The Ring

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Director: Gore Verbinki Run Time: 115 min. Format: Digital Rating: PG13

Release Year: 2001

Starring: Brian Cox, David Dorfman, Martin Henderson, Naomi Watts

Seven days…

Urban legends have never been more terrifying, cross-cultural, or technological than in The Ring. When a mysterious surrealistic tape is linked to the hideous deaths of four teenagers, a journalist (who’s niece was killed) and her ex-husband investigate. But as their knowledge becomes first-hand and the life of their young son (who accidentally watched the video) is at stake against the vengeful Samara, they fight not to become victims of legend. Can they make it past their seven days to live?

Gore Verbinki’s re-make of Hideo Nakata’s 1998 Ringu is the perfect example of the relationship between American and international horror cinema. While retaining the palpable terror of the original (the distorted faces, the inescapable knowledge of your death), The Ring transposes cultural trauma of Japan onto the American landscape: the tapes origins are unclear while the boundary between reality and the haunting are increasingly blurred. It remains, like the original, one of the scariest films we’ve seen.

Part of Nitehawk’s February JAPANESE MIDNITE INTENSITY midnite series.