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
On its first week of release in the U.S. and Canada, select cinemas put actual copies of the cursed tape on seats for unsuspecting viewers as freebies. The cursed video is now available as an Easter egg feature on the DVD. See more »
Noah axes a hole in the floor of the cabin directly above the well. However, the shots looking upwards from the bottom of the well show that the wooden panels are intact. See more »
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.
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The FBI warning in the home release features spooky noises in the background. See more »
Visually intense creepfest--different purpose than the original
This film is the American take on the Japanese original and while it absorbs its source material intact, it twists around its formula a bit in order to make it fit its new surroundings. The story is the same: a journalist, after losing her niece to a mysterious circumstance, investigates and discovers a cursed videotape, which gives a viewer only seven days to live.
Like its predecessors, the film doesn't spend that much time on the supernatural elements, but focuses more on the mystery. However, The Ring features a lot more supernatural elements immediately and throughout the film than either previous version, perhaps to make more obvious and visceral the impending doom that faces our protagonist. Visually, The Ring has been injected with a shot of adrenaline, being less the brooding mystery of the original and more immediate and menacing. The color palette is colder than Ringu and the story is also more detached and focused on the ghostly mechanics than the human story, which leads the film to be more recognizably intimidating.
The story itself is a little more mysterious in that the backstory of our villain is rather thin and unexplained. Furthermore, the villain is clearly portrayed as senselessly malevolent; this weakens at least two significant scenes. The ending, I think, is more clever than the previous versions. I like that there is something to the relationship between the protagonist, Rachel, and her ally, Noah, but it still seems a little weak when compared to Ringu--where one line can effortlessly show the development in the relationship.
As far as a horror movie goes, The Ring is a blunt, but nonetheless creepy example. Losing some of the trappings of its predecessors helps simplify the story for faster flow and to create room for more visual creepiness, but also loses some of the complexity that helped the story have more depth. It's more of impressive frightfest than Ringu, but is a little weaker in story resonance. In the end, that makes The Ring just as effective overall: if you want more chills, catch this version. If you want more meat, catch Ringu. Decent entertainment. 7/10.
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