The Ring turned 15 this week and with Halloween coming up it was the perfect time to give Samara another visit. Directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson and Brian Cox, The Ring is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ringu.
So is The Ring still any good?Despite an incredibly underwhelming effort with this years A Cure for Wellness, Verbinski managed to create a fairly decent Americanized adaption of the J-horror smash hit. What I love about The Ring is its constant, unrelenting sense of dread and anticipation that something bad is coming. It’s finely tuned film-making, with deliberate camera movement, a great, dread-filled score by Hans Zimmer and a slow pace that you rarely see in horror movies today.
Samara (Daveigh Chase) is creepy as hell in this first film. While she has nowhere near the same effect in the sequels, here she is at the top of her game. Her slow movement, obscuring design and overall presence is effective and terrifying.
Sadly The Ring falls short of becoming great due to the absolute abysmal effort at developing its characters. Before re-watching the film I couldn’t remember any character names (excluding Samara). Watts was just “the mum”, Henderson “the boyfriend” and David Dorfman “the kid”. Re-watching the movie, and those character traits are about all you get to describe them – the mum, the boyfriend and the kid.
The slow pace of the film can lead to some boring moments, but I can’t help but praise the film for taking the time to build tension and atmosphere. The scares come because of this, the general feel of the movie, rather than anything gory or loud.
It isn’t the greatest horror film ever, but it’s a pretty decent one. It’s just a shame that this film was followed up by two incredibly bad sequels. The Ring Two was a convoluted mess and Rings is currently one of the worst movies (and cinema experiences) I’ve had all year.
What do you think of The Ring? How many times have you seen it in the last 15 years? Comment below and on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel for more awesome movie content.