The Ring is a 2002 American supernatural horror film directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean films) from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger (Dream House; The Skeleton Key; Scream 3). It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring by Koji Suzuki.
The film was a major success, taking $249.3 million at the box office against a budget of $48 million. A sequel, The Ring Two, followed in 2005. In 2016, a belated prequel, Rings, is released on October 28th.
High school students Katie Embry and her friend Becca are bored at a sleepover and eventually discuss about an urban legend centering around a cursed videotape that supposedly kills the viewer seven days after initially viewing it.
Katie later confesses to Becca that she watched the cursed videotape with her boyfriend and two other friends last week but Becca doesn’t believe her. At 10 PM, Katie goes downstairs only to witness several supernatural occurrences conspire. Frightened, she rushes upstairs and notices water leaking out of her bedroom. She sees an image of a well on her TV screen as an unseen force rushes towards her and kills her. Becca witnesses her death, leaving her traumatized and ultimately institutionalized.
At Katie’s funeral, her aunt Rachel Keller, a troubled Seattle journalist, is asked by her mother to investigate the cause of Katie’s death. Her mother reveals to her that she found Katie’s gruesomely distorted corpse inside a closet and how the local doctors she consulted couldn’t find the exact cause of her mysterious death and simply stated that she died of a heart attack despite Katie being a healthy teenager.
Rachel’s son Aidan is also shown to have seemingly predicted her death a week earlier, much to the concern of his teacher. Rachel also discovers that Katie’s boyfriend and her two other friends who watched the cursed videotape all died on the same date at 10 PM when Katie was killed…
“The filmmakers have wisely stayed close to the original’s mood, which is somber and flat, with quick (near-subliminal) inserts and a soundtrack full of watery-grave groans and murmurs. They’ve also come up with a killer dead-horse motif. The movie is meant to get into you like a virus, and it does.” David Edelstein, Slate
“Quicker than you can say “urban legend,” bodies begin piling up and an angry spirit is crawling out of a TV set. Rarely has an American remake of a foreign horror film captured the original spirit so spot on.” Sam Zimmerman, Rolling Stone
“The Ring is a great remake of a cult horror flick, that happens to come from a major Hollywood studio while not falling into the same, annoying, plot devices that other recent horror films did.” Jeremy Conrad, IGN
“… The Ring features a heroine several cuts above the average scream queen: Watts, whose worldly façade is chipped away as the film progresses, revealing an expression of ashen dread. Viewers made callous by too many cheap horror films may experience a similar reaction.” Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
“Enormous craft has been put into the movie, which looks just great, but the story goes beyond contrivance into the dizzy realms of the absurd … the movie’s ending explains and explains and explains, until finally you’d rather just give it a pass than sit through one more tedious flashback.” Roger Ebert
“Atmosphere is a key factor in creating the experience that is The Ring. Almost every scene is shot in a washed-out, drab style that casts an effective pall of fear, dread, and foreboding over the entire film. Inserted shots of “The Ring” as “the last thing you see” tend to create in the viewer a feeling that you’re not actually watching the movie but rather the tape itself made into a feature film.” Mike, HorrorFreakNews
Cast and characters:
- 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)