The Ring/Rings Collector's Set (2005)
Starring:
Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman
Directed By:
Gore Verbinski (The Ring), Jonathan Liebesman (Rings)
Grade
B+

With the impending release of The Ring Two, sequel to the successful The Ring, Dreamworks has decided to release a 2 DVD "set" that includes the original film and a new disc called Rings, which serves as both a teaser and a segue between the two movies. I won't go into much depth over The Ring, as the story and review of the film has already been covered. The DVD comes with enough extras to prove as a nice diversion, but you're really only going to watch the disc for the movie.

Rings, on the other hand, proves to be less than an hour's worth of additional content, which honestly feels like a traditional bonus disc that should have been released with the original DVD launch. The feature of the disc is a sixteen minute short film that's intended to bridge the gap between the two movies, directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls). If you've seen the television spot for The Ring Two, you should recognize the main actor of the short film as the boy who is showing off the cursed tape to a girl we are led to assume is his girlfriend.

In the short film, though, the story plays up more of an underground "cult" of teens obsessed with the videotape that finds itself replicating like a virus. These teens copy the tape, show it to another in their group and play a game of chicken in which they see how long they can go before showing their tape to the next member. All the while, they're videotaping their life events and uploading the video onto the internet to share with other groups of teens. But, Rings finds the main character on his seventh day, desperate to find someone to watch his copy as the next person in the chain bails on him (thought I think it may have been a set up by the other people in the group to finally see a Day Seven). This leads to the point where The Ring Two starts.

The Rings short-film is intense and shows a lot of promise. If this is the conceptual take the The Ring Two takes, it should be a far more intense and shocking flick as the presence of the supernatural is far more present. In fact, Samara shows up more as a menacing spirit in these sixteen minutes than she was in the first film as a whole. There is a stronger focus on water (a tell-tale sign of author Koji Suzuki's influence on the story) and items that seemed odd in the first film (like the presence of a ladder out of nowhere) are given an odd revelation.

Along with the short film is a short series of cast and director interviews from The Ring. This serve as a nice augment, but really don't go into a lot of depth. Honestly, I felt they were over before they really got going, which really just made me want more. Along with this is The Origin of Terror, another small piece that proves to be a nice augment but would have been great if longer.

The last thing that the Rings DVD offers is trailers for the first movie and The Ring Two and an uncensored look at the cursed videos from The Ring, Ringu and The Ring Two. The trailers are nice - it's good to see the first teaser trailer from the theaters for The Ring Two again. I would have to say it's rather nice to see the cursed tape from the sequel before it hits the theater. In the new video, a lot of the scenes are sequences that have already been revealed in the commercials, so I don't know how intimidating the cursed video will be this time around.

If you're into the whole Ring/Ringu mythos, then this set is worth hunting down. If for some reason you didn't pick up The Ring at an earlier date, then do so now. Doing so before The Ring Two hits the theaters would actually be a great idea as this really works to build up to the sequel.

- - Kinderfeld

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