Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
When journalist Rachel Keller begins to investigate the mysterious death of her niece and her teenage friends, her sleuthing leads to the discovery of a very disturbing video tape. If rumor is to be believed, those who watch the tape die seven days afterward. Now, its a race against time to discover the answers before she and her little son succumb to the tapes supernatural power. However, will their salvation from the enigma of the tape be far worse than death?
Filled with chills and endless frights, The Ring proves to be a worthy addition to the horror genre. Set in the rainy town of Seattle, the atmosphere of palpable gloom and rain soaked despair inundates the entire film setting an excellent tone for the drama. Each segment of the movie has a distinct feel to it that draws the viewer in tantalizing their minds, frightening whilst enthralling, and overall evoking the gloomy mood of paranoia to such a fevered pitch as to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.
Combined with the finely honed aura of horror is a deep and perplexing mystery that keeps the viewer guessing to the very end. Just what is the force behind the tapes creation and what does this phantasm want? As the gothic drama continues the plot twists and turns keeping the viewers mind actively engaged and allowing the fear and suspense to build. Finally, when the answer to the mystery is revealed it is shocking and thoroughly satisfactory making this one of the most though provoking and engaging movies in recent history.
Not to be forgotten, is the horror itself. While relying more on psychological horror as averse to gore and violence, the film is able to truly terrify the viewer. Each scene is finely crafted to deliver the full amount of terror possible riveting and frightening the viewer while keeping their interest alive and fascinating their minds with the endless possibilities behind the tape and the bizarre ring that marks its beginning sequences. Never failing to keep the adrenalin pumping and the mind engaged, this is certainly not a film to be watched alone or before bed.
One of the greatest contributing factors to this films effecting aura is the cinematography which was expertly rendered to change normal items such as a chair, an old gilt framed mirror, and a strange dark haired women eternally staring from out the static of a mystical tape, into weird and nightmarish images. This method of using light and darkness to their full potential and thus creating a surrealistic world of terror and melancholy mystery was so well rendered as to make an interesting story truly come alive and capture the enthralled viewer. Through this use of dream like camera work the images on the cursed tape itself proved to be a most interesting, bizarre, and quite eerie montage that set the mood for the entire film and remained in the viewers mind, haunting him or her days after watching the Ring.
Not to be forgotten are the actors themselves who, through their consummate skills and realistic dialogue, truly brought the terror of their situations alive. These arent just people reading cue cards, these are desperate individuals trapped in a strange and life threatening mystery with no end and no hope. Their fears, their perplexity, the very height and breadth of their emotions become ours as we witness their peculiar drama reach its apex.
Added to the tenseness of the film, the weird and dreamlike cinematography, and the wild concept of mystically cursed tapes, is an effective sound track. Through the use of sudden and frightening noises, the viewer will continually find themselves flinching in horror, waiting for the characters immanent demise.
The only possible con that I can foresee is the vagueness of this film. While I personally felt that this deliberate ambiguity enhanced the supernatural mystery, my family (who watched the Ring with me) felt that some aspects could have been elaborated on more thoroughly. However, this is a matter of opinion and thoroughly left to the viewers discretion. For myself, I felt that this enhanced the grim atmosphere and morbid plot.
The special features on the disk included deleted scenes and previews. The previews arent really much. There is a preview for Ringu (the original Japanese film that the Ring is based upon) and a movie that had something to do with rap. The preview was so vague that Im still not quite sure what the last film was supposed to be about. Other than these previews, there is a montage of deleted scenes that really should be watched since they do answer some of the remaining questions, are quite well done, and simply interesting in and of themselves.
Concluding Thoughts: So, prepare to settle in on a cold rainy night with the attic shutters banging, the tree limbs scraping along the side of the house, and the high keening banshee wail of the wind keeping you company in the background and become spellbound by the Ring. Filled with an intriguing mystery that keeps you guessing, realistic characters, and the strange surrealistic world of forlorn phantasms, The Ring is truly terrifying. One of the most original and creative films in modern times, The Ring is not to be missed. Highly recommended.
You have seven days. Sweet Dreams.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older