Wednesday, February 1, 2017


The Ring is directed by Gore Verbinski and stars Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, and Brian Cox. The plot of the movie is a journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it. Before I go any farther this review will have spoilers. So if you are interested in watching the film do so before reading this.    The film starts with two high school girls complaining about crappy TV turning it off. The girls start talking about creepy ghost stories specifically a videotape that kills you when you watch it.  The other girl Katie says that she has watched the tape seven days ago than Katie starts choking looking like she's dying, but she's just playing a prank. The phone then rings and she looks freaked out. She really needs to make up her mind either she is freaked out by the creepy videotape or she's not.  They answer the phone and it's Katie's mother. I get the psych-out stuff is supposed to make you unprepared when the freaky shit starts happening, but I'm getting a boy who cried wolf feeling and when the TV turns on by itself I think finally getting to the point.  Katie pulls the plug and an image on the screen moves behind her with the fridge in the kitchen opening.  She goes upstairs to find her room has water coming from under the door opening it up for the iconic death scene. It is a very good opening to the film even with the fake out crap.    We then shift to a school where a young boy is drawing a picture with his mother and our main character Rachel coming into the room to collect the boy.  The teacher talks to her about her son the teacher shows Rachel some of her son's drawings mainly morbid imagery of a girl underground. Rachel says that her son's cousin Katie died three days ago then the teacher says that he drew the pitchers last week.  Later the boy mentions that Katie told him she was gonna die so he's not psychic. Again how much of the tape did she actually take seriously?    The next day Rachel and her son Aiden go to Katie's wake at her house. Rachel talks to Katie's mother and she reveals that the coroner found that Katie died of a heart attack and it's considered a non-suspicious death.  Rachel goes outside to talk to some of Katie's friends and they mention the other girl who was there is now in a mental hospital because of the incident. Rachel wonder's if it was drug related when another guy tells her about the tape and the girls mention they heard about the tape from Katie's boyfriend who also died the same night.  It's a great mystery that's slowly getting revealed.  Back with Aiden, he makes his way to Katie's room. In the room, he looks at the TV seeing the same strange image behind that she did. Rachel then comes in saying he shouldn't be in their snooping and once he leaves she does some snooping. Which is kind of hypocritical as she's done nothing this whole time but snoop during the whole wake. Rachel finds Katie's scrapbook and all the pictures in it have their faces scribbled all over and she finds a ticket for developed photos.    She collects the photos looking through them and they're pretty standard except for one of all the kids with their faces blurry. Rachel finds the newspaper report of the kids' deaths finding they all died at exactly 10:00 pm.  Rachel decides to go to the cabin where Katie and her friends stayed she speaks to the guy at the front desk and shows him Katie's photo. He tells Rachel they stayed in cabin 12 mentioning that all the rooms have tape players showing Rachel their selection and that is when she sees the cursed videotape.  Rachel takes the tape and rents cabin 12.  So Rachel starts to play the tape and once the tape finishes the phone rings and a voice on the other end says seven days.    We then shift to the next day and the film keeps track of the days from now on so it's like a ticking clock for Rachel raising the tension as the week goes on.  Rachel calls her ex Noah who works in photography and video production. Rachel shows him Katie's photo and gets him to take her picture. Her face is now all blurry as well. She brought Noah there to watch the tape but is reconsidering due to the spooky shit. Noah convinces her to let him watch the tape. I thought she was being foolish when she watched the tape, but now that she actually has evidence that this tape might kill you she still lets him watch it that's just stupid.   Rachel's waiting out on the balcony as she sees everyone in the neighboring building watching TV. Which certainly emphasizes the danger of this tape if it was out in the general populace.  Noah joins Rachel on the balcony not taking the tape seriously, but then the phone rings. Rachel hesitates to pick it up until the phone stops ringing and Noah thinks Rachel is just overreacting, but she asks who made it and where did it come from.  So Noah seeing that Rachel's agitated ask for a copy of the tape to study. Rachel goes to work to make a copy of the tape watching it thought once again and while it plays she sees that the tracking numbers for both tapes are completely screwed up. She stops the tape during a part where a fly is on screen and despite the tape being paused the fly still seems to move.    The next day Rachel goes to Noah's place and they start looking into the mystery of the screwed up tape tracking.   Noah enplanes why the numbers don't make sense. They start analyzing the tape and at one point Rachel notices something strange as there's more image outside of the frame. They try to get the tracking to move over, but forcing it too much the VCR just stops. There seems to be some kind of spark between them, but then Noah's assistant comes in to kill the mood.  Noah tells her what Rachel's working on and when he says she should watch the tape Rachel makes a swift exit.  At least she is now being more careful with the tape.  Outside the building Rachel walks underneath a ladder it reminds her of one of the images on the tape.    Day 3 and we move to a mental hospital where Katie's friend is receiving treatment. She's being escorted through the corridor with a curtain being used to keep her from seeing the television, but she still stops walking when she sees it. It is a great way to show us just how traumatized she is.  Rachel starts interviewing her, but she doesn't get any answers to her questions. She starts talking about the tape and when she touches her hand the girl says that "she" will show Rachel in 4 days. Which is pretty menacing considering she's basically telling Rachel she's gonna die.  