***½/**** Image A Sound A Extras B
starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox
screenplay by Ehren Kruger, based on the novel Ringu by Kôji Suzuki and the screenplay Ringu by Hiroshi Takahashi
directed by Gore Verbinski
by Walter Chaw Handsomely mounted and undeniably disconcerting, Gore Verbinski's The Ring, the American remake of the first of Japanese horror auteur Hideo Nakata's "Ring Trilogy" (itself based on a series of novels by Kôji Suzuki), lacks a good deal of the original's subtlety but makes up for it with the kind of electronic paranoia that is Yankee stock and trade. The ideas of an unfolding technical mystery, of a protagonist perhaps gifted with second sight, of being a cog at the will of a malignant machine, are borrowed with intelligence and profit from Coppola's masterpiece, The Conversation. The picture even lifts part of that film's dream sequence, a setting within a warehouse before a bank of media equipment, and a quiet tableau of individuals dwarfed by identical apartment units in the sterile honeycomb of modern inner-city housing.