during the story and if she sees the Ring, that's the moment where you die. Certainly not a very nice idea. You get really involved in the story and you feel sorry for the people who might die. I really liked the actors and they make sure the whole story/movie felt believable, especially the scary moment. Naomi Watts plays a really good role and comes across really natural. The Ring is a movie to watch!
Running: 115 minutes
Director: Gore Verbinski
Country: United States
Naomi Watts as Rachel Keller
Martin Henderson as Noah Clay
David Dorfman as Aidan Keller
Daveigh Chase as Samara Morgan
Brian Cox as Richard Morgan
Jane Alexander as Dr. Grasnik
The Ring is a superb film, very dark and totally absorbing to watch it is probably one of my top ten horror films.
Naomi Watts stars as Rachael an investigative journalist who following the death of her niece gets a worrying call from her sons school who are concerned for the boy as he had drawn pictures of Katie (the niece) death before it had actually happened. Rachael decides to look further into the suspicious death after it seemed to be sparked by events which took place in a cabin retreat with some friends and four of these friends all died exactly seven days later at the same time and one of the survivors suggests that it was the joint watching of a video that was the cause.
She decides to retrace their footsteps and armed with a video tape sits down to watch the same TV however after the screen flickers suddenly there is a ring of light in the screen followed by some very disturbing images and then the phone rings and she hears the words "Seven Days" and then nothing.
This is a remake of a Japanese horror film and it is a pretty scary film which really had me on the edge of my seat. This is not one of those graphic blood and gore style films instead it is far more subtle suspense filled film that uses the art of suggestion and impending doom to create the fear in the viewer. I liked the fact that the film is not really very predictable and it kept me guessing for long periods of time which was clever film making.
Naomi Watts is excellent as Rachael and she avoids the usual pitfalls of hysterical screaming that female leads often end up doing instead her character has a steely toughness about her. The other main character is her former husband called Noah who is played by Martin Henderson and he was perfectly competent in his role.
A good horror film and one that is highly recommended.
~ PLOT ~
When a friend's daughter dies very suddenly with no prior health problems to speak of, journalist Rachel Keller (played by Naomi Watts) discovers that the young girl's death seems to be linked to a mysterious video tape.
When she tracks down the video tape, Rachel starts to unlock the mystery and finds herself unravelling a trail of destruction that seems too far fetched to be real. Except there are several bodies to prove that the mystery is no joke.
Discovering too that anybody who views the video tape dies exactly one week later, Rachel understandably starts to panic given that she has already watched the tape...
What is the key to unlocking the video tape deaths? And can Rachel unravel the mystery of the mysterious ring that appears in the video before her time runs out?
~ MY OPINION ~
I have to be honest and say I thought this film was quite awful. The first part of the movie duped me into thinking it was going to be ok which made the disappointment I experienced towards the second half seem even worse.
A fairly thrilling starting sequence seemed to set the tone for what was going to be a bit of a 'thrill-fest' with many twists along the way and more than a pinch of anticipation. But sadly this was not so... What was dealt to the audience instead was a cheesy manifestation of several vintage moments stolen from other, better horror movies that had been regurgitated into something more mundane.
The main ingredients that are evident in any half decent horror were all present and correct in 'The Ring' - everything from the intense music to induce those spine-chilling moments of anticipation as well as a generous handful of on-screen scares. It is also raining constantly through the film which I thought was a fairly deliberate attempt at creating a spooky atmosphere. Sadly though, the main body of the film just didn't deliver and what remained was a pretty half-hearted stab at being thrilling rather than 'chilling'.
The main cast were all pretty cardboard-like in their performances. By this, I mean that they delivered their lines, and at the correct times but something was most definitely lacking from each and every one of the main characters which didn't help the viewers' relationship with them. This was quite a major problem given the circumstances that Rachel and her young son find themselves in, and the fact that the viewing audience should really be feeling some sort of sympathy or worry towards them. The chemistry just wasn't right for me, and I struggled to feel anything other than a slight tinge of interest in the invents on-screen.
The thrilling element of the movie to be fair was quite evident as we are made aware of a hypothetical 'clock' that is ticking away which helped to achieve the feeling that time was really running out for Rachel to solve the puzzle of the video tape. This was reinforced by the respective days being shown on screen in succession (E.G Sunday - Day Five) so that this helped to build a crescendo of suspense... As soon as it got to the day before Rachel's seven days were up, we knew that trouble would be lying in wait for her, as her time was all but run out.
