Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Ring (2002)

Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, & David Dorfman
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, language, and some drug references

I remember being 9 years old, at my grandma's house, and having my older cousin ask me if I wanted to watch The Ring with her. When she told me it was a scary movie, I was all for it. Unfortunately, my mom overheard us, and barred me from seeing it. Now, ten years later, I've finally gotten around to watching it!

So here's the plot premise:

"Rachel Keller is a journalist investigating a videotape that may have killed four teenagers (including her niece). There is an urban legend about this tape: the viewer will die seven days after watching it. If the legend is correct, Rachel will have to run against time to save her son's and her own life." (courtesy of

Now, I'm not one to be easily scared or disturbed (believe me, I thought the Exorcist was tame). In fact, I quite enjoy anything morbid, so this review may be quite different from a normal person (I fully admit that I am not remotely normal!)

I thought Naomi Watts embraced her character really well. Too often in horror movies, the acting is terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE! She's very convincing as Rachel, the woman determined to dig up the mystery of the cursed tape. All the characters are fleshed out and believable, which is a nice change from Hollywood's typical talentless starlet castings.

What makes this movie a hit is the play on psychological elements. Blood and gore are all good and fun, but to be truly scary, a film has to target the mind. The tape itself is the stereotypical psychotic montage: creepy images brought together in a schitzophrenic slideshow. What bothered me was the noise that played along with it--a high pitched tone that instantly induces a headache. Not fun. The tape's images are also inserted between scenes, creating a subliminal-messaging-effect. By playing with your mind, the movie inserts itself in your memory, making it difficult to stop thinking about when the movie ends. And the images will resonate in your head for days, I guarantee it.

The mystery of the tape, and the desperation to beat its curse, is the driving force of the film. It really causes you to tense up, as you're never certain exactly what will happen next. This is a great psycho-thriller type movie for anyone who enjoys a scare.* You will also be a little weary around any unmarked videocassette tapes around your house.

Happy watching!!

*Granted, I didn't think it was scary. But then again, I'm a freak :)

For more info on the film, check out the IMDb page

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