By Cal Wayne
Directed by Gore Verbinski
The Ring is a remake of the Japanese film Ringu, and is easily considered one of the premier horror films of the last decade.
Japanese horror films often have plots that are just as terrifying as they are bat-shit crazy, and The Ring is no exception. Rachel (Naomi Watts) is a journalist who discovers a mystery surrounding the recent death of her niece. Rachel follows a series of clues to a cabin where her niece had watched a tape seven days earlier; her friends had rumored that the video was the reasoning behind her death. After finding the tape, Rachel watches a horrific compilation of abstract imagery that makes little sense, but does a good job of making the viewer feel decisively uncomfortable. After the viewing, Rachel receives a phone call claiming that she has seven days left to live. What ensues is a race against time to save herself, and the life of her son, Aiden (David Dorfman).
The Ring offers such a whirlwind of scares, tension, and just plain creepy scenes, that it's sure to keep the viewer locked in a state of paralytic interest for the entirety of the movie. Naomi Watts delivers a very solid performance, as does the rest of the cast. The film doesn't dive extremely deep into character development, but with such a busy plot, it doesn't leave much to be desired. As with most horror movies, the characters do tend to do things that the viewers will see as being inexplicably stupid, my note-taking tape recorder picked up a few lines of my frustration while watching: "Hey! Ghosts can't come out of TVs!" ..."Turn off the TV ass hole!" ... "Go outside! There aren't any TVs outside!"
While the film features a very creative plot that is both engaging and complex, it's very easy to forget that virtually every aspect of this movie is borderline ridiculous. The Ring brings a lot to the table, and some aspects are easier to to accept than others. If you can take this movie for what it is, chances are, you'll be in for a few good scares.