A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Rarely has a more serious effort produced a less serious result than in "The Ring," the kind of dread dark horror film where you better hope nobody in the audience snickers, because the film teeters right on the edge of the ridiculous.
Enormous craft has been put into the movie, which looks just great, but the story goes beyond contrivance into the dizzy realms of the absurd. And although there is no way for everything to be explained (and many events lack any possible explanation), the movie's ending explains and explains and explains, until finally you'd rather just give it a pass than sit through one more tedious flashback.
The story involves a video that brings certain death. You look at it, the phone rings, and you find out you have seven days to live. A prologue shows some teenage victims of the dread curse, and then newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) gets on the case, helped by eerie drawings by her young son, Aidan (David Dorfman).
The story has been recycled from a popular Japanese thriller by Hideo Nakata, which was held off the market in this country to clear the field for this remake. Alas, the same idea was ripped off in August by "feardotcom," also a bad movie, but more plain fun than "The Ring," and with a climax that used brilliant visual effects while this one drags on endlessly.