Newest Reviews
Matrix, The
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
  Ring, The
Year: 2002
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox, David Dorfman, Daveigh Chase, Shannon Cochran, Lindsay Frost, Jane Alexander
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 7 votes)
Review: During a weekend break at a cabin by the woods, a quartet of teenagers view the contents of a videotape. Within seven days, all are dead, including Katie, niece of investigative journalist Rachel Keller (Watts). Following a request from her grieving sister, Rachel sets out to establish the connection between the unexplained fatalities and the ultimate in black market videos which now threatens the lives of Rachel, her son( Dorfman) and ex-partner Noah (Henderson). All three have watched the tape and when Noah encounters televisual evidence that the curse affects him, a race against the clock ensues to locate the director of this short film about killing.

Those who have yet to encounter Hideo Nakata's superb Ringu (1998) may well judge Verbinski's remake to be a first-rate chiller, though direct comparisons with Nakata's film reveals a stranger-than-usual hybrid, containing note-for-note scenes and lack lustre additions that fail, in virtually every instance, to insert anything of substance. Would-be crowd-pleasing references to The Exorcist, Carrie, Scream, Psycho and The Sixth Sense can be put down to the usual larder raiding antics employed by many directors, but it's more difficult to forgive Verbinski for diluting almost every scrap of fear and forboding: qualities that Ringu has in spades. The new video footage is, quite simply, a farce; the character of Samora (the 'new' Sadako) instills no fear, unlike her chilling predecessor; Aidan Keller (the son) inspires irritation rather than sympathy, and is far removed from the real latchkey kid of the original, while Rachel's estranged ex-partner suffers most from a script that veers away from what should be the central theme of the breakup of the family. Naomi Watts is easy on the eye as the heroine- once again doing her Nancy Drew bit- but her considerable thespian talents are in no way stretched here.

Add to this a lame subplot involving horse breeding, a ridiculous suicide, the absurd location of the infamous well and a botched sequence where Rachel hunts for Samora (would that this scene had ended up in Dark Water territory) and we can only join Verbinski in limping to a finale which spells out the solution several times in block capitals.

Of course, the real litmus test is whether The Ring works in its own right for those yet to experience the full-on terror of the original. Box office figures and word-of-mouth suggest it does: more grist to a Hollywood mill that will continue to suffocate fresh ideas in favour of the easy option. Maybe we get the cinema we deserve.
Reviewer: Steve Langton


This review has been viewed 8542 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Gore Verbinski  (1964 - )

Born Gregor Verbinski, this visually inventive director got his start in advertising before making his feature debut in 1997 with the anarchic comedy Mousehunt. He helmed the critically-maligned thriller The Mexican and hit horror remake The Ring, while swashbuckling epic Pirates of the Caribbean, with Johnny Depp, spawned a multi-million dollar franchise. He left that after the third instalment to make his first animation, the comedy Western Rango which he followed with a live action one, mega-flop The Lone Ranger, then another flop, the horror remake A Cure for Wellness. Verbinski was also creator of Budweiser's frog TV ad campaign.

Review Comments (1)
Posted by:
Daniel Auty
6 Mar 2003
  Because it's structurally so faithful to the original there was no element or surprise or suspense for me... but I did think it was superbly shot and competently crafted. It's a strong story to begin with, but they really made a mistake with the video itself... the chillingly brief fragments of the original's has been changed in a far-too-long student film complete with squirming severed finger and crawling bugs. And any kid that calls his mother by her first name instead of 'mum' deserves to die horribly.

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: