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Horror - Ghosts

The Ring (2002)

Duration1h 55m
RatingsUK: PG, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 15 
Source of storyA Japanese film “Ring” itself made from a novel “The Ring” by Koji Suzuki..
DirectorGore Verbinski
Writers/ScriptEhren Kruger
StarringNaomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Amber Tamblyn, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.1/10 by 346,359 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 71% by 207 reviewers. Review2view: 6.7/10.

Elevator Pitch: A couple of teenage girls are hanging about in the bedroom of one of them when Katie says she had watched a weird video after which she has seven days to live. We are transported to the girl’s funeral where the mother asks reporter Rachel Keller to find out why the girl died. Rachel finds that the guys with Katie have all also died, at 10pm. She goes to the Mountain Inn where the tape had been watched and, going into Shack 12, finds the tape and watches it. It is a weird monochrome presentation. She gets a phone call saying she has seven days. From then on as she investigates and goes to the location featured in the tape, her life seems to be in the balance. Also involved is her son’s father who also was watched a copy of the tape. As the clock ticks down can they survive?

Content: While there is no nudity or sex, or much actual violence I suggest that this film would be very scary for children, particularly since a television is involved in much of the plot. Rachel manages to isolate individual scenes in the film and so is able to go to the horse farm run by Richard Morgan, although there are no horses. She sees a video of Morgan’s daughter in a psychiatric ward and also witnesses Richard electrocuting himself to death. Rachel’s son also sees the video, so she is required not only to save herself but him as well.  

A View: This outing made quite a bit of money both as a general release and on DVD. Watched this with my wife on a Sunday afternoon. It is not wildly violent, intentionally apparently, to get a PG-13 rating but quite engrossing, and in the end a bit shocking – see my comments about kids watching it. Despite the involvement of the TV and video as the centre of the plot it still seems totally viable and manages to conclude satisfactorily. So a film to watch with a few friends and a bucket of beers. 

 Not many ghost films have actually been frightening, but here are three which have been reviewed on this site: The Awakening, The Shining and The Babadook.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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