Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Nominee #11 - The Ring (2002)
When a mysterious tape resurfaces which causes the death of anyone who watches it within a week, journalist Rachel must investigate.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writers: Ehren Kruger (screenplay), Kôji Suzuki (novel) (as Koji Suzuki)
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
The Ring (2002) has become an icon of the horror genre. This film features Naomi Watts as Rachel Keller, Daveigh Chase as Samara, and also has Brian Cox as Richard Morgan playing the few key characters in a chilling remake of a Japanese film by Koji Suzuki. Directed by Gore Verbinski, the movie is about a journalist, Rachel Keller, who sets out to get to the bottom of her niece’s tragic and brutal death said to have been caused by the curse of a video tape which kills anyone who watches it within 7 days of their viewing.
The girl who watches it in Shelter Mountain cabin dies and her friend who witnesses it ends up in mental rehab. Rachel Keller starts experiencing paranormal symptoms including scary visions and strange nose bleeds. With the help of her ex-boyfriend Noah, she embarks on a nightmarish journey of discovery that gradually unfolds the story of Samara; an adopted child of horse breeder Anna Morgan, who committed suicide after her horses drowned themselves off the island where they lived.
Rachels’ investigations finally lead her to a well where she learns Samara was thrown in by Anna; where she survived for 7 days. After a dramatic encounter with the darkness in the well, Samara’s body surfaces and she is given a “proper” burial. But that isn’t the end of it. When Noah’s 7 days are up, Samara literally crawls out of the TV screen and kills him. The conclusion leaves many questions unanswered and the sword hanging still above Rachel and everyone else who was or is to be involved with the videotape.
There is a deep sadness, darkness and oppressive presence that almost pervades every frame of the movie
If someone were to tell you the plot summary. You’d probably scorn at the very idea of a cursed video tape and a death sentence that follows, and the very idea of some evil being walking out of the TV screen and strangling her victims to death would seem nothing short of a poor joke. Yet this movie is genuinely terrifying. There is a deep sadness, darkness and oppressive presence that almost pervades every frame of the movie; from the video tape scenes which include frightful, disturbing, gross images leaving you wondering what each piece of the puzzle means to the very texture of the whole movie.
The watery theme, the mysterious past of the family who adopted Samara and the very origin of Samara left quite unexplained gives the movie an intensity few horror films have matched. Outstanding acting by Naomi Watts, the terrifying spectre of Samara, excellent direction, editing and screenplay combine to make this not just a convincing mystery movie of a very different kind but easily one of the more unearthly depictions of evil on Hollywood screens!