The Ring parents guide

The Ring Parent Guide

Overall C+

Be careful what you watch! After popping a video tape into her VCR player, Katie (Amber Tamblyn) receives a a mysterious phone call telling her she has only seven days to live. A week later her Aunt (Naomi Watts) is asked to investigate the young girl's sudden death.

Release date October 1, 2002

Violence C
Sexual Content B+
Profanity C-
Substance Use A-

Why is The Ring rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Ring PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, language and some drug references.

Run Time: 115 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

You won't want to be dawdling at the concession stand because The Ring is quick to turn off the lights and introduce its terror.

We recognize the first sure sign of trouble: two attractive teen girls in short skirts are left alone in a rambling house. Katie (Amber Tamblyn) tells Becca (Rachael Bella) about a videocassette she watched a week earlier. After viewing it, her phone rang with a message announcing she had only seven days to live. Sure enough, the creepy scene concludes with Katie literally frightened to death (we see her grotesquely disfigured face), while Becca is left insane.

Cut to Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), a journalist at the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, and Katie's aunt. When her sister asks the investigative reporter to look into the mysterious death of her daughter, Rachel decides to watch the tape herself. After the viewing, the call comes. Still wondering if she's the victim of a harmless urban myth, she tries one other test: Watchers of the video have their faces distorted in photographs. A self-portrait confirms that Rachel is marked by the tape's spell.

Desperate to find answers before her time expires, Rachel enlists the help of her video-techie friend Aidan (David Dorfman), but knows he and her son Noah (Martin Henderson) both risk becoming part of The Ring.

There is no scarcity of scare-factor in this film, which transforms mundane things like TV static into heart-pounding cues. Confining camera angles, muted color palettes, and a few items from the traditional thriller toolbox are precisely blended to make the images and sounds more memorable than the few plot holes and unanswered questions. Yet those very images, which include a suicidal bathtub electrocution and a woman jumping from a cliff, also have the potential to fuel nightmares in young audiences for weeks to come.

Certainly capable of maintaining a tight grip on your popcorn bucket, The Ring's sparse profanities (including one sexual expletive) and near lack of sexual content may make this a choice for older teens and adults looking for a gloomy ghost story, but falls short of ringing our approval for family entertainment.

Directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox. Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release October 1, 2002. Updated

The Ring Parents' Guide

In this movie, “everyday” things become frightening - like static on a television. How does transforming the ordinary into disturbing make horror films more effective?

Death is the central topic in many horror movies - yet they seldom include any conventional spiritual or religious perspectives. Why?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Ring movie is September 10, 2002. Here are some details…

The Ring releases to home video on September 11, 2002. There are no special features included.

Related home video titles:

Movies will often play homage to other films. If you have seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window you will recognize the sequence where Rachel waits on her apartment balcony, peering into the windows of her neighbors. (The filmmakers even included a man in a wheelchair with a broken leg!) For other scary flics, check out The Others and The Sixth Sense.