The Ring (2002 film)

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The Ring
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Produced by Walter F. Parkes
Laurie MacDonald
Written by Kôji Suzuki
Ehren Kruger
Scott Frank
Based on Ring 
by Koji Suzuki
Starring Naomi Watts
Martin Henderson
Brian Cox
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Bojan Bazelli
Edited by Craig Wood
DreamWorks Pictures
Parkes/MacDonald Productions
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures (US)
Universal Pictures (non-US)
Release dates
October 18, 2002 (2002-10-18)
Running time
115 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $48 million[1]
Box office $249.3 million[1]

The Ring is a 2002 American supernatural psychological horror film[2] directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki (who also helped co-write both film versions).

The Ring was released in theaters on October 18, 2002 and received critical acclaim with critics praising the reliance on dread and visuals over gore and the direction along with the screenplay writing but criticizing the character development. The film also grossed over $249 million on a $48 million production budget making it one of the highest grossing horror films of all time. The Ring was soon followed by a sequel titled The Ring Two three years later. It will be followed by another sequel titled Rings in 2015.

The Ring is notable for being the first American remake of a Japanese horror classic and for paving the way for many J-Horror remakes to come after the film's success such as The Grudge, Dark Water, Pulse, and One Missed Call.


Two teenage girls named Katie Embry (Amber Tamblyn) and Becca Kotler (Rachael Bella) are bored at a sleepover and eventually, they discuss an urban legend that involves a cursed videotape that kills the viewer 7 days after watching it. Katie reveals that she had watched the cursed videotape with her boyfriend and a group of friends last week whist staying in a cabin for a vacation but Becca believes she is trying to scare her. Suddenly, the phone rings downstairs, which according to the urban legend, occurs once the viewer has finished watching the cursed videotape, which frighten both teenagers. However, it turns out to be Katie's mother (Lindsay Frost) and Becca returns upstairs with annoyance.

Suddenly, the television in the living room turns on by itself on static and Katie thinks Becca is playing a prank on her. Switching it off, the television turns on by itself once again and Katie unplugs the wires of the television with frustration. An unseen force is seen vibrating through the kitchen windows behind her on the reflection of the television screen. The refrigerator door opens by itself and Katie shuts it and nervously calls for Becca as she quickly runs upstairs. Katie notices a puddle of water leaking out from her bedroom door and as soon as she opens it, she sees an image of a well on her television screen, and an unseen force rushes towards her, presumably killing her.

Three days later, a troubled journalist named Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) picks up her son Aiden (David Dorfman) after school, where his concerned teacher tells her that he had been drawing disturbing sketches of his cousin Katie's death a week prior to her actual death. At Katie's funeral, Rachel discovers that the three friends Katie watched the tape with all died at the same time as she did, and visits the campsite where she finds the cursed videotape. Rachel watches it in the cabin where Katie and her friends stayed, and receives a phone call; a little girl on the line whispers “seven days” to Rachel before hanging up.

Now cursed, Rachel enlists the help of Noah (Martin Henderson), her ex-boyfriend and Aidan’s father. Noah is a video analyst, but is skeptical of the video’s alleged curse when he watches it. Afterwards, Rachel visits a traumatised Becca who has been admitted into a mental hospital after witnessing Katie's death; she states that "she" will show Rachel the truth, and that Rachel has four days left to live. Rachel investigates the video’s imagery, discovering footage of a lighthouse hidden on the video feed. Researching the lighthouse reveals the identity of a woman seen in the video as Anna Morgan (Shannon Cochran), a horse rancher living on Moesko Island. A strange phenomena led to all of her horses drowning and she eventually committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. Rachel starts to see hallucinations and finds herself haunted by a strange girl with long soaking wet hair. She then discovers Aidan has watched the tape, and Noah is experiencing similar phenomena to her.

After leaving Aidan at her sister’s house, Rachel boards a ferry to Moesko Island while Noah ventures to Eola Psychiatric County Hospital to look up information on Anna’s time there. Both individually discover that Anna had an adopted daughter named Samara (Daveigh Chase), an eight-year old who possessed uncontrolled psychic abilities that drove her foster parents near to insanity. Rachel learns that Samara was responsible for the horse drownings, while Noah discovers that Samara was sent to the same place as her mother and underwent sessions until her father, Richard (Brian Cox), stopped them and locked her in the family ranch’s barn. Confronting Richard about Samara’s location, he commits suicide in a bath tub in front of Rachel, horrifying her. Noah arrives and the two break into the barn, but only find a burnt image of a tree in the loft – the tree at Shelter Mountain.

