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The Ring
The Ring (2002)
Title: The Ring
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: Ehren Kruger; Kôji Suzuki; Hiroshi Takahashi
Produced by: Benita Allen-Honess; Doug Davison; Neal Edelstein; Christine Iso; Roy Lee; Mike Macari; Laurie MacDonald; Walter F. Parkes; J.C. Spink; Michele Weisler
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli
Edited by: Craig Wood
Distributed by: DreamWorks SKG
Released: October 18th, 2002
Rating: PG-13
Running time: 115 min.
Country: USA/Japan
Language: English
Budget: $48,000,000 [1]
Gross: $129,128,133 (US)
$249,348,933 (Worldwide) [2]
Next: The Ring Two (2005)

The Ring is an American horror film of the ghost/supernatural thriller subgenre. It was directed by Gore Verbinski and written by Ehren Kruger. The movie is a remake of the 1998 Japanese cult film Ringu, directed by Hideo Nakata, which was based on a 1991 novel by Kôji Suzuki. The film stars Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Lindsay Frost and Amber Tamblyn. It was released theatrically in the United States on October 18th, 2002. The Ring received positive reception amongst critics and viewers and grossed $129,128,133 in the American markets. It grossed $120,220,800 in foreign theaters with a total lifetime worldwide gross of $249,348,933. It spawned a sequel in 2005 entitled The Ring Two.

Plot Edit

Katie - The Ring

Katie - after watching the tape.

We start off with two teenage girls named Katie and Becca who are having a slumber party. Becca begins telling Katie about this urban legend concerning a videotape. Supposedly, if you watch this tape you will receive a phone call from someone who will tell you that you will die within seven days of viewing it. Katie grows concerned and reveals that her boyfriend Josh and she watched the tape last weekend. She then begins convulsing and shaking all over the place. Becca begins freaking out until she learns that Katie is just fooling around with her. They both become alarmed when the downstairs telephone rings. It is only Katie's mom, Ruthie, calling to check up on them. Katie begins walking back upstairs when she notices a pool of water growing outside her bedroom door. She opens the door and her face contorts into an expression of terror as she begins screaming. No one knows what it is that Katie sees.

Flash forward to three days later. Rachel Keller is a blonde-haired thirty-something with a son named Aidan. Aidan Katie's cousin, who we now learn has died due to mysterious circumstances. Not only were they cousins, but they were best friends as well. Aidan's teacher calls Rachel into school to discuss some issues with her. Rachel assures the teacher that she is doing everything she can to help Aidan through this difficult time, but the teacher is concerned because Aidan is drawing these weird crayon doodles of his dead cousin. Rachel doesn't think that it is really all that strange, but for the fact that he began drawing these pictures a week prior to Katie's death.

So now we move ahead to Katie's funeral. Rachel learns that no one can explain the reason for Katie's death. She also discovers that Katie's friend Becca went completely insane and has been remanded to a mental institution. Rachel is a reporter, so naturally her curiosity arouses her journalistic instincts. She begins interviewing people at the funeral. She learns that Katie and her boyfriend Josh watched this mythical videotape a week prior to their deaths. Josh is dead as well - an apparent victim of suicide. She decides to investigate this matter on her own. She picks up some photographs that Katie had taken down at the photomat. When she looks at the group photo of Katie and her friends, she notices that all of their faces are distorted.

Driven even further, she journeys up to the mountain cabin where the teens had been cavorting the weekend prior. She finagles her way into renting the exact same cabin they had used. Once inside, she finds the videotape. She plays the tape and watches a series of strange black and white images including things like: A portrait of a woman, two dead horses in the sea, a box full of severed thumbs, a ladder, a tree, a chair, and a wraithlike image of a girl in a mirror. Immediately after the tape stops playing the telephone rings. Rachel answers it and an eerie voice says to her, "You will die in seven days". Freaked out, Rachel grabs the tape and heads back to town.

Rachel and Aidan

Rachel and Aidan.

Day One (Thursday): Rachel's ex-boyfriend (And father to her child) Noah stops over at her apartment. She describes what she has been doing but is reluctant to show him the tape. But Noah presses the issue until finally Rachel relents and lets him watch the tape. The telephone rings immediately after, but she refuses to answer it. The creepy voice on the other end even goes so far as to leave a message on the answering machine. Rachel takes the tape to work and makes a copy.

Day Two (Friday): Rachel goes to Noah's studio. Noah is something of a photography expert. She tries to get him to divine the origins of the tape and he agrees to analyze it. Ultimately however, he cannot determine where the tape came from. But now we meet Beth, Noah's new girlfriend. Rachel is obviously not completely over her ex-boyfriend because she storms out of the place in a huff. As she stomps out onto the street, she sees a large extension ladder leaning against the building. This reminds her of the ladder she saw on the videotape.

Day Three (Saturday): Rachel visits Becca in the mental institution. Becca is completely withdrawn and cannot even so much a look at a television without freaking out. She talks to Rachel and tells her, "She will show you in four days". Rachel assumes this is in reference to the voice on the telephone. She takes the tape to a lab where she analyzes it at greater detail. She freezes on of the frames where she finds the half-cropped image of a lighthouse.

