The Ring

A Film Review By Michael Haley

Rating:Rated Rated PG-13 for some scariness and language.
Starring: Stars Naomi Watts (she’s so incredibly gorgeous in this film), Martin Henderson (who is not), David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Daveigh Chase.
Directed By:Gore Virbinski

Final Grade:
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Not long ago, I concluded the review for Abandon by saying, “It’s nice to have a thriller with real psychology involved, that doesn’t beg the question, ‘What happens when you pick up the phone? YOU DIE!!’” Ironic that not long after that one comes The Ring, which begs the question, “What happens when you watch a videotape? YOU DIE!!” and even more ironic that I’m recommending it. There is crazier stuff in the world, though, such as Jason thinking he’s an intelligent human being with opinions that matter, and that people like him. Now that’s scarier than anything The Ring comes up with…

Very briefly, the film is about an evil videotape, that causes people to die within seven days of its viewing. A reporter played by Naomi Watts stumbles upon it, and after watching it, receives a telephone call telling her she has seven days to live. She must discover the meaning behind the tape before the seven days run out, and before she sees “The Ring,” which means you’re screwed.

This isn’t a shining example of the horror genre, but it’s a hell of a ride nevertheless. Naomi Watts, who gave what I consider one of cinema history’s very best performances last year in Mulholland Drive, manages to make a character completely her own despite no help from the screenplay, which only uses her as a tool to move from plot point to point. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t deep or anything, but it’s a still impressive, nevertheless.

So what about the film? Without giving anything away, there are several questions that remain at the end of the film, but they’re irrelevant to one’s enjoyment. The ending is pure terror if I’ve ever seen it. The clues are well spread throughout the movie, and if one looks very carefully, one might be able to catch the ring subtly cut in-between takes at times.

The Ring is an engaging thriller, and it comes highly recommended.

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