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By Jim Agnew | October 14, 2002

“The Ring” is a remake of the Japanese hit film “Ringu.” It centers around a mysterious video tape that will cause you to die seven days after watching it. While investigating the bizarre death of her niece, news reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) watches this tape that she discovers in her possession. After doing so, Rachel receives a strange phone call – in seven days she will die if she can’t solve the mystery of the Ring.
“The Ring” has several problems. First off, it isn’t that scary and it isn’t very gory. It’s not even really a horror film as much as it is a murder mystery. And there are several strange casting choices that just don’t work. But what “The Ring” has going for it is that it’s by far the coolest film made by a major studio since Fight Club. Producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald should be commended for letting director Gore Verbinski make a creepy, different and very non-commercial film.
Within the first 30 seconds of “The Ring,” you know that you’re going to see something a little different than your usual studio crap. The opening scene is terrifying and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The images of the deadly tape are also very disturbing. Filmed in rainy Seattle, “The Ring” has a look of dread right off the bat and carries that look all throughout the film.
Namoi Watt’s is okay in her role as the cursed news reporter, but Brian Cox is miscast and misused in his small part. Is Martin Henderson (Watt’s love interest) Ed Burns’ long lost brother? The worst and most annoying character in the film is that of Aidan (David Dorfman), the 8-year-old boy with psychic powers (if you think this sounds like Haley Joel Osment’s character from Sixth Sense, you are correct), who helps Rachel try and solve the mystery of the Ring. Cast aside, the true star of the film is Verbinski who keeps “The Ring” dark, disturbing and original throughout.

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