The Ring (2002 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gore Verbinski|
|Produced by||Walter F. Parkes
|Screenplay by||Ehren Kruger|
|Based on||Ring by Koji Suzuki
Ring by Hiroshi Takahashi
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Edited by||Craig Wood|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|October 18, 2002|
|Box office||$249.3 million|
The Ring is a 2002 American supernatural psychological horror film 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 Koji Suzuki about a man who discovers a videotape that turns out to be cursed.
The Ring was released in theaters on October 18, 2002, and received mostly positive reviews. Many critics praised the reliance on dread and visuals over gore, and the direction along with the screenplay writing, but criticized 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 film was followed by two sequels, The Ring Two (2005) and Rings (2017).
The Ring is notable for being the first American remake of a Japanese horror classic and for paving the way for a number of subsequent J-Horror remakes such as The Grudge, Dark Water, Pulse, and One Missed Call.
Two high school students, Katie Embry and Becca Kotler, have a sleepover and discuss the urban legend of a cursed videotape that will kill anyone seven days after watching it. Katie reveals that she and three friends watched said videotape, but Becca does not believe her. Shortly after, supernatural phenomena occurs around Katie’s house and she is killed by an unseen force. Becca, witnessing Katie’s death, is institutionalised.
At Katie’s funeral, her aunt Rachel Keller, a journalist from Seattle, is asked by her sister Ruth to investigate Katie’s bizarre death and deformed corpse. Rachel’s son Aidan possesses an extrasensory ability, claiming Katie told him she would die a week ago. Rachel discovers Katie’s three friends all died at the same time. Printing a photo reel from Katie’s bedroom leads Rachel to the holiday resort Shelter Mountain Inn, where the four students stayed. Rachel discovers the famed videotape and watches it in a rental cabin, discovering it has surreal, gruesome imagery. As soon as the tape ends, the cabin’s telephone rings and a girl’s voice utters “Seven days”.
Rachel enlists help from Noah Clay, her ex-boyfriend and Aidan’s father. A video analyst, Noah is sceptical of the tape’s curse but watches it, asking Rachel to copy it for examination. Rachel studies the video, discovering hidden imagery of a lighthouse. She identifies it as the lighthouse of Moesko Island, connecting it to a woman on the video, a horse breeder named Anna Morgan. Anna’s ranch was caught in controversy when her prize-winning horses committed mass suicide by leaping into the sea, and only ended after she too took her own life. Rachel and Noah both experience supernatural symptoms. Rachel is haunted by the ghost of a little girl, and catches Aidan watching the tape. She leaves Aidan in Ruth’s care, while she goes to Moesko Island, and Noah travels to Eola Psychiatric Hospital to gain information on Anna’s medical files.
Rachel discovers Anna had an adopted daughter, Samara Morgan, the girl who is haunting her. On the ferry to the island, a horse is spooked by Rachel’s presence, escapes its pen and falls under the ship to a bloody death. Rachel meets Anna’s widow Richard, but he dismisses her when she starts asking about Samara. She then speaks to the island’s GP, Dr. Grasnik, who explains Samara possessed uncontrolled thoughtography, burning nightmarish images into her parents’ minds, and was sent to the hospital. Rachel confronts Richard over Samara’s apparent abuse, but he commits suicide via electrocution. Noah arrives, and the two search the ranch’s barn where Samara was kept, secluded from her mother. It is also implied she caused the horses to go mad. They find a burnt drawing of a tree on the wall, the same tree seen in the videotape, and on Shelter Mountain.
Travelling to Shelter Mountain, Rachel and Noah discover a water well hidden beneath the rental cabin where they suspect Samara’s body is, assuming Richard murdered her. Rachel falls down the well, experiencing a flashback that reveals it was Anna that threw Samara down the well. Rachel then recovers Samara's corpse. Rachel does not die, the curse seemingly over. The next day, Aidan informs Rachel she shouldn’t have helped Samara, revealing he is still cursed as is Noah. Noah witnesses Samara’s ghost climb out of his television, and she (or, more precisely, her appearance) kills him.
The enraged Rachel destroys the original tape, realising she was spared because she copied it and showed it to Noah, replicating the curse. In the closing scene, Rachel helps Aidan make his own copy of the tape, and he asks what happens next, to which Rachel does not answer.
- 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 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)
The film features an original score composed by Hans Zimmer. 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|
|The Ring/The Ring Two (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|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|
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 played in late night programming over the summer of 2002 without any reference to the movie.
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. 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 72% favorable reviews out of 201 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. 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. 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. 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||Won|
|Best Actress||Naomi Watts||Won|
|2003||MTV Movie Awards||Best Movie||Nominated|
|Best Villain||Daveigh Chase||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Best Movie Horror||Won|
- "The Ring (2002)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 2014-12-06.
- The Ring Box Office and Business at the Internet Movie Database
- Friend, Tad. "REMAKE MAN." The New Yorker, June 2, 2003.
- "The Ring". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- "The Ring". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- Ebert, Roger (October 18, 2002). "The Ring Movie Review & Film Summary (2002)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- 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.
- "Paramount Sets F. Javier Gutiérrez To Helm 'Ring' Threequel". Deadline. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
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