Rental Reviewer: 'The Ring'

Whether it features ghosts, monsters or aliens, no movie is too sacred from fresh critique when at-home critic Denise Purvis dons the guise of the Rental Reviewer and explores the best (and worst) of paranormal pop culture.

The Ring

I just realized this movie came out in October 2002, nearly eight years ago. To this day, it’s one of the scariest horror films that I've ever seen.  From Gore Verbinski (director of all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films) and starring Naomi Watts, it’s not your typical B-style horror flick. In fact, The Ring is a remake of a 1998 Japanese horror movie, introduced the J-horror genre to the States and spawned a sequel.

The plot: A mysterious, cursed videotape (VHS because not even the devil uses Beta) of creepy, seemingly-unrelated images surfaces and kills anyone that watches it within seven days of viewing the tape. Just in case they weren’t sure they were going to die, they get an ominous phone call moments after watching the haunting grainy tape saying, “You will die in seven days.” Apparently the Grim Reaper is pretty meticulous about delivering its message.

Anyhow, the footage on the tape of the woman brushing her hair, the tree, the well - and pretty much all of it - gives me hardcore goosebumps. So does the twisted corpse of teen Katie (Amber Tamblyn) who watches the film and croaks, who happens to be the niece of main character Rachel Keller (played by Watts). Keller is a journalist who decides to investigate the tape that caused her niece’s death, which ultimately puts both her and her son’s life in danger after she finds out about a dark, evil girl named Samara who caused all of the weird happenings.

The scene: The one scene that still makes me shaky to think about is when Rachel’s ex-husband, Noah, goes over some film prints in his apartment when the television mysteriously comes on with static - in the same exact way that Rachel’s niece’s death occurred. He attempts to turn off the television which promptly turns back on. Creepy Spoiler Alert: A gross, soggy undead Samara crawls out of the television. AHHHH!!! It freaks me out even now  to type about it.

The take: This is without a doubt the most frightening and well made horror film I have seen in my entire lifetime. I remember when I originally watched it at the movie theater when I was still attending UGA and my demonic roommate unplugged all of the cable wires from the TVs so they would only show static. I, to this day, cannot stand static on a television because of this movie.

The extras: 10 minutes of deleted scenes & trailers for some other movies.

The extra extra: Since the DVD is thin on extras, we decided to include the video from The Ring's videotape embedded below.