This was really the only successful attempt at making the movie a thriller though, as the rest of the thrilling moments had a bit of a half-hearted feel to them and they really didn't deliver quite enough intensity as they should have.
There are a mere handful of scary moments in the film and these too felt like a bit of a let-down. To be fair though if you are not a die-hard horror film buff then you may find that some of the scenes gave enough of a 'scare' to be considered well-made and correctly executed. If on the other hand, you are a huge lover of all things spooky and horror-like then this movie is NOT the way to go. You will most likely be left with a disappointed feeling, and quite frankly your time watching this movie - all 1hr 45 minutes of it - would be much better spent watching something with more backbone to it.
The Ring is an American remake of an older film called 'Ringu' but I have not watched this so I won't be making any comparisons here. The general opinion seems to be though that the original is a much better film all round and I certainly do not find this difficult to believe after seeing the remake.
All in all, I thought that the film was a huge disappointment and it just didn't give me what I wanted it to. I caught myself tutting and rolling my eyes at least three times during the film, such was the cheesiness that was evident throughout. I would point out too that any cheesy movies are not specifically off-limits to me and I find some of them are fantastic movies regardless, so this was not the sole problem that The Ring had.
The whole plot and storyline too was uncomfortable to watch and it didn't seem to flow together quite as easily as it should have. Bear in mind that this is not some low-budget movie we are talking about here - Brought to us by DreamWorks pictures and with a fairly 'Hollywood' feel to it, I felt that we should have had a better end product, instead of the re-hashed, rather jumpy effort that we did get.
I can't recommend The Ring at all and will only give it one Dooyoo star. To be honest, if I had the choice to award no stars to the movie, I probably would. The film is rated Certificate 15, and you can buy a copy of The Ring from www.amazon.co.uk for around £4 (new).
The DVD version of the film that I borrowed had no added bonus features except for the Film's trailer. Needless to say, I didn't watch this feature.
(film only review)
The Ring is a 2002 horror style movie which is also classed as a psychological thriller. It is the American version of the Japanese film Ringu released in 1998. I still haven't seen the original but this film was quite an interesting watch. It was a pretty big success at the box office and also did well with its reception by film critics.
The film is centred around a mysterious video tape which is killing off anyone who watches it. Whenever the victim watches it, the phone rings, telling them they have only one week to live.Rachel Keller is a journalist investigating the videotape that may have killed four teenagers (including her niece). After she watches the tape with her small son, it becomes a race against time to find out why the tape is killing everyone and how it could be stopped.
This film does tend to make you scared and is unlike alot of other recent horrors which try to frighten using blood and gore and quite excessive violence at times. What makes "The Ring" different from other more recent horror movies is that there's a good story, nice scares, decent acting and it is also well directed. Special effects which have seemed to become the backbone for many horror flicks are used only when necessary and without too many flashy effects. The acting it is by no means truly award worthy. It is though well suited to the film and well executed. Naomi Watts who plays Rachel is the central character in the film and provides a good link to the audience as the reporter she plays and is a likeable character. She is supported well by David Dorfman who plays her son Aidan and her ex husband Noah played by Martin Henderson.
Overall, "The Ring" is a pretty good horror movie, not perfect but very good for sure. I have heard the original is scarier and is a better film overall but hasn't had the commercial success as it was not made for Hollywood. Overall though this is a good horror and offers a bit of an alternative to traditional movies in this genre.
It has a run time of 115 minutes and was rated a 15 for Uk release.
Well if you like to be scared, this film is for you! I first watched this a few years back whilst all alone on a dark and windy night. Had all the lights off and the TV turned up very loud, and it scared me!
The Ring came out back in 2002. The film is directed by Gore Verbinski and stars Naomi Watts. This film is based on a Japenese film that is also supposed to be ver good, but I haven't seen that one. The film won 7 awards and got other nominations. The film was quite a big hit at the box office and there has been a sequal since.
The film tells the story of a young Journalist who is investigating a story about a mysetious video tape. Apparently if you watch this video you will die within one week! So Rachel (Naomi Watts) decides to find out if this is just some urban myth or if there is some truth behind the rumors. Along the way she finds some terrifying things and must solve the mystery of the video tape.
I think this film is really really good. It is unusual that a film really scares me but this one did. It is so tense and the mood the film creates is really eerie. There is a tention that runs through the film and really grips your attention. There are several bits in the film that really make you jump as well.
