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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most horror movies actually lack horror -- lots of shrieking blondes, guts, blood and sharp objects. But such is not the case in "The Ring," and to a lesser degree its sequel, "Ring Two" -- these movies have a deeply creepy villain, loads of atmosphere and (mostly) good plotting.
"The Ring" opens with single mum Rachel (Naomi Watts) attending her niece's funeral. Weirdly enough, several of her friends died on the exact same day, at the same time. Rachel investigates the mountain cabin all the kids stayed at a week ago, and finds a 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.
"The Ring Two" opens with Rachel and Aiden (David Dorfman) leaving for a small town, trying to escape the memory of Samara. At first, everthing seems fine. But then a boy is found with a horribly distorted face -- meaning that the tape still exists, and Samara is still able to attack innocent victims.
Even worse, Aiden begins showing signs of psychic power, and seeing visions of Samara in reflective surfaces. Rachel realizes that the ghoul-girl wants to possess Aiden, and must dig even further into Samara's history to find her birth mother. But to save her son, she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice -- herself.
Remaking Asian horror movies is a big thing at the moment, with everything from "The Grudge" to "The Eye" getting the A-list Hollywood treatment, with varying results. 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's a surprisingly good adaptation. Director Gore Verbinski alters a few things from the original film, but keeps the same dark, murky atmosphere and many of the same scenes. Even some of the same camera shots are preserved, though he also amps up the sense of quiet, creeping horror as the end of Rachel's seven days approaches.
For the sequel, however, they got in Nakata himself. And surprisingly, the original director didn't do as well; perhaps he underestimated American audiences. But there's a sloppier feel to "Ring Two," some scenes (the deer) that make no sense, and an ending that was apparently lifted from another of his own movies. Despite this, the performances of the actors and some truly horrifying moments keep it suitably gruesome.
But the keystone of both movies is Naomi Watts. This was the ultimate starmaking turn for this talented actress, and she is nearly perfect as the perpetually worried Rachel; as the deadline approaches, her fear and grief are almost overwhelming. Henderson is also good, whether as a flip carefree artist or as a caring ex, but Dorfman seems less like a little boy than a pompous oracle.
While the sequel is sloppier than the first, both "Ring" movies are horrifying and quietly chilling, with one of the scariest and most memorable killers in cinematic history.
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Many comprehensive reviews here detailing the qualities of these two excellent films.
Just like to add that, unusually for Hollywood, these two remakes of original Japanese films are not a disappointment as often happens.

Well worth watching, excellent value in this box set of both films, and importantly both productions have English subtitles.
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on 29 July 2011
It's quite difficult to apply an appropriate star-rating to a box set because, inevitably, the original film is almost always better than its sequels and this is no exception to that rule. Therefore, four stars is my overall rating because I would give the first film 5/5 and the second 3/5.

The ring is scary and chilling from the start and never lets up. The plot surrounds an urban legend about a mysterious video tape that if you watch it you die 7 days later. Hmmmm, seems fairly mediocre plot so far, but don't be misled because the plot thickens as the story unravels and more and more becomes apparent to the viewer about the nature, origins and meaning of this video tape.

The lead character (Rachel) is drawn into this urban legend when her neice dies after having watched the tape, suffering a very sudden and unexplainable heart attack! She subsequently investigates this tape, and is led to a remote log cabin holiday village in the midddle of nowhere where the girl is said to have watched the video. There she finds the tape sitting on the shelf and, after much deliberation, watches it herself. Then she gets the spooky call: "7 days..." This makes it all real to Rachel and she soon realises she has just seven days to find a way to stop herself from being killed. Throughout the film, the video appears to come to life as she sees certain things from the video in real life. Digging further, she is led to a remote island where the mysterious woman (Anna Morgan) who appears in the video once lived and owned a horse ranch with her husband and their adopted daughter (Samara). Her investigations reveal that the horses mysteriously killed themselves by stampeding into the sea, and it was then all downhill for the once proud Anna Morgan as her pride deteriorates, goes into deep depression, and later kills herself. After speaking to Anna's husband and the locals it soon becomes apparent to Rachel that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to their adopted daughter; Samara.

I won't ruin the plot altogether, as that would be a great shame for anyone who hasn't yet seen it. The ring is simply a great film with a thick and interesting plot, which is based on a Japanese film by the same name. It is very chilling, and the writers do a great job of revealing the story gradually, piece by piece, not divulging too much at once but not leaving too much to the imagination either. The music is scary and atmospheric, and (as opposed to most horrors) the culprit of evil is not a departed and elusive character that no-one can relate to, she is very real and her story is well explained towards the end, and is somewhat sad and moving.

