The Ring (2002 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gore Verbinski|
|Produced by||Walter F. Parkes
|Written by||Kôji Suzuki
by Koji Suzuki
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Editing by||Craig Wood|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Release date(s)||October 18, 2002|
|Running time||115 minutes|
Both films are based on Kôji Suzuki's novel Ringu (who also helped co-write both film adaptations) and focus on a mysterious cursed videotape that contains a seemingly random series of disturbing images. After watching the tape, the viewer receives a phone call in which a girl's voice announces that the viewer will die in seven days. The film was a critical and commercial success.
Katie (Amber Tamblyn) and Becca (Rachael Bella) are bored at home, watching TV. Eventually, they discuss a supposedly cursed videotape while alone at home at the former's house. According to legend, those who watch the tape die seven days later. Katie reveals that seven days ago, she went to a cabin at Shelter Mountain Inn with her boyfriend, where she viewed the video tape. The girls laugh it off, but after a series of strange occurrences in the next few minutes involving a television in the house turning itself on, Katie dies mysteriously and horrifically in front of Becca which leads to Becca's institutionalization in a mental hospital.
Katie's cousin, Aidan (David Dorfman), is visibly affected by the death. After Katie's funeral, Ruth Embry (Lindsay Frost) asks her sister Rachel (Naomi Watts), who is Aidan's mother and a journalist, to investigate Katie's death, which leads her to the cabin where Katie watched the tape. Rachel finds and watches the tape; the phone rings, and she hears a child's voice say "seven days", upsetting Rachel. The next day, Rachel calls Noah (Martin Henderson), her ex-boyfriend, to show him the video and asks for his assistance based upon his media-related skills. He asks her to make a copy for further investigation, which she does, but later takes it home herself.
After viewing the tape, Rachel begins experiencing nightmares, nose bleeds, and surreal situations (for instance, when she pauses a section of the tape in which a fly runs across the screen, she is able to pluck the fly from the monitor). Increasingly anxious about getting to the origin of the tape, Rachel investigates images of a woman seen in the tape. Using a video lab, she discovers images in the tape's overscan area, which through further research she discovers to be a lighthouse located on Moesko Island. It also turns out that the tape's overscan does not include time code, which hints that the tape was not made using electronic equipment. The woman turns out to be Anna Morgan (Shannon Cochran), who lived on the island in Washington, many years prior with her husband Richard (Brian Cox). Rachel discovers that, after bringing home an adopted daughter, tragedy befell the Morgan ranch – the horses raised on the ranch went mad and killed themselves, which in turn supposedly had caused Anna (who loved her horses) to become depressed and commit suicide. After waking from a particularly jarring nightmare, Rachel is horrified to discover Aidan watching the tape. Panicked, she calls Noah, revealing that Noah is Aidan's father.
Rachel goes to the Morgan house and finds Richard, who refuses to talk about the video or his daughter and sends Rachel away. A local doctor tells Rachel that Anna could not carry a baby to term and adopted a child named Samara (Daveigh Chase). Dr. Grasnik (Jane Alexander) recounts that Anna soon complained about gruesome visions that only happened when Samara was around, so both were sent to a mental institution. While Rachel is investigating on Moesko Island, Noah is investigating the institution, where he finds Anna's file and discovers that there was a video of Samara, but the video is missing. Back at the ranch, Rachel sneaks back to the Morgan house where she discovers a box containing the missing video and a live centipede that was shown in Samara's tape. Rachel watches it, and is confronted by Richard who claims that she and her son will die, and that there is nothing they can do about it. He then electrocutes himself in the bathtub, sending Rachel running out of the room screaming.
Noah arrives and, with Rachel, goes to the barn to discover an attic where Samara was kept by her father. Behind the wallpaper they discover an image of a tree seen on the tape, which grows near the Shelter Mountain Inn. At the inn, they discover a well underneath the floor, in which Rachel had fallen in and discovers Samara's skeletal corpse. Rachel had found a finger nail broken off the side of the well (similar to the finger nail grotesquely taken off by a fastener nail shown in the tape) along with scratches and claw marks. A hand then grabs Rachel before she soon experiences a vision of how her mother was the one that pushed her into it, also showing that Samara was alive when she was pushed. Noah then informs Rachel that sunset had passed (which was the time when Rachel had viewed the tape and should have been killed) causing Rachel to believe that setting Samara free from the well had broken the curse. Rachel notifies the authorities and, feeling sorry for Samara, gives her a proper burial. It is then revealed how it takes 7 days for a person to die of starvation.
