The Ring Blu-ray Review
Have you heard the story of the haunted videotape? People
say that it carries a curse with it. The idea might sound silly to some
audiences today, but The Ring
introduced a terrifying concept: after viewing a video with frightening
seemingly random images it led to a phone call with an ominous and
voice on the other end of the line. An unsettling message would be
you had seven days to live. What did any of that mean? And what would
with only one week left to figure out the mystery?
opening sequence sets the tone as dark and disturbing from
the get-go when a household with two teenage girls winds up having only
one remaining. You find out about the
eerie videotape right away and while it initially sounds like a
the end of the evening suggests otherwise.
film is effective in establishing the eerie mood quickly
and this has a massive impact on how things flow from thereon out.
Keller (Naomi Watts) is an investigative journalist. Rachel's niece is
teenage girl in the beginning of the film. Rachel decides that she has
a story worth
investigating when she finds out that other teens had died in a
bizarre way on the same evening. She overhears teenagers talking about
cursed video while at the passing for her niece and she decides to
mystery herself. This leads her to the cabin where the teenagers
video and she too sees it. A phone rings. She picks it up. Seven
now wonders if the urban legend is true and she feels
the pressure of a time limit to solve the mystery and resolve her
fate. She decides to seek out the help of ex Noah (Martin Henderson).
a son named Aidan (David Dorfman) who is beginning to act strange
death of the niece. Not before long, the stakes are raised to
entire family and the mystery deepens as Rachel learns of a young girl
just be the connection to everything that is happening. Her name's
she appears to have a tragic past.
is one of the best made scary-movies to come out of Hollywood. The
in its design and scope. There is no shortage of amazing cinematography
Bazelli. Gore Verbinski turns in one of his most impressive efforts as
(though I'm fond of the underrated The
Mexican and most people would probably argue Pirates
of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is his best film
- and they are possibly correct in that assessment). The screenplay by
Kruger and the original story upon which this film has been based in
simple in reflection but those are often the best stories that can be
story benefits from being well crafted from conception (its
Kurger, can tend to be hit and miss on projects but with The
Ring he adapted the original story with a reasonable degree of
I saw the film for the first time (in theaters) I was
with one of my sisters and her phone rang during the movie at the exact moment from the opening sequence
where it began to ring in the actual film. We both jumped
out of our seats! The
Ring's startlingly effective filmmaking wants to create goosebumps
viewers by relying upon a classic mystery storytelling method without
to an abundance of sick gore or conventional horror film expectations.
helps it to stand out as a true classic of the genre.
This edition is currently
available only as a Best Buy exclusive.
images used in this review are from the
previously released DVD edition.
The Ring has
been a highly anticipated catalog title release
for the Blu-ray format for years now and it is nice to see the film
way to release at last. Fans won't be disappointed with the wait because this is without a doubt one of
the absolute best top-tier catalog title releases the
format has ever seen. The
clarity is astonishing, the color reproduction was mind-bogglingly
the transfer seems to be free from any print problems at all. Viewers
able to tell a difference between the high-quality nature of this
presentation and many currently-produced blockbuster releases. The
also unbelievably high and I noticed many moments where it hovered
mbps consistently. Those types of bitrate numbers are incredible. This is
one of the
finest transfers I've ever seen for a catalog title.
won't feel skipped out on by the audio. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
sound mix may be a notch below the flawless video presentation but it's
close to being a total match. When it needs to kick in the LFE the
usage does exactly that but it doesn't rely only upon crazy-cool
effects. There are so many moments where it depends upon the
haunting score by Hans Zimmer (one of my favorites from the generally
action-oriented composer). The soundscape is enveloping and it doesn't
Dolby Digital audio is included in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
audio is also included. Subtitles have
been provided in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and in English SDH for
and hard of hearing.
first thing you will notice about this release
is the insanely awesome slipcover included. The cover-art is
includes two images of Samara on the bottom half of the artwork. It's
the best slipcovers ever made. I don't think that is an exaggeration.
original DVD release of The Ring
lackluster in the extras department. This release remedies that initial
somewhat (even if one of the inclusions was an extra included on The Ring Two DVD release - which is also
worthy of a Blu-ray presentation).
majority of these bonus features are presented
in High Definition (though a few are available only in
480p and look almost identical to poor-quality Standard
Definition - an non-anamorphic piece even slips into the mix).
1080p) is a short film promoted as connecting
some of the dots between The Ring and
The Ring Two.
short there are teenagers finding out
details about how viewing the ring video gives them seven days to live
also experiencing weird and baffling happenings around them. These
their experiences, share them, and get someone else to view the video.
disturbing concept, even if it is something which remains largely
the brevity of the work. The ending is unnerving (to say the least) and
short film doesn't feel essential to the Ring universe it is a curious
interesting bonus feature aimed squarely at serious fans of the
was a nice upgrade to include it in superior 1080p High Definition for
Watch This (15:26)
left on the cutting room floor of the film.
and Filmmaker Interviews (7:58) is a pretty standard promotional piece
comments from a few of the cast members and director are reasonably
Origin of Terror (4:00) has the cast and crew talking about the
urban legends and how the story of The
Ring fits into that mode of storytelling.
promoted as being
included on this release but I couldn't find it on the menu. It should
Trailer (2:10, 1080p) is actually a surprisingly dated promotional
forgotten how silly some of the advertisements were for this movie.
that, revisiting movie trailers is a lot of fun and I'm glad a nice
the trailer is on the release.
The Ring is
still one of the scariest and most unnerving
remakes. It isn't quite as effective when compared to the original, Ringu, but it does a more than merely effective
job in bringing the material to an American audience. Naomi Watts had
in tons of movies prior to making this one (including Mulholland
Dr.) but I can't help but feel as though it helped her
career to star in this film. At the time it seemed as though she
started to be
much more popular afterwards. The
Ring remains an ominous creation
with more of an interest in telling a good story than relying on
alone. That's why this is still considered such a classic example of
enjoyed in back in 2002 there's a good chance you'll
still consider this effective now. And if you are new to experiencing The Ring... just make sure that you don't
have a phone near you while you watch it. Enough said?
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.