"Meditate upon these things . . ."
What You Need To Know:
In THE RING, a reporter, Rachel (Naomi Watts), investigates the death of her niece supposedly due to a cursed video tape. She discovers the story of an evil little girl adopted by a horse farmer and his wife. The little girl causes so much harm to the couple and their community that the mother smothers her, pushes her into a well, and covers it with a heavy slab. The evil that possesses the little girl lives on and indiscriminately kills anyone who watches a particular videotape exactly seven days after they view it.
The horror of THE RING is that evil is all powerful, unrepentant, and unrelenting. The Bible advises us not to put anything evil before our eyes, but rather to meditate on whatever is true, pure and holy. The evil imagery of THE RING will etch itself into the moviegoer’s mind and stick with him long after the credits roll. This movie offers no hope for those stalked by evil. The premise of most horror films since the late seventies, including this masterpiece, has been: “you can’t win.” Christians understand that Jesus Christ crushed the darkness long ago, so we can’t lose
(HH, AbAb, OO, FR, L, VV, N, A, DD, M) Humanist premise where own efforts and intelligence will save you with anti-biblical view that evil is all powerful; occult elements including ghost and telekinesis; a few obscenities and profanities; evil girl haunts and kills from beyond the grave, disturbing images including those of maggots, suicide, dead horses, deformed victims of the evil girl’s ghost, man commits suicide by electrocution, girl’s body decomposes before our eyes, evil girl’s ghost is ghastly looking, woman smothers adopted daughter with plastic bag, pushes her into a well, then (somehow) covers it with a slab, girl survives in well for seven days, horse freaks out jumps off of boat and is chopped up by propeller, only bloody water is seen, and woman wakes up from nightmare with dead girl’s handprint burned into forearm; woman in underwear (non-sensual); photo of alcohol; smoking and references to drugs; and, breaking and entering.
THE RING is a scary ghost story. It is about the urban legend of a videotape containing nightmarish imagery. Once watched, immediately after the last image, the phone rings and a girl’s voice tells the viewer that they have seven days to live. What’s left after they die isn’t pretty.
The story opens with two teenage girls channel surfing. When they can’t find something to watch, one of the girls tries to scare the other by telling her the scary story about the deadly videotape. As she’s speaking, the other girl gets very somber and terror is evident in her eyes. She says that: she has seen the tape, along with three other friends; they’ve received their phone calls; and, it has been exactly one week since they have watched it.
Scary things begin to happen. The one girl ends up dead, on schedule, and the other girl is institutionalized on account of witnessing her friend’s death. It just so happens that the dead girl’s aunt, Rachel (Naomi Watts), is an investigative reporter. The reporter’s sister is the dead girl’s mother. She begs Rachel to find out what happened to her daughter. It doesn’t take long before the girls’ schoolmates cough up the videotape story. They say that at least one other of their friends is dead too. The reporter laughs it off until she comes across a claim ticket in her niece’s room for some photos being developed locally.
Rachel picks up the pictures. They are of her niece with the three friends at a remote cabin. Most of the shots are just fun pictures of them cavorting in the woods around the cabin, but one of them shows each of their faces blurred – nothing else in the photo is blurred but their faces – kinda weird, huh? So the reporter chick goes to newspaper archives and finds out that all the children in the picture, including her niece, died at 10 p.m. the same night – seven days after their trip to the cabin.
The next stop she makes, of course, is to the cabin itself. She wants to find out what may have happened there. While snooping around, she finds the tape and watches it. The images on the screen, at first, seem to be of random, unassociated things – collectively disturbing things: A woman in the video is combing her hair while looking in a mirror and then turns to look at the viewer as if she is being bothered by their presence; there is the titular “Ring” that looks like a full eclipse; maggots; dead horses on a beach; a light house on a TV screen with a fly walking around on the screen; a very tall ladder; a woman jumps off an oceanside cliff; an empty chair spins in the air; the upstairs window of a house with a man looking down out of it; dismembered fingers twitching in a matchbox; and, a well in the middle of a field with someone (something?) beginning to climb out of it. Lo and behold, when the tape ends, the phone rings, and Rachel gets her verbal pink-slip. Needless to say, this freaks her out.
She contacts Noah (Martin Henderson), an ex-boyfriend who is a video technician and the father of her little boy, Aidan (David Dorfman). It seems that every picture she has tried to take of herself with her digital camera shows her face all blurry – just like the cabin pictures. She makes Noah try the camera, and he gets the same results. She tells him the story of the videotape, and he demands to see it. Once again, when video ends, the phone rings. Rachel just stares fearfully at the phone and doesn’t answer. Noah thinks she’s just being kooky . . . she didn’t tell him that part of the story . . . just the part where you die in seven days after. The caller leaves a message on the answering machine. Rachel erases it without listening.
Next, Rachel spends a late night researching the images on the tape through the local newspaper archives. It turns out that there is an intriguing story about a horse ranch near a beach with a lighthouse. The ranch was owned by couple who had adopted a little girl. The horses all mysteriously ran into the ocean and drowned themselves, the little girl was institutionalized for a while and then disappeared, and the woman of the house committed suicide by jumping from a cliff near the beach. When she gets home she finds her son watching the video. The phone rings and she ignores it. It starts to ring again and she answers screaming, “What do you want from us?” It’s Noah. He’s seen his face all blurry on the security camera at the local mini-market . . . he’s a believer.
Can Rachel and Noah solve the riddle of the images before they have to die? Can Aidan be saved?
The horror of THE RING’s message is that evil is all powerful, unrepentant, and unrelenting. The Bible not only contradicts THE RING’s message with a Holy, Omnipotent Lord and Savior, but it also says that there are things we just shouldn’t set our eyes upon, nor meditate upon. This movie can be included as one of those things. What ever is true . . . think upon these things.