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The Ring (2002 film)

The Ring
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Produced by Walter F. Parkes
Laurie MacDonald
Written by Kôji Suzuki
Ehren Kruger
Scott Frank
Based on Ring 
by Koji Suzuki
Starring Naomi Watts
Martin Henderson
Brian Cox
Daveigh Chase
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Bojan Bazelli
Edited by Craig Wood
DreamWorks Pictures
Parkes/MacDonald Productions
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures
Release dates October 18, 2002 (2002-10-18)
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $48 million[1]
Box office $249,348,933[1]

The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film[2] directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, Daveigh Chase, Brian Cox, and Martin Henderson. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki (who also helped co-write both film versions).

The Ring was released in theaters on October 18, 2002 and received critical acclaim with critics praising the reliance on dread and visuals over gore and the direction along with the screenplay writing but criticizing the character development. The film also grossed over $249 million on a $48 million production budget making it one of the highest grossing horror films of all time. The Ring was soon followed by a sequel titled The Ring Two.

The Ring is notorious for being the first american remake of a Japanese horror classic and for paving the way for many J-Horror remakes to come after the film's success such as The Grudge, The Grudge 2, Dark Water, Pulse, and One Missed Call none of which have been able to replicate the success of this film with The Grudge coming the closest to doing so.


Katie Embry (Amber Tamblyn) and her friend Becca (Rachael Bella) are having a sleepover in Becca's home. Becca recounts the story of a supposedly cursed videotape. Anyone who watches the tape gets a mysterious phone call and then dies seven days later. Katie reveals that she had watched the tape the previous week. The phone rings, startling the girls, but it is only Katie's mom. After talking with her mother, Katie returns upstairs and dies.

Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is a journalist living in the city. She goes to pick up her young son, Aidan (David Dorfman) from school and finds out from his teacher that he has been drawing disturbing pictures of his cousin, Katie's mysterious death, some of which mysteriously predated it. They later attend her wake where Rachel finds out from her sister Ruth, Katie's mother, how she found her daughter's distorted corpse with a look of pure horror on her face and asks Rachel to investigate the strange circumstances in which Katie died. Rachel discovers that the people who saw the video with Katie died on the same night and same time as her. She also finds out that the only witness to Katie's death, Becca, is now in a mental institution. Rachel then goes up to Katie's room, where she discovers a scrapbook of Katie's with cropped out pictures of people with their faces scratched out. She takes a photography pick up slip and goes home.

The following morning, Rachel goes to pick up the photographs and discovers the faces of all those who died were distorted in the most recent pictures. Her investigation leads her to the cabin where Katie and the others watched the tape. Rachel finds and watches the tape, which includes footage of a well. The phone rings, and she hears a child's voice say "seven days." The next day, Rachel calls Noah (Martin Henderson), her ex-boyfriend, to show him the video and asks for his assistance. He asks her to make a copy and she does.

After viewing the tape, Rachel begins experiencing nightmares, nosebleeds, and surreal situations. She watches the video again, clip by clip, and a fly from inside the tape manages to leave the television screen. Rachel visits Becca in the mental hospital and when Rachel asks her what happened, Becca answers "She will show you" and reminds Rachel that she has four days left. Rachel investigates the tape more and finds out about a horse ranch owned by Anna Morgan and her husband Richard and their adoptive daughter Samara. The horses at the Morgan ranch went mad and drowned themselves, which supposedly caused Anna, a horse-lover, to become depressed and commit suicide. Rachel is later horrified to discover that her son has watched the tape. When the tape finishes, an arm reaches out of the well. Panicked, Rachel calls Noah, revealing that Noah is Aidan's father.

Rachel goes to the Morgan house and finds Richard, who refuses to talk about the video or his daughter. A local doctor tells Rachel that Anna could not carry a baby and adopted a child named Samara (Daveigh Chase). Dr. Grasnik (Jane Alexander) recounts that Anna soon complained about gruesome visions that only happened when Samara was around, so both were sent to a mental institution. Noah goes to the mental institution and finds Anna's file. He discovers that there was a video of Samara, but the video is missing. Rachel sneaks back to the Morgan house where she discovers a box containing the missing video. She watches it and is confronted by Richard, who claims that she and her son will die, and that there is nothing they can do. He commits suicide in front of Rachel by using an electric cable in a bathtub.

Rachel and Noah go to the barn and discover the attic where Samara was kept by her father. There is an image of a tree near the cabin burnt into the wall. They return to the cabin and discover that it was built on top of the well. Rachel falls in and finds Samara's skeleton. She has a vision, which reveals Anna suffocated Samara and pushed her into the well. However, Samara did not die from suffocation and survived in the well for seven days. Noah informs Rachel that the time she should've been killed has passed, causing Rachel to believe that setting Samara free from the well broke the curse.

When Rachel informs Aidan that they will no longer be troubled by Samara, he is horrified and tells his mother that Samara "never sleeps" and they were not supposed to help Samara, just as his nose begins bleeding. Rachel realizes Noah will be the next to die and drives to his apartment. While she does, Noah's television switches on and Samara climbs out of the television. He dies when he looks at her. Rachel discovers his body with a terrified and discoloured face similar to Katie's. Rachel returns home and burns the original tape. She recalls the footage of Samara in the mental hospital and realizes that Samara was truly evil. Rachel wonders why she did not die like the others, and remembers that she made a copy of the tape. She realizes the only way to escape the curse and save Aidan is to have him copy the tape and show it to someone else, thereby continuing the cycle of death as Samara intended.



