REVIEWED
5/25/03

STORY



LOOK

The Ring
Director: Gore Verbinski
Year: 2002
TRT: 1:55


First off, I have to say I didn't watch this when it first came out because of the premise. But I heard some good things about it, so here we are. And it is a pretty creepy movie in most respects. It helps that the boy that was cast is an eery little twerp himself. It starts off a bit too much like a Scream movie, but once the movie gets going it's a pretty decent mystery that relies more on psychological terror than a lot of gore.

It starts with this urban legend of sorts, that people who watch this video die seven days later. A newspaper reporter gets involved in the story when her niece dies unexpectedly, and tries to find out the history behind this mysterious tape and why people are so affected by it. Her son and "boyfriend" are drawn into being doomed as well, and despite the implausibility of the curse, realizes she is running out of time if she wants to save herself and her family.

So yeah. There's no big-name stars involved to fight stereotypes (a good job by character actor Brian Cox, though), and the lead actress Naomi Watts does a pretty decent job of it (a little uneven at times, more due to some lame lines than anything else). The movie itself looks great, with some cool post done to it in editing and color correction, as well as some interesting camera shots. My biggest complaint comes down to the premise, though, and the actual "validity" behind the origin of the tape itself. But that's pretty minor, what we have is a stylish ghost story that didn't end quite the way I thought it would (a pleasant surprise).

Great Scene: It's not a specific scene, but there are some great, haunting visuals scattered throughout the film.

DVD Notes: Pretty decent single disc put out by Dreamworks in Widescreen format, it includes some extra footage, apparently, from the film itself (it is pretty much unlabeled for human consumption), a short trailer for the original Japanese movie it was re-made from called Ringu (plus some others), and an uninterrupted playing of the original "video" (it's not marked, just tab all the way to the bottom of the menu screen til nothing's highlighted. Definitely take a closer look, it's pretty creepy just by itself).