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The Ring (2002)

  Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: Ehren Kruger, Kôji Suzuki
Starring: David Dorfman, Martin Henderson, Naomi Watts
Links: The Ring on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Suspense/Horror/Thriller

This movie gets: 6.67 (3 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 118th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

The Ring (2002) is also mentioned in andy-j's review of Dark Water (2005), mino's review of One Missed Call (2003), em_fiction's review of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and pearly's review of Ring (1998).

"A worthy remake" - a review by andy-j

The Ring is the Hollywood remake of Ring (1998), a very original and understated Japanese horror film from 1998. I thought that, for a film with such a strong premise, Ringu didn't quite capitalise on the potential. It just could have done a bit more. But at the same time, I really loved how it didn't go over the top with it all and get all caught up in trying to scare the audience. I was interested to see how this new version would turn out. I mean, I'm a bit wary of the Hollywood remake. Anyway.

Anyway.. this is really very good. Naomi Watts, who plays Rachel, is great. She has quite a presence, which makes her character stronger. The problem with her character though, is that at times, she doesn't act realistically. Either that, or we don't get a good insight into what is making her tick. If you knew you had seven days to live and you were racing against time to try to figure this stuff out, all the while having very creepy experiences, wouldn't you start freaking out? Rachel doesn't. Why not? Either we aren't shown, or she just isn't being portrayed with any sense of realism. It's more a problem with the script than the actor. And it's not a big problem. It's a thriller / horror, after all. But it still bugged me.

One other thing that annoyed me about The Ring is that there is very little left up to the viewer to figure out for themselves. Things are dumbed down and made so blatantly obvious that it is impossible for the viewer to be left behind. For example - there is a shot of a lighthouse in the video that Rachel watches. She finds a picture of the same lighthouse in a book, and the picture is taken from the exact same angle, at the exact same distance, with the exact same lighting. As a result, potential subtlety and depth are lessened. Another example - Rachel's son draws a picture of a house with a family out the front. Then Rachel finds this house, but it isn't obvious that this is what her son drew. So we are shown - via a quick flashback to the drawing - that this is the house that Rachel is in front of. It would have been more effective and creepy if this were eluded to in a less obvious way.

Anyway, all I do is complain. This really is a great film. Sure, it's a remake. But I liked it a lot. The effects are better and scarier. Some of the backstory is dropped, but then there is another creepy subplot added that is really rather hair-raising. The characters don't seem so distant in this version - they feel warmer and are easier to relate to. Oh, and young David Dorfman does a great job as Rachel's disturbed son. The plot itself is wonderfully eerie and really does keep you on the edge of your seat. The conclusion is very satisfying. I've got nothing to whinge about really. This remake is much much better than it could have been.

andy-j gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 27 Apr 2005

"Been there, done that" - a review by pearly

Ahhh, the United States of America. Never content with the work of another nation, they feel it is their duty to take what has been made, blend it all up, push it through some sort of Americanisation machine, and then pop out a more palatable version at the other end. Take this movie, The Ring. Who could expect anyone in their right mind to go and see the original Japanese version, Ring (1998)? It's not even in english, and all the characters look the same! What craziness! Let's remake it into something everyone can enjoy!

Okay, I'm probably just feeling suitably annoyed about them remaking the hilarious BBC comedy series The Office (even if it is rumoured to star the comedy stylings of the babealicious Brad Pitt), so I'm taking it out on The Ring. But if there's one thing that's annoying about Hollywood (and I'm pretty sure there's actually more than one), it's their belief that anything that is low budget or doesn't originate from there is automatically bad.

The premise here is that if you watch a particular video tape, then you will die seven days after having watched it. After the death of her niece, Rachel (Naomi Watts), a journalist, looks into the circumstances surrounding her death, and discovers the cursed tape has something to do with it. After watching it herself, it's a race against time for her to find a way to stop the tape from killing more and more people.

The Ring is Watts' The Sixth Sense (1999); Watts was probably hoping it would give her the recognition that fellow Aussie Toni Collette received. It didn't really work though. Watts would have been better off continuing down the path that Mulholland Dr. (2001) was taking her along.

The Ring isn't a terrible film. It's not as scary as the original, but it's not an abomination unworthy of standing in the original's shadow either. It's just that with a film like this, once is enough. Perhaps with classic films there is justification for a remake, but remaking something like this just smacks of a lack of original ideas. I can think of no reason to suggest watching this rather than watching the original.

pearly gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 27 Nov 2003

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 2
Number of ratings: 3
Average rating: 6.67
Lowest rating: 4 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 8 (by andy-j, em_fiction)
 
Rating Percentage
1 
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2 
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4 
 33%
5 
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8 
 67%
9 
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10 
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