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The Ring

Director: Gore Verbinski Run Time: 115 min. Format: 35mm Rating: PG 13 Release Year: 2002

Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Lindsay Frost

Introduced by Shay Filmore (She’s Great in That podcast)

A year after her breakthrough performance in Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts elevated this remake of the 1998 Japanese horror movie Ringu with a committed performance as the journalist aunt seeking answers after the mysterious and horrible death of her niece. Seattle is the gloomy backdrop and the color palette works mostly in grays and blacks, effectively creating an unsettling atmosphere and showing restraint from the usual Hollywood glitzing of the sparse original. There is plenty to captivate the eye – creepy kid drawings, troubled horses, and even a bit of that signature Japanese menacing long black hair. If there was any warning to be heeded from how video infects our brains, in this age of YouTube and TikTok it seems rather quaint that one passed-around VHS could do that kind of damage.