Taking You Through ‘The Ring’er

Imagine watching a disturbing video tape of a spooky fantasy that you can’t comprehend. The phone rings and you’re given a spooky message. Seven days later, you die.

That is the story of the new DreamWorks thriller, “The Ring.” This is another suspenseful horror film done in the same style as “The Others” or “The Sixth Sense.” Viewers are forced to watch the movies at the edge of their seats yet, at the same time, use critical thinking to unfold the story.

In the opening scene, a high school girl is frozen to death moments after watching the video. Disturbing images flash on the screen and the girl screams. The next thing you know, there is static all over the screen. The young girl is the first of many teenagers to suffer the same fate as her that night.

Naomi Watts plays Rachel Keller, a journalist for the Seattle Post. Her niece happens to be the young girl killed in the opening. Keller begins to investigate the strange death, and uncovers information about the tape her niece watched just seven days before her mysterious death.

She tracks down the hotel her niece and her friends had stayed in, and finds the video. She decides to watch it herself, and what she sees is disturbing and inexplicable. Moments after Keller sees the video, the room phone rings and she hears “seven days.” Keller realized that the myth she had heard was true, and she has seven days to uncover the mystery before she dies.

Keller then begins to examine the tape, running off a copy and freeze framing certain parts of the film to uncover continuous clues to the where abouts and locations of the visions from the tape. As Keller begins to uncover the mystery, she discovers an unsolved death that is metaphorically shown in messages through out the video. The clues lead Keller to travel to different places to uncover the origin of the death, and ultimately, the purpose behind the video.

What made the movie so great was that every time the video was examined, some new spooky thing would happen. Keller at one point began to bleed from her nose after finding the locations of a lighthouse in the background. Later, Keller would begin to cough up a small electrode, used in psychiatric testing. The scariest scene, however, was when she paused on a shot of a fly that looked so real on screen, that when she tried to grab it, she pulled out an actual fly from the video.

“The Ring” is a thrilling two hour movie that is perhaps not as scary as “The Sixth Sense,” but certainly just as chilling. Watts leads a cast of supporting actors who aren’t well known, but deliverer a fantastic performance.

“The Ring” is intended to make a viewer imagine a world of fantasy with no literal meaning behind it. It forces you to wonder if it is at all possible to see something so graphic that it can kill you.