The Ring (2002)

Before You Die, You See The Ring

OCTOBER HORROR-THON CONTINUES!  I thought this would be more annoying to watch only horror movies for the end of October, but there’s so many different types and different qualities of horror movie that I haven’t yet gotten bored of it.  The movie I’m reviewing today is one of my favorite horror movies.  It’s an American remake of a Japanese horror movie, and even better, it’s a movie that doesn’t use tons of gore to scare it’s audience.  This movie is The Ring, starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Daveigh Chase, Brian Cox, and Shannon Cochran, and it’s directed by Gore Verbinski.

Katie (Amber Tamblyn) and Becca (Rachael Bella) are talking over a sleepover about a myth of a videotape that is supposedly cursed in a way that will kill the person who watches it 7 days after viewing.  Katie reveals that her and her boyfriend watched the tape a week prior.  Downstairs by herself, Katie starts seeing things moving around, the TV turns itself on when it’s unplugged, and she sees water dripping out of TVs.  Katie mysteriously and horrifically dies while Becca watches.  Shortly thereafter, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) goes to the funeral of her neice, Katie, bringing along her son Aidan (David Dorfman).  Katie’s mother asks Rachel to use her abilities and contacts as a reporter to investigate the mysterious death.  One of her first stops on her investigation is the cabin where Katie and her boyfriend watched the tape, and it is here where the tape remains.  Rachel watches the tape and immediately receives a call telling her she will die in 7 days.  So the first thing she does is show the same tape to her ex-boyfriend and Aidan’s father, Noah (Martin Henderson).  Awful messed up way to get back at an ex-boyfriend, isn’t it?  Later, mother of the year Rachel leaves the killer tape out and Aidan watches it too.  So that family’s fucked.  But the rest of the movie is Rachel unraveling the twisted tale of the tape in order to save her family.  Or at least her and her son.  Fuck that guy, am I right, ladies?

I already mentioned that I liked this movie.  I remember being pretty freaked out the first time I saw it.  I can’t remember if it was this movie or the Grudge, but I went out with my friends afterwards and got really suspicious of a dark hallway.  But the biggest thing that freaked me out about this movie was what happened afterwards.  The next day, I got a call from an unknown number and there was no one on the line.  And a little while after that, I got a bloody nose.  And, of course, 7 days later I died.  Okay, 2/3 of that story was true.  I didn’t really get a bloody nose.  I started my period and just counted that.  Okay, okay.  I didn’t die, but I did get a call and a bloody nose.  And right after seeing this movie, my brain, desiring such a cool event, decided I got the curse of the Ring.  I wouldn’t say I was actually scared that I was going to die, but it was gnawing at me from the back of my mind.

I’m not trying to say that this is the only reason this movie was scary, it actually did horror movies right.  I’ve mentioned before that slasher movies and movies where things pop out and surprise you but call it a scary annoy me.  This movie is the blessed third part of that trilogy: the movie that scares you with suspense.  That’s why I liked this movie.  Plus, it was the first of the Japanese horror remakes, and I’ve liked most of them.  And that’s not to say that this movie doesn’t have any kind of gore to it.  The grotesquely mangled faces of Samara’s victims is pretty horrifying, even in the brief couple seconds you see them in, and the tape itself has some brief ickiness to it, but it’s hardly gore.  What the tape does have a lot of is bizarreness and creepiness.  I did find that this movie didn’t really hold up in scares department.  I assume that suspenseful movies only get one or two shots at being scary and I’ve just seen this movie too many times.  But, if you haven’t seen it yet (and also haven’t seen the countless parodies from Scary Movie or others), then you’ll probably still be able to get a good couple scares out of it.

The acting is very solid in this movie, though most of the cast seems pretty heavily sedated at times.  Naomi Watts really does a good job here.  She gets pretty frantic and emotional as the movie goes along, not only believing that she’s going to die, but her son.  Plus, she walks around in her underwears, and I’m always fond of that.  David Dorfman plays a creepy boy pretty well.  Brian Cox has a pretty conflicted performance that winds up in his suicide by bathtub.  The thing that bothered me about that was that his electrical equipment was way more than we’ve been made to believe is necessary.  He has almost every electrical appliance in his house brought into that bathroom and flicks the switch on his surge protector to fry himself.  What ever happened to the toaster?  Isn’t that supposed to be good enough?

The Ring is a good place to look for some quality scares, if only for the first couple viewings.  I’m already started on the sequel, and already kind of regretting it.  But this isn’t about the money grubbing sequel, so I give the Ring a “You’re gonna die” out of “Seven days”.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others.  It may help me get better.