on 2 October 2003
A television screen full of static hasn't been this frightening since 'Poltergeist'.
In brief (and without revealing anything crucial), a sceptical journalist hears of a videotape which causes anyone who watches it to die seven days later. Of course, she boldly investigates, finds the tape, watches it (in a most foolhardy fashion if you ask me...) and starts to wonder if perhaps the story is true. Because if it is, she has only seven days to get to the bottom of the mystery.
A truly atmospheric psychological thriller, where the horror element is supplied by a steadily growing sense of menace, rather than copious quantities of blood and gore. Creepy, seemingly random images get even more scary as the story unfolds and their significance is revealed.
I have deducted one star simply because there are some deleted scenes in the special features that should have been left in.
Watch it, but not on your own. And you might want to turn all your mirrors to the wall before it starts. Oh, and the day after watching it, don't do what I did and accidentally flip to an untuned channel on the video. I swear I left my seat.
on 3 April 2005
Ok, first off I do feel slightly cheated that my first purchase of The Ring on DVD did not have these extra features. I was in two minds whether to get this new copy because I already had the first issue. But I am such a fan of this film I gave in.
Well, the 'Making Of..' feature is (as most making of features are these days) 'Lovey speak'. All this 'It was wonderful working with .....' and everyone verbally patting each other on the back. THIS DOES NOT TELL ME HOW YOU MADE THE MOVIE!!! I so want to say this to many filmmakers. I want to see the set design, makeup, prosthetics, special effects, fancy camera moves, etc. That's what I call a 'Making Of' feature. I don't care that cast and crew were all one big happy family, and they all got along like the Waltans. So, disappointing.
The mini-movie 'Rings' was quite good. Really, I recon it would have made a better Ring 2 than the one at the cinema, had it been expanded into feature length.
The Easter Egg (entitled 'Don't Watch This') is a confusing mish-mash of deleted scenes thrown together, but this was on the original DVD. Interesting, but would have been better separated, and given optional Directors commentary.
So, all in all medium marks. A star for being a brilliant movie anyway, and a star for a reasonably good mini movie that tells the story of the boy and girl we see at the start of Ring 2 at the cinema. No marks for the Making of Feature. It's time filmmakers stopped fobbing us of with self congratulatory rubbish like that, and no star for not having directors commentary. Oh, and one obligatory star (because you cannot give a no star rating)
If this is a collectors edition, I'm not impressed.
So I settled down on my own (somewhat complacently) and watched The Ring last weekend. I knew nothing about the film other than it being about a video tape and people dying after they watch it. Personally I'm thinking it can't be that scary with a ridiculous storyline like this, so I was expecting one of those tongue in cheek slasher type movies. I can tell you now that this is no picnic in the park; it's an intelligent, haunting and well put together film with a very clever plot. From the opening scene you're drawn straight it and there's no let up throughout. There is little actual gory bits, the scary element is really got across in the bleak washed out filming, the sounds, the imagery and the usual jumps along the way. It does well in making it difficult to predict what's going to happen next and what happens at the end; which is partly what makes it so good. The ending is superb, definitely not what you expect. My brother called right after it finished and I nearly had a heart attack. One that stays with you!
on 28 July 2003
You might think the Ring movie is another typical horror movie, and probably not as good as the original Japanese movie 'Ring', but thats where you're wrong, and have to congratulate it, for keeping what made the original horror film, that special, and adding to it, to make it even better. The plot is about a mysterious video tape, and if you watch it, a women will ring you up, and tell you that you only have 7 days to live. The neice of the reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) happens to watch this video, and dies. Rachel wants to find out the truth about the video tape, after hearing rumours about suspicious deaths linked to the video tape. She finds the tape and watches it...she recieves the same phone call...and suddenly she's out to save herself before its too late. Then the video falls into her sons hand, so with the help of her ex-husband, they try and uncover the truth, by using clues from the video, to save them all. I can guarrantee this film will leave you gripping your chair with suspense! The effects are heart throbbing and spine-tingling, which will leave you too scared for words after watching it! This is the best horror/thriller movie made!! If you haven't already seen it, buy it!! You won't regret it...Just don't pick up the phone after watching it...(!)
on 5 October 2003
I saw this movie twice at the cinema, and i recently bought the dvd. This remake is absolutely fantastic, well acted and the effects are brilliant. Unpredictable, terrifying, and enthralling! Lets hope that they remake the other ring films in the series. By the way, on the dvd, the special features listed are "Dont Watch This Video", "The Video" (long) and Trailer*. If you can't find the video of Samara's message dont panic cuz it is there, i found it yesterday, i was about to return it because this special feature was missing, but then i thought, "well the gimmic of this film was that you aren't supposed to see the video, so it must be hidden" and i was right. The video is hidden, what you need to do is: when you see the red arrow that tells you what you are selecting, keep pressing down until you can't see the arrow, press enter and voila, there it is, it goes straight into it. Enjoy the dvd, its an amazing, one-of-a-kind horror movie.
This movie is purely and simply TERRIFYING!! It creates immediately from the first minutes an atmosphere of permanent bone freezing terror, like I didn't see since the 70s, when both "Omen" and "Alien" premiered.
