The Ring (2002) – Throwback Thursday!

Rated PG-13
Horror / Mystery
Try pairing with:  Baked Tortilla Chips

Jen’s Rating:  F

Well I did this one backwards; I watched Rings first but Jeremy suggested we watch this The Ring for throwback Thursday. I was just as disappointed with this one as I was with Rings.

The movie opened with teen girls Becca played by Rachel Bella and Katie played by Amber Tamblyn gossiping and having a sleep over. Within the first 5 minutes one of the Katie dies. Immediately Katie’s aunt Rachel played by Naomi Watts did some research to find out why she died.

Rachel learned from Katie’s friends that Katie and 3 other people died the same day because of a haunted video. During her search she found this extraordinary yet bizarre film everyone was discussing. Knowing what the outcome from watching this film she stupidly still viewed it, risking everything. Rachel and her friend Noah played by Martin Henderson broke down the entire video to try to solve the puzzle on why this video was haunted and causing deaths.

I gave The Ring an F for a few reasons. Again, just like the 3rd movie it was not scary – at all.  Plus, if there is something you don’t want people to see you do your very best to make sure no one sees it so how did Rachel’s son Aidan played by David Dorfman get a hold of the video? At that point I was completely turned off by the movie and could’ve cared less about it. If I had seen this one first I would’ve never made it the 3rd one. I wish I would’ve listened to my instincts and not watched it at all. On the bright side, the actors were phenomenal!

Jeremy’s Rating:  B-

So, when we ended up watching the third film in the series, Rings, recently, I said to Jen, “Hey!  We should watch the original for Throwback Thursday.  I used to love that movie!”  The only thing was, that after watching it again after all these years, it didn’t quite hold up to the classic that I remembered from my college years.  This may be because it’s one of the originators of late 90’s early 2000’s horror film tropes and clichés, but despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy it as I used to, it still held up pretty well over the last decade and a half.  The Ring is the first film in a series that is now a trilogy that follows the now popular formula of different types of media somehow causing the death of those who possess it, watch it, listen to it, and so on.  It is actually one of the first films to realty popularize this method for younger generations, but in my opinion cannot hold a candle to other genre-defining films like Videodrome.

Directed by Gore Verbinski, the film follows Rachel (Naomi Watts), the aunt of a young girl who dies in strange circumstances after watching a rumored videotape with her boyfriend that supposedly kills you.  Not believing the teen rumor, she begins to uncover strange events surrounding the deaths and travels to a small motel where the couple had stayed and originally watched the tape.  Rachel finds the tap and makes the mistake of watching it, and then showing it to her child’s father, sending them on a quest to an island off the north Pacific coast to investigate.  She is not prepared for what she begins to find there and eventually encounters the father of the young girl who appears on the tape, Richard Morgan (Brian Cox).  He becomes less rational over the day that Rachel comes to visit and she is eventually left to solve the mystery on her own, and is full of twists, that ten years ago the viewer may have not seen coming, but have become standard fare in horror thereafter.

The Ring is by no means a bad film, and it isn’t a cliché film technically because it pioneered the type of horror that it was written for.  All the actors do a good job and one scene in particular, highlights Brian Cox’s abilities, and still disturbs me to this day, despite it not being frightening.  I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t enjoy The Ring the way I had many years ago, but at the same time I had expected this as possibility, especially due to its popularity when it originally released.  I honestly think that instead of making a third entry into this series, someone could have gone for a series reboot instead and really breathed some wonderful new life into this original installment.  For all these reasons, I couldn’t bring myself to give it higher than a B-, but it’s still a horror classic for those of you who have not seen it!

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