Owen Gleiberman
November 01, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Ring

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
115 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/18/02
performer
Naomi Watts, Daveigh Chase, Brian Cox, David Dorfman, Martin Henderson, Amber Tamblyn
director
Gore Verbinski
author
Ehren Kruger
genre
Mystery and Thriller
We gave it a B

An elegantly crafted piece of gothic snuff hokum. It’s built around a videotape so sinister that anyone who watches it dies in seven days, and the best thing about the movie is the way it teases us with the revelation of what’s on that tape. The director, Gore Verbinski, uses the electromagnetic ”nowness” of video to give archaic omens a creepy charge. Unfortunately, the omens themselves remain stubbornly old hat. As the Seattle reporter who sees the tape while investigating her niece’s death, Naomi Watts is blond, full-lipped, and wholesomely sensual, with a rare ability to make fear look strong.

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