The Ring is one of my all time favorite horror…things. Let me explain, as it is not just a movie. It’s also a series of books, that’s how it started. Then it was a Japanese horror movie called Ringu (as of writing this I have yet to do a review for it but it’ll happen). It’s also been drawn as a Manga. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were an anime version of it as well but I haven’t looked that far into it. So, it’spans more media than just the American movie, however, the American version is what I’m going to be talking about today. As usual, nothing will be spoiler-free but this movie came out about 14 years ago so I won’t feel too bad if you were spoiled. You had plenty of time to see it on your own.
The movie opens with two girls in a bedroom, clearly friends and clearly having a sleepover. The first girl (Katie) talks to her friend Becca about this video tape that “kills you when you watch it”. This statement is rather misleading because actually you have seven days before it kills you, but, whatever, they are teenagers. Katie says that she saw it with Josh at a cabin the weekend before. Then they joke around a bit and the phone rings. Becca looks scared and asks “there really is a tape?”
So they go downstairs for some reason to answer the phone because apparently, it’s the only phone in the house? I dunno. It is just Katie’s mother. Becca heads back upstairs and Katie gets off of the phone with her mother. The TV turns on for no reason, just static. Katie turns it off but this happens a few times, to which she blames Becca. Becca isn’t really answering so finally Katie unplugs it and goes upstairs. That’s about the time there’s some weird/ultra fast zoom in onto her face and then a flash of a bunch of images and it cuts to Aiden who is the son of the main character, Rachel.
Aiden has been drawing weird pictures of his cousin dying, since even before she died and Rachel kind of dismisses it cause she’s not the best mother ever. Then she’s asked to investigate the death of Katie since she’s a reporter and “that’s what she does” (according to her sister). That’s what leads her on the path to the cabin where Katie was and then eventually to the video tape that Katie watched with her friends. This gives her seven days to live and she kind of freaks out. She shows the tape to a guy named Noah, who you find out is the father of her kid Aiden but he’s not around because they are divorced or something. She makes a copy of the tape to give to him without knowing that’s the way to beat the curse. Clearly, no one knows. Despite doing this on like day 2 or something she still has all of the curse visions. Which doesn’t make sense to me because according to the video short entitled RINGS you stop having the visions once you make a copy and someone else watches it. Whatever. This movie is still good despite these minor problems. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even think about these things unless you are obsessed with it as I am so I’m really just nitpicking.
Rachel thinks that in order to end the curse she has to find who made the tape and help them or something. This leads her to the Morgan family and to learn about their daughter Samara. Who was, adopted, or something. People say her mother Anna just came home after a period of being away with a baby. The baby was cursed and fucked up and started to kill the horses cause they kept her locked in a barn. Eventually, Samara was killed by her mom suffocating her and shoving her into a well on the property. Later, a cabin was build over the well (which had been capped) and that’s how the tape was made. Basically Samara didn’t die down there right away and she psychically projected the images into the led cap of the well which then transferred onto video when a VCR just happened to be placed right over it. No, the movie doesn’t explain this either but it is explained in the books and that’s why I know that’s what happened.
Alright so then she finds the body of Samara and frees her from the well. Except that’s not what she was supposed to do. Her creepy ass son says this when she tells him. She needs to figure out how to save her son because, surprise surprise, he also saw the tape. Now she’s freaking out, even though Noah thinks he’s safe which he isn’t. Samara comes and kills him too. Upon discovering his body, Rachel seemingly realizes what she has to do (at that point) and ends up getting Aiden to make a copy.
This movie is amazing. The director is Gore Verbinski who is famous for movies like Pirates Of The Carribean. Then you have effects work done by Rick Baker and he’s famous for his horror movie effects across the board, especially with American Werewolf In London, Videodrome, and Star Wars: A New Hope. One of the best in the business and does practical effects work. You have the star power of Naomi Watts, and a cameo by Brian Cox. This movie introduces Deveigh Chase who is chilling as Samara Morgan. On top of that there is an amazing soundtrack which was composed by Hans Zimmer, who arranged the score for The Lion King and also composed music for Pirates Of The Carribean. This is a combination of talent that absolutely cannot lose, especially when you are talking about a horror movie.
It’s one of the only horror movies that actually ever scared me. Beyond the acting and the effects there are hidden frames in the movie that one would only ever see if they were told they were there. Or went to look for them. Back in the day I was super into these movies and a place that was known as The Ring World forums which doesn’t really exist anymore. If it does, it certainly doesn’t go by that name any longer. This movie, as well as the Japanese one and the books all have such an amazing backstory and lore to them. Fan theories and fan works dedicated to it. It’s very well done and even with some of the flaws (which are mostly fangirl nitpicking) this ranks very high on my list of BEST HORROR MOVIES OF ALL TIME! I would urge anyone to go see this, and ignore the third movie that is soon to come out in theaters and will surely be awful.