The Ring ★★★★★

Gore Verbinksi's The Ring is a brilliant work of cinema and storytelling -- the kind of brilliant one can't quite fully comprehend, perhaps ever; the kind crafted especially to evade total comprehension. The movie, like its two main characters (Rachel and Samara), has an agenda, which it aims at media-obsessed American (and global) culture. All of its deaths are by television (or Samara, not only a byproduct of publication media on a figurative level, but also an extension of video media on a literal level), and all of its characters are somehow in whatever current predicament they're in because of the media's influence (they all seem to be investigative journalists; one small role is dedicated to the safekeeping of a psych hospital's video library). It's not so much the symbolisms within and the parallels between today's (and 2002's) fiendishly fanatical, eavesdropping society and The Ring's story that make it much more intellectually and creatively provocative than most any other modern-era horror film as it is the artistry and voyeurism with which it was made -- such that is shared in its every detail, specifically the video that gives the film its plot; such that alone proves its function and confirms it effective. After many years since initial release and multiple (5+) viewings, I realize Verbinski's The Ring is an utter masterpiece -- and with the bonus of highly intelligent commentary and satire.