The Ring (2002)

the ring

“Seven days…”

The Scoop: 2002 PG-13, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson and David Dorfman

Tagline: Before you die, you see the ring

Summary Capsule: A reporter faces a time crunch while investigating a VHS urban legend

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DnaError’s rating: Evil never Sleeps.

DnaError’s review: Normally in movies, evil is fairly easy to defeat. It’s a cuddly kind of ultimate demise, placated with a burial or removing some shiny gem. Despite being creatures of corruption, they follow the same rules as we do, it’s just a matter of beating them at their own game. Sauron may keep coming back, but a large enough army and he’s fine for a few years.

The Ring doesn’t let you off that easily. I’ve read conflicting reviews of this movie, one review says “Didn’t explain enough,” while another one cries “too much explanation!”. The Ring is horrifying absurd, the way surrealist paintings are. They make no sense, follow no logic, yet shock and terrify to the core. The evil exists outside our normal world, outside of the rational rules of cause and effect. It doesn’t want a burial or a ring or forgiveness. It just wants it’s own creation, like a virus, spreading without thought or motive. The evil uses the language of dreams and nightmares, which is why it’s so unsettling. Like a bad dream, you know it’s illogical, but it doesn’t matter. Outside of logic, outside of the world, outside of even our ability to understand it, the Evil of the Ring draws people into its world, where the lines between reality and dreams blur.

All this rambling and nothing about the movie. I refuse to do a plot summary, cause, again, makes no sense. Seems downright absurd. Everyone does a fine job and the movie is meaty enough to survive multiple viewing. It’s scary, it’s Lovecraft, it’s a bad dream come to life.

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A Saved by the Bell marathon? YOU MONSTER!

Intermission!

  • Subliminal frames from the Ring video are inserted in the film. For example, the ‘Ring’ image can be glimpsed for a fraction of a second in the transition between the ferry/horse sequence and Rachel’s car drive to Anna Morgan’s farm on Moesko Island.
  • There are several visual references to the films of Alfred Hitchcock, including Rear Window, Psycho and Family Plot. Ironically, Hitchcock himself once directed a totally unrelated boxing movie called The Ring.
  • The ‘D’ in the Dreamworks logo is superimposed by an image of The Ring from the videotape at the same moment static cuts in.
  • Near the beginning, when the girl screams, if you play it in slow motion her face turns into a demon face
  • Chris Cooper was supposed to be featured in a small role as a child murderer. Though his scenes were allegedly filmed and his name was included in early promotional materials (and on the film’s official website) he’s nowhere to be seen in the final theatrical cut.
  • This is a remake of Ring (aka Ringu), a Japanese horror film.

Groovy Quotes

Dr. Scott: You don’t want to hurt anybody, do you?
Samara: But I do… And I’m sorry: it won’t stop.

Samara: Everyone will suffer.

Aidan: What happened with the little girl?
Rachel: It’s over baby, I helped her.
Aidan: What do you do that for?
Rachel: What do you mean?
Aidan: You weren’t supposed to help her.

Rachel: I think before you die, you see the ring…

Aidan: Don’t you understand Rachel? You’re not supposed to help her. She never sleeps.

Rachel: Katie told you she was going to die?
Aidan: She TOLD ME, She told me she didn’t have enough time.

Becca: Have you heard the story about this weird videotape that kills you when you watch it? When you watch it, it looks like someone’s nightmare. After you watch it, your phone rings. You pick it up and the voice on the other line says “YOU WILL DIE IN SEVEN DAYS.”

Noah: I wonder how long someone can survive down there….
Rachel: … 7 days…

Richard: What is it with you reporters? You take an others tragedy and force the whole world to experience it. You spread it like a sickness.

If you liked this movie, try these:

  • The Ring 2
  • Event Horizon
  • The Others

3 comments

  1. I always thought The Grudge did this ten times better. I think this is the case of a film being iconic, yet not all that good.

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