I must say that I am torn about this movie. At first I thought it was a great cinematic masterpiece, similar in character to oft compared and referred Sixth Sense. I left the theater chilled, spooked, and afraid to go back for my knit cap. Then as I warmed up and calmed down, I became cognizant of the copious plot holes that occupied the film. The story and premise in The Ring are fabulous, however the way the tale is executed is the difficult part. The film begins with two girls on a dark and stormy night, talking about a videotape that causes certain death within 7 days to the viewer. After the two dismiss it as an urban legend, we discover that it is more than a myth, as one girl is found dead by the other in a most horrific fashion.
In comes our heroine, Rachael (Naomi Watts), a news reporter who goes on a mission to find out what killed the teen. She finds this cursed videocassette and watches it. It is a collection of incoherent, disturbing and seemingly unrelated images. Our doubting Thomasina becomes a convert when she learns that she is damned unless she can decipher the cryptic cinema before the bell tolls. To aid her on this quest she enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend Noah (Martin Henderson), who also sees the film. As she and Noah begin to solve the mystery, the situation hits a snag; her son gets a hold of the tape and watches it. D'oh.
Now, this movie is supposed to be a supernatural mystery thriller, and even has a precocious kid who sees and talks to dead people. Definitely not your typical horror flick, nor the best. The plot lacks logic, but if you suspend your disbelief and take it with a grain of salt, you could find this film to be entertaining. It is genuinely chilling, but not scary. It has some good and unexpected twists and turns, and the story, especially the ending isn't fully explained. The movie builds tension and suspense, by stringing you along with answers that pose another set of questions. Conversely, it makes the movie seem to drag on forever; just when you think it is going to end, it doesn't. Perhaps it's an experiment in tantric movie viewing.
The main criticism I have are just some observable, correctable, and preventable problems in the movie: Why would you watch a movie that you merely even suspsected could result in certain death, or even a bad rash for that matter? If you did watch it and found you were marked for death, would you show it to someone you cared about? Why wouldn't you show it to someone you resented, if you had the chance? Would you leave it out in the open for your young child to find? Would you keep the movie around after you discovered its sinister nature? If you had 7 days to live, why would you wait til day 4 to really get moving? Why would you buy the idea of a doomed videotape, but dismiss the suggestion that your child communes with the dead? The actions of the main character does very little to debunk the "dumb blonde" postulate.
Well folks, this is a good movie for the Halloween season, but I don't see it destined for the annals of great cinematic works. I've been told if you want to see it done right, get the Japanese version.
Notes: Plot hole galore, ill-logic (pun intended), ineffective use of genre ploys.
Czarina's Caustic Comment or Captious Compliment: The Ring might just turn your finger green.
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