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The Ring

I saw The Ring last night, and was generally disappointed. The film stars Naomi Watts (from Mulholland Drive) as a reporter for the Seattle Times-Intelligence, whose 16-year old niece passes away from heart failure. Watts’ sister, her niece’s mother, cannot find any record of a 16-year old girl dying this way, and asks Watts to investigate. She learns that her niece had watched a videotape with three other teenagers at a cabin, and soon discovers that all four of them died at the same hour on the same night. The word is, you watch the tape, you have seven days to live.

The film is marketed as a psychological thriller, and it works in parts, but not in others. I confess that I went to the film hoping to be scared sh*tless, and it didn’t happen, not even close. Dozens of giggling teenagers in the theatre, however, were scared as such. I kept waiting for the movie to kick into second gear, with heightened tension, keeping you on the edge of your seat, but this never happens. Watts gets her ex-husband involved, after she watches the tape. He also watches it (of course), and comes to believe in her fear. They begin tracking down the origin of the tape, which leads them to … never mind!

Watts is credible in her role, as are the supporting cast, featuring solid cameos from Jane Alexander and Brian “I Was The Original Hannibal Lecter” Cox. But the movie never takes off in a logical direction. Watts’ son, Aidan, seems to be possessed with a sixth sense (hmm, sound familiar?), and of course, he too sees the videotape. His connection to the solution, and why he has a telepathic power of sorts, is never explained. I’d say more, but I’d be going into serious spoiler territory. **1/2

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