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The Ring (2002)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 194,869 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 1,611 user | 270 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A young journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

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(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ruth
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Teacher
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Innkeeper
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Girl Teen #1
Tess Hall ...
Girl Teen #2
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Male Teen #1
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Storyline

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. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | journalist | videotape | ring | cabin | See more »

Taglines:

Before you die, you see the ring See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, language and some drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ring  »

Box Office

Budget:

$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$128,502 (Finland) (14 March 2003)

Gross:

£9,455,478 (UK) (4 April 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cursed "video" is available as an easter egg on the DVD. Select look here and press down and your cursor will disappear. Press enter. This has an interesting feature; your remote control is disabled. Once the "video" has started playing, you can't stop it, pause it, fast-forward it, or return to the menu. Unless you turn off the TV, you're forced to watch the whole thing. When it's over, the DVD returns to the menu, then you hear a phone ring twice before you're given control over your remote again. See more »

Goofs

When Rachel picks up Katie's photos a monorail is seen above heading in the south direction, moments later another monorail passes going in the same direction on exactly the same track. This would not be possible as the first car would've had to return to the stop on the other end in Seattle Center, unload and reload passengers, before being able to make another trip south. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Katie: I hate television. Gives me headaches. You know, I heard there's so many magnetic waves traveling through the air, because of TV and telephones, that we're losing, like, ten times as many brain cells as we're supposed to. Like, all the molecules in our heads are all unstable. All the companies know about it, but they're not doing anything about it. It's, like, a big conspiracy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The FBI warning in the home release features spooky noises in the background. See more »

Connections

Version of Ring: The Final Chapter (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey John
Written by Scott Leger, Nate Navarro, Eddie Willis, Steve Rude & Curtis Ryker
Performed by Wide Awake
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
scary, thoughtful and satisfying which is fine with me
2 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

These last years, apart from the rendering of popular comic strips and the adaptation of TV series for the big screen, American cinema feels a vivacious interest for Oriental culture, especially the Japanese one. Quentin Tarantino's violent and hollow "Kill Bill" (2003/2004) was supposed to be an homage to the samurai movie (but I'm not a Tarantino buff by a long shot). In the derivative "the Last Samurai" (2003), Tom Cruise discovered the secrets and treasures of Japanese civilization while Sofia Coppola used the city of Tokyo as the backdrop for her triumphant "Lost in Translation" (2003). Gore Verbinski chose a more direct and easy way to get interested in Japanese culture: to make a remake of a Japanese movie which became a sleeper: "Ringu" (1998). Against all odds, he made a killing with it although he's an uneven director. "Mousehunt" (1997) was a formulaic but enjoyable comedy but "the Mexican" (2001) was a lame movie. Some friends had told me: "don't watch "the Ring", it's a hokey movie". I think they misjudged it and I found this supernatural thriller quite intriguing and gripping. It has enough commendable stuff in store to grab the audience. I haven't seen the original movie and so I will avoid any comparison.

The starting point promises great things and Verbinski will deliver them throughout his flick. The main character, Rachel wants to investigate about a mysterious and cursed videotape which causes the death of the viewer seven days after the latter watched it. What do these outlandish and eerie images mean? What lies beneath them? At her own risk, she and her son watch the video. She has one week to find out the meaning and the omen of the video. "The Ring" could well illustrate this famous premise: "to understand evil, we've got to go back to the sources...".

What distinguishes "the Ring" from other horror stuff of these last years is that there's a solid scenario which holds water until the very last minutes of Rachel's adventure and shelves quite an important number of formulaic ingredients. Special effects which have seemed to become the backbone for many horror flicks are used only when necessary and without flashy effects. Still better, Verbinski shows respect for the audience by clarifying as much as possible obscure points of the story. On an unhurried pace, Verbinski takes all his time to film Rachel's investigation. His directing is also worth the price of admission. It is well-crafted and set with clockwork precision for the schedule of spooky moments. Besides, what is notable in "the Ring" is that Verbinski delays as much as possible chilling sequences to better play with the viewer's nerves. This entails an unsettling aura which helps to convey a latent tension. Lighting and makeup shouldn't also be forgotten.

The thrust of "the Ring" isn't only to entertain and to make shiver. It is also doubled by a reflexion on the power of the image. One of the images of the film depicts a woman in front of a mirror looking at the camera. So, she's also looking at the viewer. This is unhealthy voyeurism that the movie denounces like the insensible media which expose to the mainstream, woes and sorrows of the victims and so manipulate the viewers' fears. The sequence during which Ann Morgan's husband is incensed by Rachel's will to learn more about Samara rings thoroughly true. Moreover, these seemingly maladjusted images embody symbols: the chair and the lighthouse illustrate loneliness, the figure at the window (a hint at "Psycho"?, 1960) might symbolize parental severity.

That said, Verbinski's genteel piece of work isn't exempted of drawbacks. Rachel's little boy is a cardboard character, a vague cousin of Haley Joel Osment in "the Sixth Sense" (1999). When Samara gets out of the well and the screen to kill Rachel's companion, it's nearly Punch and Judy and the first sequence with the two female students in their twenties something, all alone in a house in which strange phenomena and false alarms occur... well, you get the picture. But they're minor quibble and don't overflow too much on the thrill of the vision.

I repeat it: I haven't seen the Japanese ambassador but when a remake is able both to scare with reserve, without flashy special effects and to make the viewer think about what he watches, it can be gratifying. And in the case of "the Ring", rightly so...

A sequel "the Ring 2" opened last year. Is it worthwhile?


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