‘Ring’ scares, intrigues; 21st century thriller

Devinn Winkleman

There are only a few movies that can penetrate your dreams and turn them into nightmares. In the 1980s, there was the “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th” series. In the 1990s, we were introduced to the “Scream” trilogy. Now, entering the 21st century, we have “The Cell” and a new contender, “The Ring.”

The Ring is about a mysterious video tape. After watching the tape, the viewer receives a phone call and is told that they have seven days to live. Their faces are blurred when photographed and when they’re seen through a video surveillance monitor. Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalist Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) finds out about this tape and tries to figure out who made it and why. She views the tape and a world of puzzles and illusions unfold in front of her. Then she gets the call – “You have seven days.”

After Rachel gets the call, the movie begins to tell the events of what happens to her each of the seven days. Within each of these days, more about the puzzling film is revealed as the story unfolds. It might not make sense at first, but once you get to the end of the movie, all of the pieces to the puzzle fit into place.

This movie has by far the best story telling in a movie that I have come across. Every inch of the movie will pique your interest – and even scare you.

The special effects in the movie are moody and well done. A memorable scene is when Rachel pauses the tape, she can see the fly from within the TV screen move. She then plucks the fly from its television prison and it buzzes out in our world. Another scene is when the television comes on and a woman appears near the well. She then approaches the television camera from inside the television and steps out of the TV. The static from within the

TV encases her body while she’s walking toward her next victim.

There’s much more to this movie that you’ll have to see in order to appreciate, and the ending is outstanding. It tactfully sets itself up for a sequel, and it deserves one.

The only complaint is that in the final 15 minutes of the movie, after the climatic ending, it drags on and most of it isn’t needed.

The movie is a rare breed of great psychological story telling, great acting and moody special effects that will send a shiver up your spine.