Despite Its Cursed Cassette Plot Point, <I>The Ring</I> Is Perfectly Suited to DVD25 Nov, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange
There are few movies that leave viewers more curious than before they've seen them, making them perfect for DVD. The Blair Witch Project was one; it had viewers going online before and after seeing the flick for clues in the faux mystery. The Sixth Sense also prompted viewers to watch the film again to catch all the hints they missed the first time around.
This year's hit The Ring has characteristics of both movies, as well as such scarefests as The Exorcist. It's got an online component (take a look at themorganranch.com) and a surprise ending that prompts viewers to want to watch the film again. It's chock full of mysteries that have elicited more than one conversation with friends about what they thought they saw and didn't see. It's also got a Japanese predecessor, Ringu, with some plot twists not included in the American version from DreamWorks.
Happily, all this adds up to what promises to be a great DVD. DreamWorks holds the rights to Ringu, according to a spokesperson, which should make for a great combo with The Ring. I've seen the original and both films have uniquely scary characteristics. The final appearance of the girl in Ringu is not to be missed.
Since the plot revolves around an investigation of historical newspaper articles and the famous “student film' videotape, the background clippings and ancillary video material possibilities are numerous. Any commentary, especially one explaining the choices made for the American version, would be engaging.
While DVD viewers will be denied the chill of watching the film on videotape (for those who haven't seen The Ring, the plot involves a cassette that kills those who watch it), The Ring is remarkably well suited to the extra elements a disc can offer, including slow-motion and pause capabilities.
Suffice it to say, this jaded video journalist can't wait for The Ring DVD, which means fans will be clamoring for it. DreamWorks may have been a bit surprised by its theatrical success, but here's hoping they'll be prepared and pull out all the stops for the video release.