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|
|Edited by||Craig Wood|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Release date(s)||October 18, 2002|
|Running time||115 minutes|
The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Naomi Watts, Daveigh Chase, and Martin Henderson. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which itself was based on the novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki (who also helped co-write both film versions), and focuses 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 Embry (Amber Tamblyn) and her friend Becca (Rachael Bella) are bored at home. They discuss a supposedly cursed videotape; according to legend, those who watch the tape get a disturbing phone call and die seven days later. Katie reveals that seven days ago, she went to a cabin at Shelter Mountain Inn with her boyfriend and two other people, where she viewed the video tape. After a few supernatural happenings, Katie opens her bedroom door, screams as her face turns discoloured and green then she dies mysteriously, and Katie's mother (Lindsay Frost) finds her distorted corpse with a look of pure horror on her face, while Becca is locked up in a mental hospital.
Katie's mother asks her journalist sister, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), to investigate Katie's death. Rachel goes outside and talks to Katie's friends and she discovers that the people who saw it with Katie died on the same night and same time as her. Rachel's investigation leads her to the cabin where Katie and the others watched the tape. Rachel finds and watches the tape, which includes footage of a well. The phone rings, and she hears a child's voice say "seven days." The next day, Rachel calls Noah (Martin Henderson), her ex-boyfriend, to show him the video and asks for his assistance. He asks her to make a copy and she does.
After viewing the tape, Rachel begins experiencing nightmares, nosebleeds, and surreal situations. Anxious about getting to the origin of the tape, Rachel visits Becca in the mental hospital and when Rachel asks her what happened, Becca answers "She will show you" and reminds Rachel that she has four days left (implying Becca has somehow gained psychic powers). Rachel investigates the tape more and finds out about a ranch of horses owned by Anna Morgan and her husband Richard and adoptive daughter Samara, but tragedy befell the Morgan ranch: the horses they raised went mad and drowned themselves, which supposedly caused Anna, a horse-lover, to become depressed and commit suicide. Rachel is later horrified to discover that her son, Aidan (David Dorfman), has watched the tape, and when the tape finishes an arm reaches out of the well. Panicked, Rachel 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. A local doctor tells Rachel that Anna could not carry a baby 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. At the mental institution, Noah finds Anna's file and discovers that there was a video of Samara, but the video is missing. Rachel sneaks back to the Morgan house where she discovers a box containing the missing video. She watches it (it contains footage of Samara in the hospital, it is implied she somehow killed the doctor) and is confronted by Richard, who claims that she and her son will die, and that there is nothing they can do. He commits suicide in front of Rachel by using an electric cable in a bathtub.
Rachel and Noah go to the barn and discover the attic where Samara was kept by her father. An image of a tree near the cabin is burnt into the wall. They return to the cabin and discover that it was built on top of the well. Rachel falls in and finds Samara's skeleton. She has a vision that reveals Anna suffocated Samara and pushed her into the well, but that Samara did not die from suffocation and survived in the well for seven days. Noah informs Rachel that the time she should've been killed has passed, causing Rachel to believe that setting Samara free from the well broke the curse.
When Rachel informs Aidan that they will no longer be troubled by Samara, a horrified Aidan tells his mother that Samara "never sleeps" and that they were not supposed to help Samara, just as his nose begins bleeding. Noah is killed by Samara in his apartment after a struggle, and Rachel discovers his body with a terrified and discoloured face similar to Katie's. Rachel destroys and burns the original tape. She recalls the footage of Samara in the mental hospital and realizes that Samara was in fact truly evil. Wondering why she had not died like the others, she remembers that she made a copy of the tape and realizes the only way to escape the curse and save Aidan is to have him copy the tape and show it to someone else, thereby continuing the cycle of death as Samara intended.
- 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 Katherine "Katie" Embry
- Rachael Bella as Rebecca "Becca" Kotler
- Daveigh Chase as Samara
- 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 video from the cursed videotape was even played in late night programming over the summer of 2002 without any reference to the movie. 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 Heralds Rene Rodriguez and USA Todays 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|
A sequel titled The Ring Two was released on March 18, 2005.
- Ebert, Roger (18 October 2002). "The Ring Movie Review & Film Summary (2002)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- 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.
- "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.
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- The Ring at the Internet Movie Database
- The Ring at AllMovie
- The Ring at Box Office Mojo
- The Ring at Rotten Tomatoes