Rachel takes the tape to a specialized video restoration place to see if she can get any more information from it and she's shown to the machine she needs.  Rachel's printing some images from the tape for reference later and she starts trying to see the extra part of the image again and because of the more specialized equipment the image manages to move and she sees a lighthouse printing the image before the machine shuts down.  As the machine starts back up again the tape stops at the same fly section and although it's part of the tape it continues to move on pause and then Rachel is able to pull it off screen which seems to cause her to have a nosebleed.  This is actually the first proper supernatural thing to happen and it was quite subtle as well which I like the movies been slowly adding to the supernatural concepts while raising the suspense, but without jumping the shark which is how I like my horror.    It's now day 4 with Rachel at the library she's looking through books on lighthouses trying to find the one on the tape and luckily or conveniently for her, it's listed in the book from the exact same angle as the tape.  It's an island called Moscow island. So Rachel goggles the island and she finds a picture of the woman from the tape named Anna Morgan.  She finds some newspaper articles on the island finding the Anna Morgan is linked to a mysterious sickness that killed her prized thoroughbreds and that Anna killed herself jumping from a cliff after suffering hallucinations and Rachel discovers she's been doodling on a picture.    It's the next day again and Noah is at the store buying some cigarettes and looking at the security camera footage he sees his face is all messed up like Rachel's was. Rachel calls Katie's mom to look after her son as she's going to Moscow island to investigate. She takes a drink of water, but then the call is cut short by Rachel suddenly choking on something and it gets kind of gross and pretty disturbing as Rachel pulls one hell of a hairball out of her throat. That something coming out of her throat thing really is most standard horror aspect of the movie so far, but it was well done in terms of acting and the effects were very convincing the whole thing was very difficult to watch which is what you want really.  The creepiness isn't over yet Rachel's pretty shaken and walking through the house she sees that Aiden's bedroom door is open and inside there's a girl sitting in a chair with water around the chair. As Rachel approaches her the girl grabs her arm with a horribly dead clammy hand giving Rachel visions of some kind of medical observation room and then she wakes up from her nightmare finding she has a handprint burn on her arm.  Rachel goes to check on her son, but he's not in bed. He just randomly decided to watch the unmarked tape. I love the fact that you can see a brief glimpse of the girl coming out of the well like the tape is gaining more power in cursing people. The phone starts ringing, but Rachel just picks it up and slams it down. The phone rings again causing Rachel to yell at the supernatural being, but it's just Noah calling he now believes Rachel's story. She tells him that Aiden watched the tape reviling that Noah is Aiden's father.     One more day down and Rachel is dropping Aiden off with Katie's mother and while she's in the house Noah talks to his son talking about why he is not around saying he doesn't think he would be a good father. So instead of maybe not being a good father he doesn't show up at all and makes sure he's not a good father which is stupid.  In the house, Rachel's going through Katie's notebook finding drawings related to the tape. She goes out to the car to get Aiden and then it's time for a road trip to Moscow island. Rachel and Noah get to the ferry and he hands her the drawing her son was making before she leaves. On the ferry, Rachel's going through all the news reports about the island finding an anomaly an article mentions a daughter, but she doesn't appear anywhere else.  While on the ferry Rachel finds a horse in its box petting it, but the horse gets agitated eventually breaking out of its box and running around. Now the horse is reacting to whatever has to do with horses on the tap, however, that doesn't make sense, because for reasons I'll go into later Rachel no longer has a connection to the tape anymore.  The horse runs around the ferry for a bit until it starts running straight at Rachel, but then it jumps hits the side of the ferry and falls into the water.    We then transition to Noah at the hospital Anna Morgan went to he asks for the records, but obviously, there's no reason they would just give those to him. When he says he has been up there before they know he is lying because the records room is downstairs, but it was actually a clever way to find where the records room is and Noah Breaks in.    Meanwhile, Rachel makes her way to the Morgan's ranch looking for Anna Morgan's husband. She finds Richard Morgan in the backyard working on his fences. He knows Rachel is there because of the horse news story. They start talking Rachel pretending she's there just about the horse story. She mentions she knows about his wife's suicide and finding the mirror from the tape Rachel reveals the tape to him, but that's when things get kind of menacing as the guy looks threatening and doesn't want anything to do with the tape.  So he knows more than he's letting on.  Before leaving Rachel ask where his daughter is to which he says that he doesn't have a daughter.  Outside Rachel sees the swing and looking at Aiden's drawing turns out he drew the house with a small child with hair over her face making her think the guy was lying about not having a daughter.  Back with Noah, he finds Anna Morgan's file showing that she tried to have a child many times, but they always miscarried. He suddenly gets a nosebleed causing him to drop a file, but this one is for a Samara Morgan with radiographs of strange images.  Rachel calls Aiden to ask about the picture he drew saying that the little girl showed him the image and that she doesn't like it in the barn because the horses keep her awake and that she lives in a dark place now.  Rachel goes to talk to the island's physician asking about the Morgan's daughter mentioning that she is seeing strange images in her head and if it has anything to do with Samara.  