Rachel and Noah travel to the camp, and discover a stone well beneath the cabin floor. Rachel falls down the well and finds Samara’s corpse in the water, experiencing a flashback which reveals that Anna threw Samara down the well, where she survived for seven days. Returning home, Rachel learns from Aidan that she wasn’t supposed to help Samara since she never sleeps. Meanwhile, at Noah's apartment, the television switches on by itself on static which startles him but he eventually turns it off. Suddenly, an image of a well appears on the screen as Rachel tries to call Noah, after realizing he was the next one to die. Samara crawls out of the well and walks towards the screen as water leaks out from the television. She eventually emerges from the screen which causes Noah to trip and fall backwards as he knocks down a glass cupboard. Bleeding from the cuts he received from the shards, Samara reveals her decaying face which frightens Noah to death.

Rachel arrives too late as she discovers his rotten corpse on a chair and angrily destroys the original tape. She soon realises that she was spared because she had copied the tape and shown it to Noah. Realizing it was the only way to save Aidan, Rachel copies the tape again, but remains silent when Aidan asks who they will show it to.



The film features an original score composed by Hans Zimmer. The music is atmospheric and features many cropped endings. The soundtrack release did not coincide with the film's theatrical run. It was released in 2005, accompanying The Ring Two in an album that combined music from both The Ring and The Ring Two.

The Ring/The Ring Two (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Film score by Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, & Martin Tillman
Released March 15, 2005
Genre Classical
Length 63:50
Label Decca

All music composed by Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, and Martin Tillman.

The Ring/The Ring Two (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No. Title Writer(s) Performer(s) Length
1. "The Well"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner   11:24
2. "Before You Die You See the Ring"   Hans Zimmer   7:09
3. "This is Going to Hurt"   Hans Zimmer, Martin Tillman   2:48
4. "Burning Tree"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, Martin Tillman, Trevor Morris   10:13
5. "Not Your Mommy"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, Clay Duncan   3:59
6. "Shelter Mountain"   Hans Zimmer, Martin Tillman, Trevor Morris   4:10
7. "The Ferry"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, Martin Tillman, Trevor Morris, Bart Hendrickson   3:15
8. "I'll Follow Your Voice"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner   6:28
9. "She Never Sleeps (remix)"       2:17
10. "Let the Dead Get In (remix)"       3:59
11. "Seven Days (remix)"       3:24
12. "Television (remix)"       4:00
Total length:


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.


Box Office[edit]

The film was financially successful, and the box office gross increased from its first weekend to its second. The initial success led DreamWorks to increase the film into 700 additional theaters.[3] The Ring made $8.3 million in its first two weeks in Japan, compared to Ring's $6.6 million total box-office gross.[4] The success of The Ring opened the way for American remakes of several other Japanese horror films, including The Grudge and Dark Water.[4] 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.

Critical Reception[edit]

The Ring was met with generally positive reviews from film critics, receiving 72% favorable reviews out of 201 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] The site's consensus reads: "With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts." Metacritic gave the film a score of 57/100 (mixed or average) from 36 reviews.[6] On 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.[2][7] 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).[8] 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."[9] 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."[10]

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,"[11] 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."[12] Many critics regarded Dorfman's character as a "creepy-child" "Sixth Sense cliché."[10] A large sum of critics, like Miami Herald‍‍ '​‍s Rene Rodriguez and USA Today‍‍ '​‍s Claudia Puig[13] found themselves confused and thought that by the end of the movie "[the plot] still doesn't make much sense."[14]

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."[15]


Year Award Category Nomination (s) Results
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. Another sequel titled Rings will be released in November 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Ring (2002)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (18 October 2002). "The Ring Movie Review & Film Summary (2002)". Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  3. ^ The Ring Box Office and Business at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ a b Friend, Tad. "REMAKE MAN." The New Yorker, 2 June 2003.
  5. ^ "The Ring". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  6. ^ "The Ring". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  7. ^ Ebert & Roeper clip.
  8. ^ "The Ring". IGN. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  9. ^ "The Ring". FilmSpot. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  10. ^ a b "The Ring". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  11. ^ "The Ring". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  12. ^ "The Ring". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  13. ^ "'Ring' has hang-up or two". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  14. ^ "No gore, yet scares aplenty in `Ring'". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  15. ^ "00's Retrospect: Bloody Disgusting's Top 20 Films of the Decade...Part 3". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 

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