Initially, I was expecting this film to be a little X-Files; investigate a mystery and see what's killing the kids. A few minutes in, I likened it more to Denzel's Fallen; the investigator(s) had to unravel the mystery or they themselves would surely perish.
About ten minutes after this realised it was one of the scariest films I've seen in a while; not 'teen-slasher' scary, but more of a Kubrik/Lynch scary.
Mouth agape scary.
I'm sure you're all aware of the premise; an idea is taken from a scary Japanese film and pulped out to the hungry masses in the form of Naomi Watts traipsing about in search of the star of one of the most messed up video compilations ever. As a result of watching this aforementioned montage of madness, the character is given seven days to live; up to the minute. This adds to the urgency or finding more to unravel the mystery, and each discovery is more disturbing than helpful.
Accidental viewings of the tape drag more people into the intrigue, and suspense increases with every step. Weirdly distorted photographs of those soon to join this The camera angles and cinematography are amazing; contrasting the unnatural horrors with a serenely beautiful natural backdrop.
It's this sort of contrast that heightened my own fear; but idiots in the cinema who insisted on making a phone ring after every time the creepy clip was shown get nothing but fierce end of my sarcastic-stick. Is there some website telling you clowns how to be bigger and better idiots?
At any rate, The Ring is about two hours of fierce concentration; edge-of-seat tension and make what you will of the ending; it raises as many questions as it answers, If not more. I don't understand the makeup though; the gruesome she-child looks like the guy (correct me if I'm wrong here) from Mortiis; bad skin and odd nose. Despite this, I never looked at my watch nor shifted position on my seat.
I'd likely see it again (you know, to look for "clues"), but not until the creepy images are not so strong in my brain that I suffer fear and anxiety just prior to sleep.
Reviewed on Saturday, 16 November 2002