• Naomi Watts in 'The Ring', which leaves SBS On Demand on September 29th, 2020. (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies

It sounded like just another urban legend: A videotape filled with nightmarish images, leading to a phone call foretelling the viewer's death in exactly seven days. As a newspaper reporter, Rachel Keller was naturally skeptical of the story, until four teenagers all met with mysterious deaths exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video... and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery of the Ring.


When teenage Katie, Amber Tamblyn, dies suddenly, her journalist aunt, Rachel Keller, Naomi Watts, a single mother, investigates. Katie and three friends had been staying in a mountain cabin where they watched a mysterious, surreal video; when it finished, an anonymous phone call warned them they only had a week to live - and all four have died. Rachel goes to the cabin and sees the video herself - and the phone rings with the ominous warning. Seeking help from her ex-lover Noah, Martin Henderson, Rachel finds the trail leads in mysterious directions and she becomes more and more aware that she, and Aidan, David Dorfman, her son, who also saw the video, may be doomed.

This is a Hollywood remake of the Japanese thriller, Ringu of 1998 which was such a hit it spawned a sequel AND a prequel. The original has been skillfully adapted by writer Ehren Kruger and directed by Gore Verbinski - Gore seems an appropriate name for a director of a horror film. And there's quite a bit of creepy horror in The Ring even if the plot is basically rather a silly one. Naomi Watts, in her first starring role in a studio picture, is excellent as the tenacious but understandably frightened woman at the centre of this supernatural mystery.


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1 hour 55 min
In Cinemas 18 October 2002,