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The Ring

Before you die, you see the ring 

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

The Ring starts with a scene reminiscent of Drew Barrymore’s telephone conversation with the killer in Scream, but that’s about where the similarities between the two films end. Whilst Scream chose to take the make-you-jump-out-of-your-seat approach to horror, The Ring takes the creepy psychological route, with minimal blood or gore, slowly working its dark, uncomfortable story into you.

Watts plays Rachel Keller, an investigative news journalist, who decides to unravel the meaning of a mysterious videotape when she discovers that her teenage niece died after having watched it seven days ago. She finds herself tracing the last steps of her niece to a secluded mountain resort, where she finds the videotape. She decides to watch the tape, and true to the rumours, she gets a phone call telling her she will die after seven days.

Enlisting the help of her ex-husband, Noah (Henderson), Rachel sets out in a race to discover the meaning of the videotape’s contents and lift the curse. During her endeavour, her son Aidan (Dorfman) also watches the tape, adding to her problems.

Central to the plot of The Ring is the tape itself, which thankfully, you get to see the content of. I say “thankfully” because never in a million years could you imagine anything like it. A bizarre cocktail of eerie images, some so everyday-ordinary that it becomes quite disturbing in this alternative context. It’s not until later on in the film that you can start to piece together and make sense of the elements of the video.

In a time when Oscars are given for best score and best sound effects, The Ring plays the minimalist game, with periods of eerie near-silence adding volumes (for want of a better word) to the suspense and intrigue.

As remakes go, The Ring isn’t a bad effort. Whilst it seems to lack the sense of urgency that its Japanese counterpart had, possibly due to the ferocious delivery of the Japanese language over the relatively restrained American tones, it sticks fairly closely to Hideo Nakata’s haunting cult classic, Ring. If you missed the original version when it was last shown at Warwick Student Cinema, then you should definitely not miss this modern horror gem.

Morgan Aramas

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Summer Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Summer Term (35mm)