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Reviewed March 1st, 2003 by Dan Jones


“Everyone will suffer.”

Ah, nonsensical horror movies, where would we be without them?

The Ring was one of those films that just exploded in 2002, mostly due to word of mouth, being hyped as “the scariest movie since The Exorcist” or “The Sixth Sense.” Does it live up to this? Well, that’s quite relative; scarier then “The Sixth Sense”? Definitely. But then again I didn’t care much for The Sixth Sense (*ducks*).

The Ring has one of those plots that could only be found in a horror movie. The gist is that kids are dying. How? Well, it seems there is this videotape (yes, we are talking VHS here...) is cursed in someway, as every time someone watches it they soon receive a phone call (or should I say, a “ring”) that they will die within seven days. Enter Rachel Keller, played by Naomi Watts who decides to examine the strange death or her cousin (whom has died mysteriously); eventually she tracks down the videotape and proceeds to, you guessed it, watch it herself and soon thereafter gets the call. So from here Rachel must try to figure out who is behind this videotape, all while considering the fact that she is to die in seven days.

The plot might sound corny, and from an external point of view it probably is, but for whatever reason it seems to work here. The film is genuinely creepy. It’s one in which you’ll walk away thinking about it, not walk away laughing at the absurdity of it all like some horror movies. It’s evident that considerable thought went into the film to give it the creepiness feel it has with good settings and mood. The acting is fairly decent although nothing that’s going to win any Academy Awards.

All considered The Ring is a good film; I enjoyed it for what it is, a horror film that doesn’t take itself as anything more then a horror film. So, on to the DVD. First off, and I know this is pointless to even mention, but why would someone decide to go with the quote, “SO GOOD, IT’S SCARY” on the box-art. Could they not find anything worse? But anyways...

Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen (please don’t get the Full Screen version), The Ring looks great. The transfer here really translates the mood of the film to the screen. Blacks and dark scenes are very dark and rich with high detail giving a nice and creepy feel. Color contrast is good. No compression problems were noticed, or any edge enhancement issues. The print seems to be in immaculate condition, as I did not notice any grain or damage. Very nice job.

Audio? Again, very nice. The ambience of this film really heightens the creepy factor and the Dolby Digital/DTS tracks provided here do a great job of transferring that creepiness into your room. Dynamic range here is great with the LFE really adding a great punch during the scare scenes. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout. Surround use is fairly good, although perhaps not as enveloping as could be. Which track is the better? Well, in typical fair (at least in my opinion), the DTS track had slightly better imaging across the front soundstage with a little more punch in the LFE. Nevertheless, both will satisfy.

French 5.1 and English 2.0 tracks are also available.

For as well as this film did in the box office, you would think there’d be many more extras on this disc, leading me to believe that this is probably not the last DVD release we will see for The Ring. We have two extras, “Don’t Watch This”, and “Watch This.” Cleverly corny, eh? “Don’t Watch This” is a montage of sorts, with clips from the film and other material. It’s entertaining I guess, even though I don’t really get the point of it. Running at 15 minutes it’s worth a watch, but just a little strange.

“Watch This” is nothing more then a trailers gallery, none of which being a trailer for The Ring. Promotion, promotion, and promotion I guess.

The Ring is a quality horror movie. Its much creepier then your standard B-movie fare and worth a watch for any fan of the genre. While the plot does have some gaping holes, and the overall story might seem a bit absurd, for the most part it works just fine. I wish the DVD had more extras, I’m kind of baffled as to why it doesn’t besides the possibility of an special edition around the corner. But, nonetheless this release does a great job of presenting the film.

Grab some popcorn, turn off the lights, and unplug your phone.


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