Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Daveigh Chase
According to traditional logic, Gore Verbinski’s The Ring (2002) is a movie that ought not work, since it’s both a PG-13-rated horror picture and a remake—two things that are often cited as the source of everything that’s wrong with the horror genre these days. What The Ring proves, I think, is that it’s not the PG-13 that’s the problem; it’s that the films are generally pitched at undiscriminating teens. As for the remake complaint, well, that’s only a problem if you bring nothing to the table and make a film that’s inferior to the original. I’d argue that The Ring not only brings much to the table, but is an improvement over the Japanese Ringu (1998) in every way. (I’m sure I’ll get an argument on this.) The two films have the same basic premise—that if you watch a certain videotape, you die in one week—but there’s greater artistry and added detail and depth in the remake. In fact, it may just be the creepiest film of its decade. When it came out, I ranked it as markedly inferior to the previous year’s The Others. Now, I’m not so sure.
The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen The Ring Thursday, March 31, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.