The film features an original score composed by Hans Zimmer. The music is atmospheric and features many cropped endings. The soundtrack release did not coincide with the film's theatrical run. It was released in 2005, accompanying The Ring Two in an album that combined music from both The Ring and The Ring Two.

The Ring/The Ring Two (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Film score by Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, & Martin Tillman
Released March 15, 2005
Genre Classical
Length 63:50
Label Decca
All music composed by Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, and Martin Tillman.
The Ring/The Ring Two (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No. Title Writer(s) Performer(s) Length
1. "The Well"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner   11:24
2. "Before You Die You See the Ring"   Hans Zimmer   7:09
3. "This is Going to Hurt"   Hans Zimmer, Martin Tillman   2:48
4. "Burning Tree"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, Martin Tillman, Trevor Morris   10:13
5. "Not Your Mommy"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, Clay Duncan   3:59
6. "Shelter Mountain"   Hans Zimmer, Martin Tillman, Trevor Morris   4:10
7. "The Ferry"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner, Martin Tillman, Trevor Morris, Bart Hendrickson   3:15
8. "I'll Follow Your Voice"   Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner   6:28
9. "She Never Sleeps (remix)"       2:17
10. "Let the Dead Get In (remix)"       3:59
11. "Seven Days (remix)"       3:24
12. "Television (remix)"       4:00
Total length:


In order to advertise The Ring, many promotional Web sites were formed featuring the characters and places in the film. The video from the cursed videotape was even played in late night programming over the summer of 2002 without any reference to the movie.


Box Office

The film was financially successful, and the box office gross increased from its first weekend to its second. The initial success led DreamWorks to increase the film into 700 additional theaters.[3] The Ring made $8.3 million in its first two weeks in Japan, compared to Ring's $6.6 million total box-office gross.[4] The success of The Ring opened the way for American remakes of several other Japanese horror films, including The Grudge and Dark Water.[4] A sequel, The Ring Two, was released in North American theaters on March 18, 2005. It was directed by Hideo Nakata, the director of Ring.

Critical Reception

The Ring was met with generally positive reviews from film critics, receiving 72% favorable reviews out of 201 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] The site's consensus reads: "With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts." Metacritic gave the film a score of 57/100 (mixed or average) from 36 reviews.[6] On Ebert & Roeper, Richard Roeper gave the film "Thumbs Up" and said it was very gripping and scary despite some minor unanswered questions. Roger Ebert gave the film "Thumbs Down" and felt it was boring and "borderline ridiculous"; he also disliked the extended, detailed ending.[2][7] IGN's Jeremy Conrad praised the movie for its atmospheric set up and cinematography, and said that "there are 'disturbing images'… but the film doesn't really rely on gore to deliver the scares… The Ring relies on atmosphere and story to deliver the jumps, not someone being cleaved in half by a glass door" (referencing a scene from Thirteen Ghosts).[8] Film Threat's Jim Agnew called it "dark, disturbing and original throughout. You know that you're going to see something a little different than your usual studio crap."[9] Verbinski was praised for slowly revealing the plot while keeping the audience interested, "the twists keep on coming, and Verbinski shows a fine-tuned gift for calibrating and manipulating viewer expectations."[10]

Despite the praise given to Verbinski's direction, critics railed the characters as being weak. The Chicago Reader's Jonathan Rosenbaum said that the film was "an utter waste of Watts… perhaps because the script didn't bother to give her a character,"[11] whereas other critics such as William Arnold from Seattle Post-Intelligencer said the opposite: "she projects intelligence, determination and resourcefulness that carry the movie nicely."[12] Many critics regarded Dorfman's character as a "creepy-child" "Sixth Sense cliché."[10] A large sum of critics, like Miami Herald '​s Rene Rodriguez and USA Today '​s Claudia Puig[13] found themselves confused and thought that by the end of the movie "[the plot] still doesn't make much sense."[14]

The movie was number 20 on the cable channel Bravo's list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Bloody Disgusting ranked the film sixth in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article saying "The Ring was not only the first American "J-Horror" remake out of the gate; it also still stands as the best."[15]


Year Award Category Nomination (s) Results
2002 Saturn Awards Best Movie Horror The Ring Won
Best Actress Naomi Watts Won
2003 MTV Movie Awards Best Movie The Ring Nominated
Best Villain Daveigh Chase Won
Teen Choice Awards Best Movie Horror The Ring Won


A sequel titled The Ring Two was released on March 18, 2005.

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Ring (2002)".  
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Box Office and BusinessThe Ring at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ a b Friend, Tad. "REMAKE MAN." The New Yorker, 2 June 2003.
  5. ^ "The Ring".  
  6. ^ "The Ring".  
  7. ^ clipEbert & Roeper.
  8. ^ "The Ring". IGN. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  9. ^ "The Ring". FilmSpot. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  10. ^ a b "The Ring".  
  11. ^ "The Ring". The Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  12. ^ "The Ring". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  13. ^ Ring' has hang-up or two"'". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  14. ^ "'"No gore, yet scares aplenty in `Ring. Miami Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  15. ^ "00's Retrospect: Bloody Disgusting's Top 20 Films of the Decade...Part 3".  

External links

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