Day Four (Sunday): So now Rachel is stuck with this lighthouse image inside her head. She goes down to the library and researches lighthouses. As luck would have it, she happens to find the exact one she's looking for on a local resort known as Moesko Island. She researches the island and learns that a woman named Anna Morgan used to train horses there. A lot of horses have turned up mysteriously dead over the last couple of years. Anna herself died some time ago. Rachel recognizes Anna's image from the videotape. In the image, Anna commits suicide by jumping off of a high cliff.

Anna and Samara

Mom doesn't like Samara.

Day Five (Monday): Both Rachel and Noah begin to experience bizarre physical affects due to watching the film. They suffer chronic nosebleeds as well as having their images distorted whenever someone takes a picture of them. Rachel even coughs up an electrode. She also has a dream where she sees an image of a young girl who grabs her on the arm. When she awakens from the dream, she notices that she has a hand-shaped burn mark across her arm. She walks into the living room where she finds her son Aidan watching the copy that Rachel made of the videotape. She freaks out and tosses the thing under a chair. The telephone starts ringing and she refuses to answer it. The phone rings a second time and this time its Noah. He believes her now.

Day Six (Tuesday): Noah and Rachel decide to take the ferry out to Moesko Island. The ferry has a horse stable on it and one of the horses breaks out and commits suicide. He races all about the deck before leaping over the edge into the sea. Once they get to the island the two split up. Noah breaks into the local mental house and steals some records regarding Anna Morgan. Rachel goes to the Morgan farm and meets Anna's widower Richard. Richard explains to her how no one knows exactly why all the horses started dying. She asks about the tape and Richard starts getting fidgety. She begins to understand that the little girl from the videotape is Richard and Anna's daughter. Although she posits the idea to the old man, Richard denies having a daughter.

Rachel leaves and visits another person on the island. This would be Doctor Grasnik. Grasnik reveals that Anna and Richard once adopted a daughter named Samara. This was done after several attempts at having a natural child failed. No one truly knows where Samara came from. All she knows is is that Samara was remanded to a mental health clinic where she inexplicably died one day. Grasnik isn't very forthcoming with the details.

Rachel returns to the Morgan farm. She finds an old videotape (A different one) of one of Samara's sessions at the hospital. The info on the tape isn't very comprehensive, but it reveals that Samara holds resentment for her adoptive father and is somehow tied to the strange equine deaths. Richard sneaks up behind Rachel and hits her across the back of the head. He grabs the television and runs upstairs while Rachel chases after him. He relates how Anna was not supposed to have a child and then he commits suicide. He does this by plugging the TV into a surge protector and then jumping into a bathtub full of water with it.

By this point, Noah catches up with her and the two go into the family barn. They find a hayloft above the horse stables, which is apparently where Samara was forced to sleep. They investigate the loft and find a little bed as well as the image of a tree burned into the wall beneath the wallpaper. Rachel recognizes the exact shape and form of the tree as being identical to one that exists outside Shelter Inn (The place where the original teens died in the beginning of the film).

Samara in the TV

Bitch is in the TV.

Day Seven (Wednesday): Rachel and Noah go to Shelter Inn. They dig up the floorboards to discover that a well is buried underneath. They remove the 'ring'-shaped well cover and toss it to the side. The well is very deep and very dark and Rachel falls inside. While she's panicking and sloshing about in the muck, she stumbles upon the corpse of Samara Morgan. As soon as she touches the body, her mind is flooded with nasty vile images. She sees an image of Samara's mother Anna wrapping a plastic bag over her daughter's head and tossing her into the well. The Morgans then had the Shelter Inn built over top of the well so that no one would ever find out what happened to Samara. Apparently the child always suffered from severe psychological issues. She was driving her mother literally crazy, which in turn angered Richard Morgan, which is why he kept her locked up in the hayloft. Samara grew jealous of the old man's love for horses and so she used her paranormal abilities to make all of the horses get sick and die. What Anna never knew however, was that her daughter survived being thrown into the well. She lived for seven days.

Noah finally rescues Rachel from the well and the two believe that everything is over and done with. They think that by opening the well, they are letting Samara's spirit go.

The following day, Rachel explains all of this to her boy, Aidan. Apparently Aidan has been hearing Samara's voice from time to time and has a bit of insight into what exactly this little girl is all about. When Rachel tells him that she set Samara's spirit free, Aidan begins freaking out. He explains to her that Samara is evil and that she actually ended up doing more harm than good.

Meanwhile, Noah is working in his studio when all of a sudden the television comes on. It's an image from the videotape of the well. He sees Samara crawling out of the well and she reaches out and literally crawls out of the television set. She kills Noah he is found with the same contorted expression that Katie ended up with. Rachel and Aidan go to Noah's place but it is too late. There is nothing they can do. Rachel recalls one of Samara's sound bytes from the hospital tape "She just wants to be heard". Rachel finds her copy of the home video and makes another copy. It is her intention to distribute it to as many people as possible, thus assuring that neither she nor Aidan suffer Samara's curse.

Cast Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • The tagline for this film is, "Before you die, you see the ring".
  • Gore Verbinski is best known for directing the first three films in Disney's Pirates of hte Caribbean film series; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in 2005 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in 2007. While these films are not part of the horror genre, they do contain elements of the supernatural and the fantastic including sea monsters, zombies and undead monkeys!

External Links Edit

References Edit

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