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animaatjes-the-ring-76831Remakes are a tricky business, especially if you are remaking one of the scariest films to come along in recent memory. 1998’s Ringu is a masterpiece of atmosphere and psychological terror from Japanese director Hideo Nakata that became a sensation in Asia, spawning a prequel, a sequel and a comic book. It’s difficult to describe the plot without giving away any spoilers, but suffice to say that the story of a reporter named Reiko who investigates the mysterious death of her cousin, only to discover a videotape that kills people seven days after they have watched it will scare the pants off you. The American makers of the The Ring wisely chose to retain the best elements of the original story, but what they forgot to include were the thrills and chills. There are some minor shocks, and one sequence that will upset horse lovers everywhere, but the overall sense of tension that is so pervasive in the original is lacking. Naomi Watts (last seen in Mulholland Drive) is the best reason to see this movie. She’s natural and believable, and even though she is in virtually every scene, seems underused. This whole exercise might have been more interesting if a director who specialized in making horror and suspense films – like M. Night Shyamalan or David Cronenberg – had been given a crack at the material.

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