But this film is not just about scaring you. The storyline is also very good. There are some real twists and turns as the film progresses and it always keeps you guessing right up until the end.
Another big plus point is the way the film is shot. The lighting just seems to make the film that bit darker and more mysterious. It really is a beautiful film in a visual sense.
Naomi Watts does an excellent job with her role. You really get involved with her character and find yourself living the story, this is always a good sign that you are enjoying the film!
The DVD runs for 115 minutes which is just about right. Any longer and I think they would have been dragging things out, but at the same time there is loads to keep you interested and the time flys by.
The film is rated as 15. There is some strong language in places and I suppose you would say some scenes of terror. So not a film that you would show the children.
The DVD itself has all the usual featues you would expect. Things like traliers and stuff but nothing really that excites me in anyway, but this DVD for the film itself!
Overall I think this is an excellent film. It has all the ingredients a scary film should have, the story is fast paced and keeps you guessing and the acting is very good. If you like to be scared this is really a film that I think you will enjoy. If you have never seen the Ring, go and check it out!
note: also appears in part on The Student Room
The Ring is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film of the same name, and kickstarted the surge of Hollywood J-Horror adaptations such as The Grudge and The Eye, although none of these were as well adapted as The Ring which, whilst perhaps not quite as moody as the original, is a fairly loving remake with a great cast.
The film concerns a cursed videotape that contains a series of disturbing and grainy images, and once a person watches the tape, they then recieve a phone call, that simply declares "Seven days...". Seven days later, they wind up dead under very strange circumstances. Rachel (Naomi Watts), a newspaper reporter, gets wind of this, and watches the tape herself, being a complete skeptic. However, she's soon turned into a believer as a series of strange and surreal events begin to happen. She's also forced to contend with the fact that her son Aidan has also watched the tape, meaning there's two lives at stake.
What impressed me most is not the investigative element of the film, but it's morality almost - when the film reaches it's climax, something is learned that allows them to alleviate their curse, but it's in an almost ultimate fashion that somewhat negates a totally happy ending. I was very impressed with the morality of the situation, and whilst I can't say anymore without spoiling things, it's a fair notch above what typically passes for horror in American markets.
Both the first and the best J-Horror remake, The Ring maintains a tense atmosphere throughout thanks to Gore Verbinski's slick direction and a cast that few horror films deserve. The film's ending is a pleasant surprise, although at the same time it seems a tad incoherent.
The ring is a remake of the Japanese film of the same name, Ringu, which initself I believe was based on a novel in 1991. The film is based around a video tape, that once watched your phone will ring, the receiver strangely hears a random voice down the other end...."Seven days", what does this mean, well, for Naoimi Watts it's the start of a terrifying adventure.
The film pretty much follows the Japanese version scene for scene only adding in 'americanisms' to make it more mainstream, obviously the use of big(ish) actors and companies helps this alot, for me this film wasn't as scary as the japanese version, the Americans like to do things their own way but their over the top effects/deaths don't help this film, the looks on the dead are supposed to be scary...although how so I'm not sure, for me there's a distinct difference between scary and jumpy...The Ring in slightly jumpy, Ringu was just damn scary.
The Japanese film is full of tension and suspense which make watching it excruciating, I think the actual video in the Japanese version makes more sense and is also creepier, I think it says something when my girlfriend flatly refuses to watch the Japanese version because they do this sort of horror so well, watching that film in the middle of the night will give you 10x more nightmares than this film...why are young japanese girls so damn freaky?
Thats enough about the comparison, this is about this film, the casting, Naimo Watts at this time was a big up and coming actress, although for me horrors work so much better than little known actors fully rely on their acting skills rather than their name, examples such as The Mist for example, putting in big actors, with universal studios makes a film more mainstream rather than what it should be and thats scary in this case, thats not to say Naiomi Watts is bad in this film, but using her in it just doesn't seem right, the productuon company decided to use 2 relativley well known, good looking actors for a horror film, shows everything thats wrong with the film industry at the moment.
The film for me, as said, isn't that scary at all, at no point do I have to hide under the covers or winch, even the ending and the famous tv scene is not scary in the slightest, the directos offers no suspense and it's all far too 'hollywood' for my liking, The Mist and Wolf Creek are genuinly scary and creepy films, with low budgets and no hollywood actors, similar as well with p2, maybe i'm in a minority but making horror/thriller films 'hollywood' just ruins them for me, they introduce no tension throughout any film i've seen recently and it strikes me as no coincidence that the best horrors are either independent or foreign.