Rachel informs Aidan that they will no longer be troubled by Samara. However, Aidan is horrified, telling his mother she had freed her body, and that Samara "never sleeps" and that she was not supposed to help Samara. While he says this, his nose begins to bleed. In his apartment, Noah's TV turns on, revealing an image in which a decaying Samara crawls from the well. Samara then crawls out of the TV into the room. Horrified, Noah trips backward and tries to crawl away from Samara. Samara faces him, exposes her true face and stares directly at him, killing him with fear, which Rachel discovers after racing to his apartment and seeing his face distorted like Katie's was. Upon returning to her apartment, Rachel destroys and burns the original tape. Wondering why she had not died like the others, she remembers that she made a copy of the tape. Rachel realizes the only way to escape and save Aidan is to have him copy the tape and show it to someone else, continuing the cycle. Rachel helps Aidan copy the tape, who asks her what is going to happen to the person they give the tape to. She does not respond as a shot of the well is shown in the tape. Then the screen goes to black static and ends with a few pictures from the tape.
- Naomi Watts as Rachel Keller
- Martin Henderson as Noah Clay
- David Dorfman as Aidan Keller
- Brian Cox as Richard Morgan
- Jane Alexander as Dr. Grasnik
- Lindsay Frost as Ruth Embry
- Amber Tamblyn as Katie Embry
- Rachael Bella as Rebecca "Becca" Black
- Daveigh Chase as Samara Morgan
- Shannon Cochran as Anna Morgan
- Richard Lineback as Innkeeper
- Pauley Perrette as Beth
- Sara Rue as Babysitter
- Sasha Barrese as Teen Girl
- Adam Brody as Kellen (Teen #3)
In order to advertise The Ring, many promotional Web sites were formed featuring the characters and places in the film. The film was financially successful; the box office gross actually increased from its first weekend to its second, as the initial success led DreamWorks to roll the film into 700 additional theaters. The Ring made $8.3 million in its first two weeks in Japan, compared to Ring's $6.6 million total box-office gross. The success of The Ring opened the way for American remakes of several other Japanese horror films, including The Grudge and Dark Water. A sequel, The Ring Two, was released in North American theaters on March 18, 2005. It was directed by Hideo Nakata, the director of Ring.
The Ring was met with generally positive reviews from film critics, receiving 71% favorable reviews out of 180 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and a Metacritic score of 57/100 (mixed or average) from 36 reviews. On the television program Ebert & Roeper, Richard Roeper gave the film "Thumbs Up" and said it was very gripping and scary despite some minor unanswered questions. Roger Ebert gave the film "Thumbs Down" and felt it was boring and "borderline ridiculous"; he also disliked the extended, detailed ending. IGN’s Jeremy Conrad praised the movie for its atmospheric set up and cinematography, and said that “there are 'disturbing images'… but the film doesn't really rely on gore to deliver the scares. … The Ring relies on atmosphere and story to deliver the jumps, not someone being cleaved in half by a glass door.” (referencing a scene from Thirteen Ghosts) Film Threat's Jim Agnew called it “dark, disturbing and original throughout. You know that you’re going to see something a little different than your usual studio crap.” Verbinski was praised for slowly revealing the plot while keeping the audience interested, “the twists keep on coming, and Verbinski shows a fine-tuned gift for calibrating and manipulating viewer expectations.”
Despite the praise given to Verbinski’s direction, critics railed the characters as being weak. The Chicago Reader’s Jonathan Rosenbaum said that the film was “an utter waste of Watts… perhaps because the script didn’t bother to give her a character,” whereas other critics such as William Arnold from Seattle Post-Intelligencer said the opposite: “she projects intelligence, determination and resourcefulness that carry the movie nicely.” Many critics regarded Dorfman’s character as a "creepy-child" “Sixth Sense cliché.” A large sum of critics, like Miami Herald’s Rene Rodriguez and USA Today’s Claudia Puig found themselves confused and thought that by the end of the movie “[the plot] still doesn't make much sense.”
The movie was number 20 on the cable channel Bravo's list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Bloody Disgusting ranked the film sixth in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article saying "The Ring was not only the first American “J-Horror” remake out of the gate; it also still stands as the best."
|2002||Saturn Awards||Best Movie Horror||The Ring||Won|
|Best Actress||Naomi Watts||Won|
|2003||MTV Movie Awards||Best Movie||The Ring||Nominated|
|Best Villain||Daveigh Chase||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Best Movie Horror||The Ring||Won|
See also 
- The Ring Box Office and Business at the Internet Movie Database
- Friend, Tad. "REMAKE MAN." The New Yorker, 2 June 2003.
- "The Ring". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "The Ring". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- Ebert & Roeper clip also, Roger Ebert's print review (October 18, 2002)
- "The Ring". IGN. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "The Ring". FilmSpot. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "The Ring". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "The Ring". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "The Ring". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "'Ring' has hang-up or two". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "No gore, yet scares aplenty in `Ring'". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "00's Retrospect: Bloody Disgusting's Top 20 Films of the Decade...Part 3". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Ring|
- The Ring at the Internet Movie Database
- The Ring at AllRovi
- The Ring at Box Office Mojo
- The Ring at Rotten Tomatoes