Every scene in "The Ring" is just perfect, every early scene is a necessary introduction to the later shockers (so watch carefully - there is no dead times), and everything just clicks in the right place at the end, like a Swiss clock mechanism. I just couldn't believe the incredible quality of this major horror.
In fact even more than scared, I was so totally shocked by this movie, that I didn't dare watching it a second time. I also didn't need it - after just one viewing I still can remember almost all the scenes, and I am concerned that I will never be able to forget them, especially the one in which we finally understand, why the heck a movie about a VHS tape is called "The Ring". A great, incredible horror movie. Very clever, very dark, very surprising. Watch it if you dare - and if you dare, you will be rewarded by the highest quality nightmare of those last fifteen years or so!
I saw the original Japanese "Ringu" movie after this one and although I liked it, to my considerable surprise I found that American remake is a real improvement over the original. And that is one more reason to praise "The Ring" as an exceptionnally good film.
on 30 July 2003
My lady and i went to see this at the cinema. Im the sort of hopeless romantic who therefore sits through 'Horrors' with my thumbs in my ears, fingers over my eyes, humming to myself. On the other hand the girlfriend loves to be scared, and generally sits quietly, laughing to herself. But we went to see The Ring and have never quite been the same since.
This movie has both enough gore to satisfy the slasher movie lovers and the 'i cant breathe' suspense of any good psychological thriller. But it also has an excellent, twisty plot which continously changes direction to keep you guessing, and takes so many turns for the worse that you just want it to end. When it does, its such a relief, it all makes sense, and you can relax - your smiling. At this point a 'Carrie-esque' final sting in the tail finishes you off. And dont worry about my having ruined it for you, believe me, you wont anticipate this!
For myself, there was no point trying to block out whats was on-screen, as to close ones eyes only made it worse! Cheryl, as usual, laughed her way through it. Only im now not the one with recurring nightmares months down the line now am i? ;-) So. A good movie for testing your nerve and getting that viceral thrill if your like me, and a delight for the Horror terrorists who think nothing can effect them. Needless to say with the DVD about to be released, we are inevitably drawn to a second sitting - better or worse second time around i wonder? See it!
on 11 April 2005
What a disappointment it is when a studio releases a special edition DVD a week before the theatrical release of the sequel, you just know that it isn't for the viewers benefit.
But, being a huge fan of the movie and not in possession of the previous DVD release i thought i would get this one, the "collectors edition". Very disappointing.
Don't get me wrong This movie is fantastic, truly scary in a Blair Witch kind of way, great acting, great everything. But enough of the lovey dovey stuff - this review is about the DVD.
The features are weak - The "making of" is barely 8 minutes long and is not at all enlightening. The short film - "Ring" - is very good though.
Too bad that there is no commentary - but worst of all is the exclusion of a feature that was on the original DVD, The actual ring video as a stand alone extra. A glaring ommission to make and such a simple one to include.
Too many lacklustre DVDs are being released these days, and this is one of them.
on 11 October 2003
This film scared me to death, a thing not many movies can do! It focusses on a reporter who after her niece and her friends watch a mysterious video tape and die seven days later decides to investigate it and save herself, after her, her ex husband and their son watch the tape as well. The way the mystery unfolds is bound to scare you senseless! The film physicly is not gory or scary-except for the creepy video tape it self-but after the movie it plays with your mind for hours on end. The only thing I disliked about this movie was it's ending. It was a sort of cliff hanger and I would have rather it had ended more happily, but by this time the movie has earned it self enouth credit to make this ending a good round off point to a creepy but enjoyable movie!!!
on 11 February 2004
Usually Hollywood remakes of successful horror films are a less than average job, and not at all scary, but The Ring is a completely different story.
Based on the famous Japanese 'Ring' movie series, which is in turn based on a popular series of novels written by Koji Suzuki, The Ring is a fast pased race against time, and provides the shocks and thrills that most American horrors deliver. The difference between The Ring and most other Hollywood horrors however, is the eerie sense of mystery that is floating around throughout the film.
Throughout the film, the story and characters are shrouded with mystery. From the hints of Samara's past, and the complete lack of details on her birth and origins, to little details like the fact that the title "The Ring" is not actually displayed at the start of the film (instead, a flash image of the Ring itself appears around the 'Dreamworks moon'), the film always leaves you wondering what the history of Samara, and the cursed tape actually is.
After seeing this film I became engrossed in the story, and I then went on to watch all of the Japanese originals. The story of The Ring is very confusing at points, and leaves a lot of room for the imagination to run wild. This film is something completely different to any other horror you are bound to see, and I recommend that everyone should give it a try. For a genuine scare, and a great film experience at the same time, this is the one to choose!
The only let-down is the lack of extras on the DVD - something which the producers intended to happen. Still, it is worth buying the DVD just to see the 15-minute section of deleted scenes. Rather than selecting each scene individually, they are all pieced together in the form of a short film, with short flashes of the 'curse tape' in between scenes.
The only other extras are a trailer (which let me add, is not at all Ring related and very pointless) and a hidden extra which allows you to watch the killer tape itself, in it's longer, freakier form.
Even if you've seen the VHS version, I recommend buying the DVD... I own both of them myself. Although the Hollywood version does lack some qualities of the Japanese originals, it is still a brilliant film, and a genuinely scary one at that.