Overall then, well it's not a bad film, funnily enough, it's just not what it's supposed to be like for me, this is easily a 3 star film because it's really not a badly made film, it's just a shame that America in general (the film side that is) try and make something their own and completley get it wrong, if this film was supposed to be a drama it works quite well, as a horror there's simply nothing to it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing I guess, I can view this as a drama and Ringu as the true horror, I just don't get why Hollywood tries to make horror films anymore, they're no good at it and surely i'm not alone in thinking that good-looking, posh, clean actors with OOT special effects are the best roles for horror films?
PS. This isn't a big rant about hollywood in general, big actors and companies make superb films all year round, better than any independent people could...it's just some genres are best left for people who can create tension and pure chills...Hollywood and it's associates aren't able to.
After a mysterious video tapes has been circulating around town people begin to drop dead with no reason. One of the victims is reporter, Rachel Keller's niece Katie, at the funeral, Rachel (Naomi Watts) begins to find out more about this strange tape from some of Katie's friends, Katie's boyfriend Josh watched the tape with her and he died at the exact same time that Katie did, supposedly killing himself.
Rachel becomes increasingly curious and thinks that a big story may be brewing for her which will be great for her career, she starts to dig deeper into the tape but not before watching it. After watching the tape Rachel receives a phone call immediately after informing her that she has only 7 days to live. If that wasn't bad enough, Rachel's deeply disturbed son Aidan and ex-boyfriend Noah also end up watching the tape. Rachel has 7 days to save her, her sons and Noah's lives but with time not on her side she needs to quickly figure out the origin of the tape and why someone or something wants to kill them...
I think I first watched this film at a friends house when I was about 14 or 15 and it had a big impact on me then, I remember thinking it was great and having really fond memories of it. However when watching it recently I simply couldn't understand what all the fuss was about back then.
This film is a real slow burner and with a running time of 115 minutes it makes this a film for only the patient people among us. Despite however being a bit slow, The Ring does entail enough spine-tingling moments to keep you watching right until the end, to say it keeps you hooked would be an overstatement as sadly it's just too slow to keep you completely enthralled with it but the story is just about good enough to make you want to see it through to the end.
What struck me about this film was how clichéd it is all the way through, the settings are constantly gloomy throughout the entire film which of course is textbook horror however I think it just tries to hard to create an eerie atmosphere that the word 'overkill' could be used here. It's constantly raining in the film and even during the day time it always seems very murky and dismal. In spite of this it does manage to create a good atmosphere and leads to a lot of tension during the film.
So far in the 00's there have been several Japanese horror remakes, The Ring being one of the first and still one of the best, others include The Grudge and The Eye, both of which were real let downs so even though The Ring isn't going to go down in history as a classic horror it still proves that horror remakes can be done well both with critics and the viewing public. Having never seen the Japenese version of this film I can't comment on which I found to be better however I have read many times that the original far surpasses the American version.
Although I didn't find this particularly thrilling to watch there are some genuinely scary moments which will keep you on the edge of your seat, this is partly down to the camera work which I found to be very original, ironically. The way that the death shots only lasted about a second it barely gave you enough time to see the victim, this keeps you on your toes as it makes you watch the film more intently just incase any other quick pan shots are to come. What I really like about this film is that it's different to other horrors, it doesn't rely on gore to get across scares to people, it uses psychological horror more than anything which is the horror genre that I particularly enjoy. The film also doesn't have a high body count, infact in total only about 5 people maximum die and from those five you only actually see two of the victims after they've been killed so it's definitely a new and diverse way of scaring people.
What I like about this film is how it spaces out Rachel's 7 days into segments and it documents which day she's on e.g. 'Wednesday, day 7' this helps to keep the audiences attention as with each day she's getting nearer to her impending death. I like that the days don't last too long, the investigating never drags on for too long which aids to keep you interested however for some reason I still managed to find this slow. I think maybe it's just down to the long running time, I think if the film was maybe condensed to around 90 minutes it would have felt a lot more crisp.
The beginning of the film really gets your interest levels up and makes you sit up and take notice of what's going to happen. The opening sequence is almost reminiscent of Scream in that you are introduced to character who you know for certain are going to die, in this case on girl dies and the other ends up in a mental home. Surprise surprise it's two girls that start the film off and it's also no surprise that a woman is playing the main character, for once I'd like to see a horror film break away from tradition and cast a male in the lead role.