The doctor says that she's heard that before from Anna Morgan after they adopted Samara.  The doctor referred the Morgans to another hospital assuming that Samara is still there.  She also admits that things have been better since Samara's been gone. People really don't seem to like this girl, do they?     Noah's still at the records place asking for an interview tape with Samara. The guy is very protective of his tapes and doesn't want any to leave the building which is a problem when he finds the tape he is looking for is missing taken by Richard Morgan.  That night Rachel goes back to the Morgan's ranch finding the door open and Richard Morgan not home. She goes inside looking for him and in the room with the mirror finds a VCR with the missing tape in the VCR. Rachel starts watching the interview with Samara the doctors ask her why she doesn't sleep and then asking how she made pictures on the radiograph paper Samara seems pretty quiet, but she says she didn't make the pictures she just sees them.  As the tape ends Morgan attacks Rachel taking the VCR with him upstairs. Rachel chases after him accusing him of killing Samara with him babbling about the horrible images Samara would show.  In the bathroom, Rachel finds that he has set up a lot of electrical equipment. He tells Rachel that her son will die and that she will never stop. He then electrocutes himself in the bathtub. Rachel screams from Morgan killing himself, but then Noah comes in to comfort her. Kind of convenient him showing up at that exact time.  Rachel remembers what her son said about the barn and goes to see inside. In the barn, they find the long ladder from the tape leading to a small room. They go up and find it's a child's room. While looking around Noah notices the wallpaper is peeling with something underneath.  They pull the wallpaper off and find that it's the same tree Rachel saw when she first watched the tape. Which leads her back to where she started in cabin 12.    It's Rachel's last day with only a short amount of time left and she's basically given up asking Noah to help Aiden. Noah won't accept that it is to let for her and pulls the phone from the wall knocking over a vase of beads. The beads roll under the table and pulling the rug up they find the wood rotten and pitted using an axe Noah smashes open floorboards and beneath the cabin, they find the same well from the tape covered with a stone slab they push it off. Then the screws in the floorboards above start removing themselves with the TV leaking water. Rachel throws a rock into the well as they wait for it to hit the bottom. Instead, they hear something coming up as a huge cloud of flies comes out and in the confusion, a beam gives way above causing the TV to fall knocking Rachel into the well.  In the well, Rachel finds scratch marks and even worse torn fingernails. Noah goes to find a way to get her out, but looking up she sees the stone is being pushed back over the top trapping her inside.  while struggling with the fire hoes Noah sees the sunset meaning Rachel is out of time.  Back in the well Rachel catches a hand on some hair as she's grabbed once again by Samara giving her a vision and we see what actually happened to her.  We see the well before the cabin was placed there as Samara looks into it.  Anna Morgan approaches Samara talking to her quite sweetly until she sticks a plastic bag over her head suffocating her and dumping her in the well which is very brutal to watch and very dark but to make it darker Samara wasn't actually dead as she sees the well being closed with the ring image.  Rachel is then back to reality with the handprint on her arm disappearing and searching around she finds Samara's body which rather disgustingly decomposes in her arms as she holds her.  Noah returns telling her that it's past her deadline and she's not dead.    The rescue services get Rachel out of the well with her and Noah reflecting on their victory with Rachel not understanding how Anna Morgan could do such a thing and Noah wonders how long you could survive in a well. Then Rachel realizes you could survive for seven days establishing that the seven-day curse is not just an arbitrary time period. Rachel gets home making planes to see Noah more now and she talks with Aiden telling him how they saved Samara from the well.  However, now comes the twist as he's not happy he tells her that they weren't supposed to help Samara. Back at Noah's we see the full extent of the problem. It's his final day and the TV turns itself on. He goes over to the TV turning it off, but it just turns back on now showing the well. Rachel tries calling him but he's distracted by the TV and as he watches Samara starts climbing out of the well and as she gets to the screen she literally crawls out of the TV and this is the very best and creepiest part of the film and the most famous.  Samara chases Noah around the room and as she looks at him the same thing that happened to Katie happens to him.  Simply amazing scene it's the culmination of everything the films been building up to. It's been showing wired things here and there leading to that one hell of a climax which is well known for a very good reason everything about it is just great.  Rachel gets into the apartment finding Noah sitting in a chair and spinning the chair around she sees him dead screaming, but we don't see his face.  She returns home and gets the tape smashing it and burning it in the fireplace wanting to know why she survived and that's when she realizes she survived because she made a copy and her son watched it.  Then we see a montage of everything that's happened and Samara's interview. It's now clear what she means by "It won't stop".  She says her father wanted her to go away, but she knew she couldn't be stopped that way because the big twist is basically Samara wasn't affecting the horses and Anna Morgan by accident she was doing it on purpose and she's actually quite the evil bitch. The film ends with Rachel getting Aiden to make a copy of the tape to show to someone saving him. The title the ring doesn't refer to the actual ring on the tape, but the never-ending circle of the tape curse. The Ring is one of my favorite horror films and I'm going to give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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