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"THE RING"
(2002) (Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme Extreme None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Heavy Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Heavy Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: A woman races to discover the secret behind a bizarre videotape that somehow kills those who view it seven days after doing so.
PLOT:
Rachel Keller (NAOMI WATTS) is a reporter for the Seattle P.I. who's raising her young son, Aidan (DAVID DORFMAN), by herself. That's become a bit trickier of recent due to his obsession with death following the untimely demise of his 16-year-old cousin, Katie (AMBER TAMBLYN).

It seems that the teen had previously watched a bizarre videotape that somehow causes the death of anyone who watches it. That occurs exactly seven days after the fact, and now Katie, her boyfriend and two others are dead after doing so. Rachel can't believe that's possible, but starts investigating the story and hears that others know of this urban legend and the fatalistic phone call one receives after watching the tape.

Her curiosity eventually gets the better of her and she ends up watching the tape that is a collection of bizarre and creepy images and imagery. Not believing the legend, she then shows the tape to her friend, Noah (MARTIN HENDERSON), who's similarly skeptical of the tape's lethal capabilities.

Soon, however, enough bizarre events occur that the two begin to wonder if it may be true. Accordingly, they set out to investigate the tape based on its visible and partially discernible content. That eventually leads them to Moesko Island and the former horse farm of Richard Morgan (BRIAN COX) where they come to believe the ghost of a young girl, Samara (DAVEIGH CHASE), is somehow involved in the deaths and other spooky occurrences.

With time increasingly running out, Rachel and Noah race to solve the mystery and figure out if there's a way to avoid being killed.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or are fans of spooky horror films, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic elements, disturbing images, language and some drug references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NAOMI WATTS plays the inquisitive and relentless reporter who uses some profanity and tries to solve the mystery of the videotape before her time is up.
  • MARTIN HENDERSON plays Rachel's friend who turns out to be the father of her child. He uses some profanity and tries to help her with solving the mystery of the videotape.
  • BRIAN COX plays a former horse breeder who's still troubled by the deaths of his wife and daughter.
  • DAVID DORFMAN plays Rachel's son who has some sort of otherworldly connection with the ghost and the supernatural occurrences.
  • DAVEIGH CHASE plays the young girl from the past who seems evil and now haunts and kills people in the present as a ghost.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this horror film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 8 "s" words and several slang terms using genital-based words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is uttered, while a woman is briefly seen in her bra and panties and a photo shows a bare-breasted woman with her arms covering her breasts.

    All sorts of creepy, spooky and frightening material is present throughout the film (along with ominous and scary music and various "jump scenes") that may be disturbing, suspenseful and/or quite scary to some viewers. That also includes some violence (a suicide via electrocution, a mother attempting to suffocate her daughter, several off-screen deaths at the hand of a vengeful ghost, the graphic death of a horse that falls overboard off a ferry, etc.).