I really liked Naomi Watts in this film, her character managed to be likeable even though she's a reporter who barely has time for her young son. You can tell that she adores her son and this definitely comes across well on screen. She also manages to pull off an American accent well what with being an Australian, her ex boyfriend played by Martin Henderson is from New Zealand so it's nice to know that these two were cast because of their acting potential and not because of their typical American look.
David Dorfman, who plays Rachel's son Aidan is someone that I didn't manage to peg. As cute as he is his character comes across as very cold, even referring to his Mum as Rachel. He plays the usual 'Damien like' disturbed, psychic child who begins drawing pictures depicting his Cousin, Katie's death before it happens.
There are some very surreal moments in the film, all of which should be taken with a pinch of salt. One scene in particular involving a demented horse on a boat, became very tense viewing.
I was quite disappointed with the ending, the last 10 minutes really heat up only to fizzle out at the last second, the ending was left open which of course leads onto The Ring Two which was released in 2005.
I'd recommend this to people who are tired of the usual textbook horror films and want something a bit different, The Ring has a very unique story to it and has some genuinely unnerving moments which will keep you watching until the very end.
The DVD is available from play.com for the extortionate price of £14.99, I suggest looking out for this on TV as it's regularly shown.
The special features include:
Short film created by director Gore Verbinski exclusively for this release (15 mins)
When I first watched this in the cinema at its 2003 release, I ended up staying up for a full night afterwards for fear that the television in my room would GET me somehow. Five years on, I still don't watch it without a cushion to hide behind. Some films don't lose their scariness with rewatching.
The story goes that there is a video in the world that you must not watch. If you do, the phone will ring and you will be told that you will die within seven days - and you will.
Well, when stuff like that happens people tend to get interested, and sure enough, a journality (played by Naomi Watts) gets to hear about it. Unfortunately, she makes the mistake of watching it herself, and then is racing against the clock to find out what's going on.
I am told that it's based on a Japanese film - Ringo - which is even scarier. I confess that I am too much of a wuss to have watched this. I do need to be able to sleep SOMETIME after all.
Amazon is currently selling this at £5.97 - a real bargain. A warning though - this film is frightening enough to earn its 15 certificate. If you intend to show it to kids younger than that, do at least watch it first - it may be more terrifying than you expect!
(Looking at the other reviews on site, I appear to be going very much against the grain with this review, but hey! Opinions is what Dooyoo is all about, right?!)
A few years ago, Hollywood, showing its usual lack of originality, turned its eyes east and started to remake a whole host of Japanese horror films. The logic was simple: Japan's penchant for psychological horror, combined with Hollywood's "superior" effects technology would revitalise the horror genre. A slew of "J-Horror" remakes followed: The Ring, The Ring 2, The Grudge, The Grudge 2... None of them were terribly successful.
The Ring's basic plot is scarily simple. You watch a video tape containing a series of disjointed images; seven days later, you die. When a reporter's niece dies, she begins to investigate, putting her whole family in danger.
The big problem with The Ring is that it's just not scary. Although I've not seen Ringu (the Japanese original), many people have said that it contains some really scary moments. If that's the case, then something has definitely been lost in translation. The Ring is never scary - in fact, it's even less scary than so-called "spoof" horror films, like Scream. Just occasionally, there's a faintly unsettling atmosphere to events, but nothing truly horrifying or unsettling. Veterans of horror films will sit there bored, wondering when the scares are going to start (answer: they don't), whilst newcomers to the genre will wonder what all the fuss is about. Neither psychological nor bloody, this film loses both the Japanese and American approach to horror.
Indeed, for most of the film, it doesn't feel like a horror film. It feels more like a detective/treasure hunt film, as lead character Rachel Keller and her allies run around, following a series of clues which they hope will help them find out what is going on and save their lives. Even without the horror angle, it could still have worked as an entertaining enough film. But here's the rub: even though the clock is ticking and the mystery has to be solved within 7 days, there's no feeling of tension, no sense that that the characters are running out of time. Instead, there's a ridiculously languid pace to events, with characters wandering around as if they have all the time in the world. Not scary, not tense, not exciting. The Ring has real problems.
