The Ring: Collector's Set Gore Verbinski

One of the better horror remakes and even better horror films in recent memory was Verbinski's American spin on Hideo Nakata's original Ringu. The Ring was a surprising box office smash that made over $125 million and this re-release of the 2002 film is in preparation for the much anticipated sequel, featuring Nakata behind the camera. The concept of the film is one of the more frightening and original: a mysterious videotape begins killing off those who watch it within a seven-day span. A journalist named Rachel (Naomi Watts) investigates her niece's death and discovers she died after watching the suspected video. After tracking down a copy of the tape and watching it, Rachel goes on a journey to unearth the film's origin and find a way to undo its fatal curse. Verbinski does a nice job Americanising the Japanese script, which only really fails in its bold attempt to give it more of an arty coating. Of course, he explains a lot more in his version, leaving fewer questions than Nakata, which can rub true horror fans the wrong way. The first disc is no different from its original DVD release. Included is "Don't Watch This," a featurette compiled by Verbinski with exclusive unused footage from the film spliced into a nice visual collage with some previously viewed moments. There are some key scenes that would have worked nicely in a director's cut (the manager of the Shelter Mountain Inn is found dead, explaining why it's closed later in the film), but it's nice of Verbinski to let fan's see what was left on the cutting room floor. The second disc, Rings, contains an exclusive short film that is the money shot of this collection. Showing another side to the videotape's impact, the short captures a group of teenage friends experimenting with the effects of watching the tape. Treating it like some kind of narcotic, the kids see how long they can go before they chicken out and find another person to watch their tape (which will break the curse). Of course, one kid gets screwed in the end and goes on a desperate trip to find someone to save his life. Also included is "Origin of Terror," a featurette that goes behind the urban legend, but really only acts as an explanatory trailer with interviews to promote the film. The cast and crew interviews are typically dull, probing the actors for an in-depth analysis of their characters. Oddly enough, the actual cursed videos, which the film's characters watch, are included with this disc and not the first one. Not surprisingly, they reveal very little other than a piece of work most likely to be found in the portfolio of a pretentious goth art student, save the original one featured in Ringu, which is much shorter and doesn't stray into ridiculous avant-gardism. (DreamWorks/Universal)