“Before you die, you see the ring” is the slogan being used for the remake of the 1998 classic Asian film The Ring. The Ring, Directed by Gore Verbinski, starts out with two teenagers joking around with each other at a sleepover about a myth about a videotape. It is said that this videotape, when viewed, is supposed to kill you seven days after the viewing. Once the tape is seen, the phone rings and something is said that strikes fear into anyone who has seen it. One of the girls claims to have viewed this tape and is slightly on edge, while joking around. Only what comes next is terrifying.
The film is about Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), who stumbles upon the videotape myth in her hometown in Seattle, while at her son, Aidan’s (David Dorfman), friends funeral. After a small testimony by the deceased’s friends, Rachel stumbles onto something, and uses it to save her job as an investigative reporter. One thing leads to another as Rachel finds the tape, which soon knocks on realities door. Rachel, who is now consumed with fear, calls her friend Noah (Martin Henderson), who also views the tape; and so the journey begins to save themselves.
What makes The Ring so incredible, and so much better than the original, are a laundry list of factors. Id like to start with the fear factor, the horror factor; The Ring is rated PG-13. I know what you’re saying, it’s a horror movie, why the hell is it PG-13? The answer is quite simple, this film is done with such class, and edited to incredibly well, that The Ring is terrifying without blood and numerous acts of violence. This is what we would call a psychological thriller, made with the heart of Sixth Sense, the darkness and cold air of The Others and the originality that we haven’t seen here in America in years!
Before I even start on the directing, I must note the incredible editing. Without ruining the scares for you, what The Ring does to scare you is catch you by surprise, they break the formula. Usually in an edit, you get some camera shots that are unordinary, and give you a little foreshadowing with the music, but not in The Ring. The Ring hits you by surprise, nothing you can do can prepare you for what comes next, everything is an heart-stopping surprise.
The directing done by Gore Verbinski, was done with a taste of David Lynch, but with more of an Oliver Stone appeal. The colors and the shapes and the tint all bring this film an emotion that leaves you uncomforted, edgy and scared throughout the entire film. The tape is shown over and over again while investigating the story, and yet, you never seem to become desensitized from it. Every time you view it, it sends a chill down your spine.
Gore Verbinski’s directing also rubs off on the acting, for Naomi Watts does an incredible job of playing the tough single mother suddenly stricken with fear, and now helpless. She displays emotion with ease, and aids in the films feel with her experienced work. At first, David Dorfman (Aidan), seems a little too high strung and a little too eerie to believe, but once you understand where his emotional state is, and what he knows, things fall into place with him. I still do not think it was the best acting ever, but it was some great experience to get him ready for his role in another upcoming remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The only negative thing about The Ring, is the girl who plays Samara Morgan (Daveigh Chase). Unfortunately, she is the key that holds much of this film together, but she lacks the qualities of the original Sidako, played by Rie Inou. She is too young for the part and cannot do the body motions half as well as the original Sidako. What she does though, is do her part, and play it well enough that for anyone who has not seen the original, it works fine.
The actors would have had nowhere to go if it wasn’t for such a great story written by Kôji Suzuki and such a well adapted screen play by Hiroshi Takahashi. The film takes many unexpected twists and turns, filled with mystery and terror. The Ring is one of the most original concepts to hit the US screens is years and will hopefully set new trends that only heighten the experience.
Daveigh Chase is the only negative thing about this film, this is one of the most perfect films ever made, so incredibly well done, original and fun, that you wont want to die after seeing The Ring, you’ll want to see it again.