This situation isn't helped by the plot which, to be honest, doesn't make a great deal of sense and is vaguely confusing at times. Sometimes, it's a little difficult to work out how Rachel decides what to do next - some of the events appear to be entirely random or are based on a whole series of unlikely co-incidences, which make the film a little difficult to accept.
The cast do their best with this confused material, but are really up against it. Naomi Watts is suitably convincing as the dogged, worried reporter Keller, whilst Martin Henderson is reasonable enough in an underwritten role as her estranged husband. David Dorfman takes the child in peril role in the same way most child actors do - i.e. by being totally wooden and unconvincing. Old ham Brian Cox crops up for a brief cameo, but again, this is underwritten and he struggles with the material he's given. Daveigh Chase turns up as Samara, the girl who needs to get out in the sun more. This should be an iconic image - the lank haired, pale-faced Samara is automatically an unsettling, disturbing image. Or it should be. As with the rest of the film, though there is no real sense of menace from the character.
On the plus side, the make-up effects are good - particularly on Samara's victims, although given that these are only on the screen for around 10 seconds in total, this really isn't saying much. Indeed, it seems a shame that an awful lot of effort has been put into something which scarcely features, whilst the parts that matter (plot, scares, characters) etc. appear to have been neglected.
Gore Verbinski (better known for the pomp and pantomime kitsch of the Pirates of the Caribbean films) actually does a surprisingly good job direction wise. Using washed out colours, distorted angles, flashbacks and fast editing he has some success where the rest of the film fails - in creating a slightly spooky, unsettling, other-wordly look and feel to the film. The trouble is, whilst this atmosphere could have worked, it's constantly held back by the turgid pace with which the plot progresses. He also manages to bungle the ending, opting for a closing shot which is hugely predictable. True, it was the ending I was expecting, but it would have been nice to get something a little less formulaic.
At the end of the day, The Ring is just boring. Lacking the visceral element that western horror fans are used to and failing to replicate the psychological horror represented by Japanese films, it ends up being nothing. A boring, slow-paced irrelevancy that just shows that marrying Hollywood technology with Japanese story telling doesn't automatically make for a successful film. Haunted video tapes that kill you? The only danger you're in from this remake is of being bored to death.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Running time: approx. 115 minutes
Best bit: the look of horror on the faces of the victims
© Copyright SWSt 2008
The Ring is a horror film, Released back in 2002 it has a disturbing plot. A youngish journalist learns of strange deaths. People watch a tape and die seven days later.
For her it becomes a personal issue when her son watches the tape. She must find whatever is causing the deaths to save her boy.
The Ring is copied from Ringu (made in Japan). American version is different. Not as good perhaps, still though it is a good film with strange eerie scenes some of these are disturbing.
I own a copy on DVD and have watched the film several times. Good film with good script and plot line which keeps a hold on the viewer right to the end.
The Ring has had good reviews and most people liked it according to the data posted on movie sites (rotten tomatoes).
Naomi Watts plays the mother. I liked her acting in here.
I can't describe the extra contents which come with DVD presentation. I don't watch these. Film is recommended by me. It is different type of original take on a disturbing story.
An unexpected marriage of big-budget production values and low-budget instincts, The Ring offers chills to be savoured. Usually when Hollywood indulges its cash-hungry game of remaking foreign films the result sacrifices much of what made the original so special. Clearly, the supremely eerie supernatural vibe that permeated the legendary 1998 Japanese horror film must have done something to those Hollywood suits, because Gore Verbinski's remake is actually rather good. Certainly, it's not superior to the original, but it's undoubtedly a cut above most modern horror efforts, expertly wringing every drop of suspense. The impressive Naomi Watts (Mullholland Drive) plays a journalist investigating an urban myth of a videotape that kills the viewer a week after watching it. Succumbing to curiosity, she watches it herself--big mistake--and has a week to solve the mystery or fall victim to its sinister power. While transferring the action from Japan to modern-day Seattle may weaken the impact of the plot's mythological elements, and the film may be guilty of pointless padding (belying the original's lean format), Verbinski's effort is no less squirm-inducing, bolstered with a tremendous shocker of an ending. Exquisitely utilising the strong visual sense displayed in The Mexican, Verbinski creates a thick atmosphere of dread and suspense that never lets up, thankfully favouring old-fashioned scares, rather than retreating to blunt CG spectacle. In Watts, the film has a horror heroine who far exceeds the average wide-eyed scream queen, perfectly conveying the endless stream of bone-chilling moments. --Danny Graydon