The Ring (2002)
Main cast: Naomi Watts (Rachel Keller), Martin Henderson (Noah), Brian Cox (Richard Morgan), and David Dorfman (Aidan Keller)
Director: Gore Verbinski


I haven't seen the 1998 Japanese version of the movie, so I don't know for sure if the Japanese version is superior like most people say it is. When they showed the Japanese version here in Singapore back in 2000, it was then another one of the many stupid ghost stories flooding the market and I boycotted all of them because... well, because.

The plot doesn't sound good now, and it didn't sound good then in 1998. It's about this video with some strange images of a girl with long hair covering her face and other disconcerting images. You watch this video, and next thing you know, the phone will ring and someone will tell you that you will die in seven days. And guess what? You will! Cool or what?

Naomi Watts play Rachel Keller, a reporter who stumbles upon the strange deaths of her niece and the niece's close friends. These dead teens watched the video one week before they died, naturally. Her investigations lead her to the video. She ends up watching it herself, and when she realizes that her fate may be sealed, she decides to spend the rest of her time trying to find out about this video and hopefully puts a stop to the Evil Video.

If you ask me, this movie sounds like yet another bad right-wing propaganda against the movies.

This movie isn't scary as much as it is creepy. There is an effective air of claustrophobia permeating this movie, and it's a pretty decent watch. That is, until the late third of the movie where it stops being a horror movie and starts being a long exposition of things that can never be explained. Instead of revelling in its plot holes, it tries to explain things, creating only a more bewildering mess out of the confusion. In the end, The Ring becomes more confusing than it should have been if it stuck to being a plain, no-nonsense scary movie.

I am ready to scoff at this movie with something like, "It's not that scary! Them Japanese must be so easily frightened" but that night after watching this movie, I got up at two in the morning for a drink of water. I practically jumped out of my skin when I heard the TV static, and have to whack a sheepish hubby in the head with the pillow for forgetting to switch off the TV and almost giving me a heart attack in the process. Any horror movie that instills some subconscious aftereffect in me can't be too bad - it does its job well, at least.

Rating: 73


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