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Ring, The (DVD)
The Ring is the critically acclaimed, smash hit thriller David Ansen of Newsweek says "raises some serious goosebumps!" This cinemat ic thrill r ide will keep you on the edge of your seat from the stunning opening to the astonishing conclusion! It begins as just ano ther urban legend - th e whispered tale of a nightmarish videotape that causes anyone who watch es it to die seven days later. But whe n four teenagers all meet with my sterious deaths exactly one week after watching just such a tape, invest igative reporter Rachel Kel ler (Naomi Watts) tracks down the video...an d watches it. Now, the legend is coming true, the clock is ticking and R achel has just s even days to unravel the mystery of The Ring.]]>
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With a Ring reboot on the way (don't watch the trailer, it shows you everything), I thought it would be fun to revisit this movie. This is a well-made horror movie. Every shot and bit of acting seem well-calculated. You have to suspend your disbelief a little bit at the premise, but if you go with it, you will be creeped out—especially once The Tape starts playing without interruption. The shots in tape feel very planned out and you will remember a majority of it once the movie is over.
Another reason I bought this was for the steelbook. The movie comes in a simple steelbook with the film's main marketing image on the front. It's a nice case to add to your collection. Give it another watch and prepare yourself for the next sequel/ prequel(?). Recommended.
The extras are pretty much the exact same deal as the DVD release, save for the inclusion of the terrific short film, "Rings", which serves as a bridge between this film and its terrible sequel, "The Ring Two". I'd go so far as to say that "Rings" is a far better work than "The Ring Two" in its entirety. Other extras include some cast and crew interviews and a montage of deleted scenes.
"The Ring" is still effective after all these years, even if none of us still have our old VHS players. This Blu-Ray does right by the film with solid presentation and a decent set of extras.
First, the premise: An urban legend that watching this particular video, receiving a phone call immediately after watching will cause your death in exactly seven days. Don't we pooh-pooh urban legends? "The Ring" makes us consider their validity.
Second, the video itself. Where did it come from? Who made it? How? Why? So many questions, none answered, ever.
Third, again the video. What do the scenes represent? The strange, surreal images?
That brings in Naomi Watts' character, a reporter doubly bound in the story, first through her son, not unlike the boy in "The Sixth Sense" with his sixth sense for the supernatural. Aiden is definitely attuned to the other world.
Secondly, Rachal is bound to the story through her research. Her niece watched the movie and died horribly seven days later. Rachal first watches the tape, then begins investigating the images. One by one she peels off the layers of this gothic mystery/puzzle/freakshow.
Rachal's appearance in the movie parallels the changes with the story. At the beginning she is frankly beautiful, cool and assured. As revelations unfold and she begins to experience frisson, she begins a shift in appearance, becoming rumpled. By movie's end she is almost gray, as if psychologically preparing to join the urban legend dead.
The viewer's frisson builds. The ending is a nightmare. "The Ring" is definitely a cerebral experience in terror.
One of those fast flashes of film reveals this: "Live birth." An intriguing bit of information that many viewers and reviewers missed or I misinterpreted. It explains better what happens at the well between Anna and Samara.
A definite see-again movie!!
Special recognition goes to Jeffrey Leach for his superb review. Please read his for a great overview of this haunting film.