The Ring review by Matt Fuerst


A few tidbits of information about myself to start things out.

I greatly enjoy most movie genres (having even occasionally watched a musical or two) but have always tried to put a bigger dent into the horror section of my local rental store. Throughout high school I succesfully managed to watch every tape that the local vid store had in the video section. If a movie was obscure or banned somewhere in the world, my interest was piqued and I worked to get a copy in my grubby hands. I have always had an interest in the darker side of things, visiting sites on the uglier underbelly of the Internet such as and ones far worse. I am not saying these things because I want to come off as a tough man or because it makes me look tougher than you. I am sharing these because I thought of myself as calloused beyond scared. That is, until last night.

I am sure you have a family member or friend of the older generation that will tell you a "I watched {insert old movie here we now laugh at} at night by myself and I couldn't sleep for a week" story (with slight variations). My mother recalls freaking out about Frankenstein as a kid and had a bad run in with Polanski's Repulsion later in life. This morning my coworker recalled a tale of Amityville Horror and Jacob's Ladder. Myself? I have never had such a tale. The nastiest of zombie movies - no problem, I'll eat my Almond Chicken combo plate while the zombies are munching down on intestines. The most disturbing psychological tales, no problem, I'll let myself get absorbed but come out happy as a sunning iguana. All of this was true, until last night.

Yes ladies and gents, last night I immersed myself in The Ring. A remake of the Japanese original, I expected an interesting tale with some disturbing images thrown together. What I got was a 1 hour, 55 minute knot in my stomach and a sense that I was going to wake up screaming in the middle of the night. In case you missed the hype machine, The Ring involves the story of a mysterious unmarked videocasette. If you happen to watch this video, you mysteriously receive a phone call upon completion. The voice on the other end tells you one thing: "Seven days.". At the end of your seven days, your time is up. You die. Nothing too nightmare inducing yet, right? Our story follows Rachel, a reporting for a Seattle newspaper who happens to come into possession of the tape, and of course watches it herself. In an attempt to save herself, and those she shares the tape with, she begins to unwind the story behind the tape. A set of disturbing, stream of conciousness type images that seem interconnected, but may actually be the clues to a story more disturbing that even her own impending death.

Not too bad of a storyline, and it works, and works well. All the elements come together perfectly. Naomi Watts, already hot as all get out in Mulholland Drive continues to flex her her cute smile and acting muscle in this one. Her son and boyfriend accompany her along for the ride and do their parts suprisingly well. Director Gore Verbinski really delivers the goods. In addition to directing the movie well, he had to direct the movie within the movie, the one on the videocassette, and that thing was creepy. It was very reminiscient of some nine inch nails videos, but the atmopshere worked even better here. The real champions of the film are the set designers. It all works together like a symphony. Dark, dank, dreary. Depressing. It's a grand slam.

I am extremely happy I saw The Ring but I am not sure I am ready for another dose. I am glad that I will have some time to reflect, but will eagerly look forward to the DVD release. Anyway, if you are in the mood for a scare, get yourself psyched up, and take a trip out. I think you'll like (or maybe hate) what you see.

10 out of 10 Jackasses
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