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The Ring

The Ring

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  1. E. A Solinas "ea_solinas"
    13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    … then you die, June 4, 2008
    By 
    E. A Solinas “ea_solinas” (MD USA) –
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
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    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: The Ring (DVD)
    Every horror buff knows — the horror that creeps up on you gradually is much, much scarier the one who bounces out and yells “boo” as it decapitates somebody with a machete.

    And sadly, most current “horror” movies lack horror, because it’s easier to substitute it with screaming blondes, blood, guts and sharp objects. But “The Ring” is soaked in foreboding, creepiness and horrific imagery. Director Gore Verbinski relies heavily on the original Japanese movie for a lot of his remake’s flavor, and the result is a slow-building terror that keeps twisting right up to the end.

    Single mum Rachel (Naomi Watts) is attending her niece’s funeral, after she died under bizarre circumstances. Several of her friends died on the exact same day, at the same time, which (surprise surprise) makes Rachel think this isn’t a coincidence. So she investigates the mountain cabin all the kids stayed at a week ago, and finds an unlabeled videotape with a series of bizarre images — and a curse that will kill you one week afterwards.

    She enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend Noah (Martin Henderson) to help her unravel and break the curse. The secret of the tape is wrapped up in a young girl, Samara, who vanished from her adoptive parents’ horse farm years ago. Somehow Samara’s evil rage has lived in on her curse, and it will destroy Rachel, Noah and their son unless Rachel can find a way to escape it.

    Remaking Asian horror movies is one of those movie trends that is hanging on in Hollywood, with everything from “The Grudge” to “The Eye” to “Bangkok Dangerous” getting the A-list Hollywood treatment. Some are good, some are mediocre, most are wretched. But “The Ring” was the first of these, adapted from Hideo Nakata’s adaptation of Koji Suzuki’s novel (cue cries of “but the original was better). And it achieves the distinction of being almost as atmospheric and haunting as the original.

    Most of its brilliance comes from director Gore Verbinski, who thankfully did not simply use the name and concept, and invent a teenybopper plot around that. This is actually rather similar to Nakata’s adaptation — Verbinski alters some few things from the original film, but keeps the same dark, murky atmosphere and many of the same scenes. Even the cinematography has a dark, overcast look, filled with forbidding symbolism — lots of grey skies and overflowing water. It’s as if Samara’s influence is permeating everything.

    And what about the horror? It comes from the building tension as Rachel’s deadline creeps toward us, and brief flashes of Samara’s influence — for example, that poor horse going berserk on a ferry, or the blurred-out faces of the doomed. The entire movie is infused with the feeling that something invisible and ghastly is just waiting to attack you, and it’s just waiting for the right moment.

    The keystone of this movie is Naomi Watts. This talented actress is virtually perfect as the perpetually worried, perplexed Rachel; as the deadline approaches, her fear and grief are almost palpably overwhelming. Henderson is also good, whether as a flip carefree artist or as a caring ex-boyfriend. Dorfman is the one disappointment — he seems less like a little boy than a pompous oracle, and he’s almost creepier than Samara.

    Which is saying something, because Daveigh Chase is utterly chilling as Samara Morgan, a creepy little devil-child with black weedy hair over her face, a white nightgown and “Omen” eyes. In keeping with the watery theme of the movie, she always seems vaguely damp.

    “The Ring” is one of those rarest kinds of movies — a remake with its own flavour, even as it sticks to the original story. Excellent direction, great acting, and the haunting determination to never, ever watch an unlabeled movie again.

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  2. 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Surprisingly more complex than you’d think, September 20, 2013
    By 
    Paperbackstash (Lakeland, FL) –

    This review is from: The Ring (Amazon Instant Video)
    I have yet to see the Japanese version of the Ring, so obviously, unlike other websites, I cannot comment onto whether or not the American version is superior or inferior. What I can say is that this was one hell of a movie, and in a way I’m pleased to be able to review it on it’s own merit without the influences of another flick in my mind.

    I went into it with mixed emotions. All have heard the hype of how terrifying or disturbing it is. Since I very very rarely become frightened by the cinema, I tried to rely more on the plot for my expectations. The story itself sounded…weak. A video tape that kills you after seven days??? I didn’t see how it could be pulled off.

    Thankfully I didn’t go in expecting the best from all the hype, but in a way the worst, and I turned out very suprised in a positive way.

    First of all – the story. Wow. Creative as hell, a real mind-twister – Gotta love mysteries. You just had to watch to the end once the movie itself pulled you in – much like what Samara does to her victims. 😉 We begin with two teenage girls in a slightly modern, cliche manner and then are cut off to an episode that is supposed to be construed as frightening (for them, not me). We then jump to the character of Rachel, played by the very talented and appealing Naomi Watts, a reported and mother who was an aunt to one of the girls.

    Her son was negatively affected by his cousins’ death and is in many ways more than a simple little boy. He plays the part well – solemn, slightly off the rocker, and perhaps a little psychic. Rachel soon decides the death of her niece is worth a thorough investigation and ventures out into the rest of the tale with a mixture of optismism, skepticism and personal horrors all her own. Her sidekick ex-husband Martin, played by Noah Keller, is very likeable and makes his scenes enjoyable.

    Truly some surprises along the way, not predictable at all – an intelligent film that doesn’t need gore and excess violence to accomplish what it sets out to do.

    Samara herself is one creepy chick. Throughout the movie you don’t really know what to think of her.

    The end has a shock of its own in store for viewers. Whatever can be said for this plot, it is not stale and leads horror into a more intelligent direction (the oposite of what the simple reading of the plot would suggest).

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  3. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Scary as Hell, March 17, 2014
    By 
    Michele (Michigan) –

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    This review is from: The Ring (Amazon Instant Video)
    It’s so hard to find good horror flicks with a story. This one is excellent. The acting is great, the writing is great, and the visuals are disturbing. Don’t watch alone!

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