The Ring is an effectively scary film, aptly debuting around Halloween, but a little bit of thought reveals a large number of inconsistencies. The inconsisties are required to achieve the thrill and leave one with a sense of wonderment after the film (or dissatisfaction, depending on your personality type).
The story, as it were, involves a video tape that results in the death of the person watching exactly a week later (a phone call is received to confirm this). The tape falls into the hands of intrepid journalist Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) who watches it and then realises the curse is real. Of course, her son Aidan (David Dorfman) also ends up watching it, adding presure on her to solve the mystery in the tape and find a way to survive.
Most of the film is based on a heightened sense of mystery and suspense created by Rachel's hunt for the truth behind the video. There are a lot of chilling and startling moments to keep the viewer engaged (which also conveniently deflect from the lack of any coherent story). As far as the humans are concerned, Naomi Watts is a great actress and she easily carries the film. I liked the fact that the film was set in Seattle, lending an aura of credibility to this gloomy city at this time.
The Ring arrives at a time when I thought scary films couldn't get scarier. The film is effective because it's unfocused and unclear. Take the title for example: What exactly does it mean? The shape seen in the video (which looks like a ring but is the outline of sunlight)? Or the call received when someone's about to die? And who is that on the phone anyway?
In the end, we're expected to walk out and not think too much about it. Which is just the way I recommend watching it, either on the big screen or with a lot of friends with the lights out.