    Various characters get bloody noses and some brief glimpses of bloody and distorted faces are seen (along with a body that quickly deteriorates). Tense family material is present in both the past and present, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some drug related comments are made and a few characters briefly smoke.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A friend asks Katie where her mom keeps her Vicadin.
  • Rachel briefly mentions that when she was younger, she and her friends used to go and get high.
  • Rachel discovers a photo of people holding glasses of wine or champagne.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a brief glimpse of a dead girl who was apparently scared to death and her face is bloody and distorted in a very disturbing fashion.
  • Rachel suddenly has a bloody nose.
  • Rachel has bruises in the shape of fingers on her arm that then later turn into some sort of scar.
  • We see some blood mixed with the turbulent water after a horse goes overboard and then under a ferry.
  • A drop of blood lands on some paperwork and we then see that Noah has a bloody nose.
  • A body suddenly and quickly deteriorates into a skeleton.
  • Rachel has some bloody scrapes on her chin.
  • Aidan has some bruises on his arm and some blood comes from his nose.
  • A man's hand is bloody.
  • We see another brief image of a dead person who was apparently scared to death and their face is bloody and distorted in a very disturbing fashion.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Josh breaks into a mental institute's records room to look up some info.
  • We see a flashback to a mother putting a bag over her daughter's head, partially suffocating her and then sending her body down into a well.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to some viewers.
  • After hearing that a videotape she watched supposedly somehow causes its viewers' deaths, Katie suddenly begins to choke (but then admits to faking it). Moments later, the phone rings and her friend looks scared when she gives the phone to Katie (but it's her mom). Moments later, the TV comes on by itself and then does so again. A figure's reflection then passes by on the TV screen. The fridge door then slowly opens. As more ominous music plays, Katie slowly goes up the stairs where she finds water spreading across the floor and dripping off the doorknob. She then goes inside and there's a flash of some horrific image (too fast to tell what it was).
  • A teacher informs Rachel that some drawings Aidan made about death were done one week before his cousin died.
  • We see a brief glimpse of a dead girl who was apparently scared to death and her face is bloody and distorted in a very disturbing fashion.
  • Aidan slowly goes up the stairs toward Katie's room.
  • Rachel finds pictures of Katie and her boyfriend and their faces are distorted (while the rest of them and their surroundings look fine).
  • Rachel watches the notorious videotape and it shows all sorts of surreal and somewhat creepy images including brief glimpses of something coming out of a man's mouth (like a huge worm), maggots, dead horses in the surf, etc. After watching it, she then gets the telephone call saying she's going to die.
  • Noah sees himself in a live surveillance monitor and his face is all distorted (but everything else is fine).
  • Rachel starts pulling something out of her mouth that just keeps coming and looks like a long string (with something on the end of it). We then see water coming out of the end of a phone.
  • A hand suddenly grabs Rachel's arm and we see brief nightmarish images.
  • Rachel discovers Aidan watching the tape and then the phone rings.
  • Rachel goes over to see a horse in its trailer on a ferry. The horse becomes quite agitated, eventually breaks free from its trailer and races about the ferry. It then heads right toward Rachel at the edge, but tries to jump over her. Its back legs catch the railing and it tumbles into the sea (rather graphically). We then see the horse trying to swim but eventually going under both the water and then the ferry (and we see some blood mixed with the turbulent water).
  • A man walks toward Rachel while carrying a large hook in his hand (but nothing comes of that).
  • Rachel returns to Mr. Morgan's house and slowly walks through the place (it seems that no one is there).
  • Rachel finds a man with all sorts of electrical equipment in the bathroom where there's water on the floor. He then gets into the bathtub full of water and then purposefully electrocutes himself.
  • A bunch of marbles come together on the floor and make the image of a pointing arrow.
  • A TV suddenly comes on and nails start coming up out of the floorboards. A whole bunch of bees or something flies up out of a well and Rachel is then knocked down inside the dark well.
  • She then finds herself in waist deep water in the dark and finds nail markings on the wall and the lid slowly closes up above her (as more spooky music plays). She then has a spooky/creepy encounter down there.
  • We see a flashback to a mother putting a bag over her daughter's head, partially suffocating her and then sending her body down into a well.
  • A person's TV suddenly comes on and then does so again after being turned off. The video footage then plays, the phone rings and as scary music plays, a partially decomposed girl crawls out of a well and then comes toward the camera. She then crawls out through the TV and onto the floor, and then starts walking toward him (a very creepy scene).
  • Rachel suddenly approaches a chair with a person in it (it's facing away from her). She slowly turns it and lets out a blood curdling scream.
  • We see another brief image of a dead person who was apparently scared to death and their face is bloody and distorted in a very disturbing fashion.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Scared the sh*t out of her," "No sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "You freak," "Ho'" (whore), "Screwed up," "Pissed off," "Bitch," "Jerk off" (noun), "What the hell does that mean?" and "Idiot."
  • Rachel wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A figure's reflection is seen on a TV screen.
  • We see a brief glimpse of a dead girl who was apparently scared to death and her face is bloody and distorted in a very disturbing fashion. We later see another flash of a similar image.
  • A hand suddenly grabs Rachel's arm and we see brief nightmarish images. She then wakes up and finds bruises in the shape of fingers on her arm.
  • A horse suddenly reacts (visibly and audibly).
  • The sudden sight of a large millipede on a paper might startle viewers.
  • A ghastly arm suddenly grabs Rachel.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays throughout the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 8 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 1 slang term using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 slang term for sex ("did it"), 2 damns, 1 hell, 3 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Christ," "God," "Jesus," "Oh Jesus" and "Oh God Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A friend asks Katie (about her and her boyfriend), "So, did you guys do anything?" Katie then acts innocent and asks, "Do what?" The friend then realizes her act and says, "Oh my God. You totally did it." She then calls her a "ho.'"
  • We see Rachel in her bra and panties.
  • We see a photo of a bare-breasted woman with her arm covering those breasts.
  • SMOKING
  • Rachel smokes once, as do a few miscellaneous characters.
  • Noah buys a pack of cigarettes and a woman tells him that he's going to die from them.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Aidan's cousin recently died and we then see him and Rachel at the girl's funeral where we also see the grieving parents.
  • Aidan's father, who doesn't live with him or Rachel and has just been disclosed to the boy as his father, tells Aidan that he wouldn't be a good father because his own was such a disappointment.
  • We see old video footage of a young girl saying that her father wants her to go away.
  • We see a flashback to a mother putting a bag over her daughter's head, partially suffocating her and then sending her body down into a well.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Urban legends.
  • How events in the past can come back to haunt you.
  • Solving an old mystery.
  • Evil.
  • Mothers raising kids by themselves.
  • How children's artwork sometimes symbolizes more than just artistic expression (such as the desire to be heard).
  • VIOLENCE
  • The ghost kills a person (not seen, although we briefly see the gory results).
  • Rachel goes over to see a horse in its trailer on a ferry. The horse becomes quite agitated, eventually breaks free from its trailer and races about the ferry (with the trailer door hitting a parked car and the horse's hooves breaking the windshield). It then heads right toward Rachel at the edge, but tries to jump over her. Its back legs catch the railing and it tumbles into the sea (rather graphically). We then see the horse trying to swim but eventually going under both the water and then the ferry (and we see some blood mixed with the turbulent water).
  • Josh pries open a door to enter a room.
  • Morgan hits Rachel on the head.
  • A man gets into the bathtub full of water and then purposefully electrocutes himself.
  • Noah breaks things in a cabin. He then breaks some glass to retrieve an ax and then uses that to tear up the floor.
  • A TV slides down and hits Rachel, knocking her down into a newly discovered well that was hidden beneath a floor.
  • We see a flashback to a mother putting a bag over her daughter's head, partially suffocating her and then sending her body down into a well.
  • A man backs into a bookcase and knocks it down, falling onto it and cutting his hand.
  • The ghost kills another person (not seen, although we briefly see the gory results).
  • Rachel smashes the videotape.



  • Reviewed October 10, 2002 / Posted October 18, 2002

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