As for the sequel, it again follows the theme of the video tape, carrying on the plot well with Rachel staying the lead character. Having escaped the grip of death in the first film, she soon finds that all is not over when she needs to prevent her son from becoming possessed by her evil arch-nemesis who seemingly wants to "live" through Rachel's son so that she can be "heard" and "loved" by her. However, when Rachel resists this, she upsets the evil spirit and once again must fight to stay alive in Samara's deadly game. Sure, it's not as good or original as the first film, but I must commend it for carrying on the story well and for not departing too much from the original story-line.

This box set is worth getting because each film is, as far as horror films go, chilling and scary as well as intruiging, deep and meaningful. The actors are good and play their respective roles well, and the music fits the on-screen dark setting perfectly.

This is impressive stuff (particularly the first film) and is well worth watching for a good night's entertainment. Just be aware that you may need to keep the lights on for a while after watching it and you may not be able to look at your television set whilst it's turned off for any prolonged period (when you see the film you'll understand why). Also, if you see a video tape sitting on a shelf without any label on it, I'd recommend not watching that and putting on a good DVD instead!
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on 11 December 2012
This was an excellent purchase. It's one of the few remakes of a foreign film that is at least as good as the original. Two films for the price of less than one, too! Very good value. I would recommend it to anyone who likes their horror/ supernatural films subtle and with a slow build-up.
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on 22 June 2015
Great film, especially good to keep on your shelf for the times you want to have a strange and bloody horror marathon. The delivery and quality of the product was excellent, and without a doubt would recommend this seller to any of my friends or family.
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on 3 May 2012
The first movie is absolutely amazing! I wouldn't say it's particularly scary, but it has an amazing sotry line that keeps you gripped with the odd creepy moment. This would have got 5 stars.
The sequel was better than a lot of others I've seen however, it's not as good as the original. It links to the first which is good and used the same characters which made me happy, as a lot don't and I turn them off straight away. It wasn't scary at all at Samara was animated =/ this was a huge mistake, as although the original wasn't really realistic, it was kind of believable...this one was not at all.
It didn't keep me as gripped and I was so frustrated at the end as it didn't answer any more questions about the background, it just created more questions. I would give it a 3/4 star.

Overall, a great horror film due to the story line. But not scary.
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on 19 December 2005
I saw 'The Ring' and was utterly gobsmacked by the end, the fact it ends on you seeing a video tape under the sofa builds up the anticipation for you to want to see the next.
Then along comes 'The Ring 2' the next movie to the two part sequel makes you jump and glues your eyes to the television for the whole movie.
Even though it is not that scary it can leave you with many thoughts streaming through your head when you go to bed. I don't think it was actually intended to be scary but to get you thinking and feel that your in the movie.
These movies come from the Japanese oringinal 'Ringu' which was also no that terrifying but again making jump out of your skin.
One or two of the extras are good but what the hell, your here to watch the movie.
Hope you enjoy.
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on 2 November 2014
This is not a horror movie at all, it does have a spirtitual theme scary...or...jumpy parts what so ever! If horror is what your expecting you will be disappointed! It is however a really well put together movie certainly a must watch!!
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on 18 October 2006
If taking a rather dull Japanese classic and changing certain aspects, such as removing all the boredom, and replacing it with some bloody character development, then using the increased budget to improving things like the videotape instead of rubbish special effects (don't worry, I'll get onto Ring Two in a minute), and yet staying so true to the original is somehow boring, then call me John Smith in Grey. beige, beige, beige. I'm eating celery cooked in peas as we speak. Actually, it's not cooked since that activity is too entertaining for my tiny little mind.

The Ring is not at all boring. I was completely caught off guard, as I was not expecting a psychological chiller when I entered the cinema, and the trailer had been very vague. Even my git of a friend's ruining of the climactic twist didn't spoil the film as I thought he was lying anyway. Ring Two is a different movie from Ring 2 (the Japanese one), as it has a completely different story that does NOT kill the original leading lady in its first five minutes ala the original, and takes an altogether different route that is both comprehensible AND more entertaining than that of its Japanese counterpart. Not even Naomi Watts's sudden decision to swear for the first time in the entire film with just 94 seconds remaining can really detract from the experience, an experience that will even find forgivable some slightly unconvincing CGI deer.

In the end, it's up to you to judge. But I loved the first, liked the second, and would encourage you to not listen to some of the cynics on this page.
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on 14 February 2014
If you like modern'ish horrors with an old skool atmosphere, the first ring is a good buy if you spot it on the cheap, even more-so if it comes with the sequel/2discs. Good piece of escapism...
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