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"The Ring" Movie Review

Martin Henderson and Naomi Watts star in "The Ring."
©2002 DreamWorks

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Just in time for Halloween comes one of the creepiest films in years, "The Ring." Filled with spooky special effects, "The Ring" will have you cringing in your seat and watching parts of the movie through the slits between your fingers placed firmly over your eyes.

Featuring a superb cast that's firing on all cylinders, the movie has quite a few moments of genuine spine-tingling thrills. Not since "The Sixth Sense" has a film built up the horror and suspense so effectively.

Directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox and David Dorfman, this 2002 DreamWorks film is a remake of one of the biggest Japanese box office hits ever. The story centers around an urban legend that claims if you watch this mysterious videotape, you'll die within seven days. That's right, seven days.

Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) learns about the infamous tape while attending her niece's funeral. Overhearing a few of her niece's friends discussing what may have caused her death, Rachel does what any good reporter would do - she searches out the video, determined to find the source of this legend. Locating the tape in a remote vacation resort that offers individual cabins and not much to do besides watch videos, Rachel pops the VHS tape into the recorder. The tape shows images that are disturbing, violent, and at the end of watching it, the phone rings and a female voice tells her she has just seven days left to live.

Rachel starts to freak out a little bit more with each passing hour as the supposed countdown to the end of her life ticks down. What at first was simply a search for the story behind the film, turns into a matter of life and death when her young son, Aidan (David Dorfman), watches the film and gets a call of his own from the would-be Grim Reaper. Joining her in her race against time is her ex, Noah (Martin Henderson), the father of her son and, fortunately, an expert on analyzing videos.

"The Ring" is not for wimps. There were scenes so startlingly vivid and distressing they linger with you long after the movie's over. The entire cast does a remarkable job of building the terror so that it infects the audience safe in their cushy theater seats. You're literally racing with Rachel and Noah as they rush to uncover the story behind the tape before the clock winds down, and that's a nod to the skill Watts and Henderson display bringing these characters to life.

It's about time moviegoers had a film with a good 'scream' factor. This film delivers the scares in such shocking ways shrieks are bound to escape from a good portion of the audience.

Overall Grade: B+

"The Ring" is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, language and some drug references.

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