The Ring is another hot load force-served straight from Hollywood's you-know-where. Don't be fooled: the original was a crappy B-grade movie that the producers hope we'll have forgotten so they can deem it a masterpiece. The remake is even crappier, and appears written on toilet paper by a chimpanzee with diarrhea - well, I wish it had been, at least that wouldn't be so clichéd.
The director doesn't waste much time in getting to the 'goods'. The Ring starts out with a shot of two hicks on their couch, hypnotized by the images on their magic picture box and yapping about a videotape that kills people within seven days of seeing it. Within minutes the better looking hick gets to kick the bucket and the uglier hick has an aneurysm, while various analog keyboards play filter sweeps in the background.
Now the deceased happens to be the niece of Rachel (Naomi Watts, pronounced as "pretentious bitch"), an investigative reporter who works for the number three newspaper in a two paper town and is unaware she has no potential acting talent whatsoever.
Naturally, Rachel decides to use her investigative skills to figure out what's going on and ends up getting her son, Aidan (David Dor'k'man - a wannabe Haley Joel Osment), and his father, Noah (Martin Henderson), wrapped up in the weirdness. What follows is a tedious mystery for 90 bloodless minutes where the characters are scared shitless and horrified at stuff that just isn't scary.
The story just dicks around, piling up improbabilities, terrible decisions by characters and laughably bad secondary actors spouting horribly awkward dialog. What's really painful is that we know Rachel's not dying for week, but we have to watch all seven days, where these two fine specimens of molded lard having the combined intelligence of aluminum alloy, snoop around and try to solve the mystery. Finally they solve the incredibly long, boring, fuzzy plot and nobody dies in the end. No, wait! Someone does die! But it gets old fast.
There are a few things that really bug you - for instance, how come Rachel's son is so freakily in-tuned with the supernatural? Maybe I missed it somewhere, but the kid was just damn weird. Another question that pops up is why Aidan does not look like his father or mother. No wonder Daddy left her. And for heaven's sake, how does watching a videotape kill people?
The locales and sets are inexplicable, the plot is inscrutable, and the special effects are dull and repetitive. The background score sounds like a broken analog keyboard being repeatedly smashed with rocks. And the music's so awful, the cemeteries are probably full of corpses sticking decomposed fingers into their desiccated ears. Every character is so poorly defined that we're stuck spending two hours with people how we'd wish were dead. The accents are uniformly screwed up - like the actors had passes for the Bappi Lahiri show and wanted to show they got their money's worth.
The Ring spends more time playing Scooby Doo than it does building tension. It's not scary 'coz it isn't meant to be. It's just tired old horror movie clichés told with a modicum of suspense and a remarkably static style. Director Gore Verbinski (cool name for a horror movie director) achieves an almost Ramsay Brothers level of nonsensical crapulence with this steaming log of insanity.
The Ring does get one thing right - TV can kill you. The stuff rots your brain. Two goosebumps on the scare-o-meter. BOO OOGA-BOOGA ...get scared.