ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

The Ring (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: October 21, 2002
CAP Score: 51
CAP Influence Density: 1.02

MinMax: -88

The Ring (2002) CAP Mini-thermometers

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

THE RING (PG-13) -- The movie lacks a lot in logic but not in ignominy.

Production: Amblin Entertainment, BenderSpink, DreamWorks SKG
Distribution: DreamWorks Distribution LLC
Director(s): Gore Verbinski
Producer(s): Benita Allen, Neal Edelstein, Christine Iso, Roy Lee, Laurie MacDonald, Mike Macari, Walter F. Parkes, J.C. Spink, Michele Weisler
Written by/Screenplay: Novel: Kôji Suzuki. Screenplay: Ehren Kruger
Cinematography/Camera: Bojan Bazelli
Music: James Michael Dooley, Henning Lohner, Hans Zimmer
Film Editing: Craig Wood
Casting: Denise Chamian
Production Design: Tom Duffield
Art Direction: Patrick M. Sullivan Jr.

Feardotcom? Ringdotcom? Feardotring? Ringdotfear? Apparently, the orginial version of this Japanese thriller was held up from the American market to make way for this remake. In that span, the feardotcom people (Dark Castle) apparently launched their original movie with same idea to compete with the remake The Ring. (Dreamworks). Being built on the same idea -- watching a small screen presentation leads to the death of the viewer -- feardotcom and The Ring share many similarities. Feardotcom gives the victim 48 hours to live, announced by phone call, after visiting a fear website while The Ring gives the victim, also announced by phone call, precisely seven days to live - to the minute - after watching a video tape. In Feardotcom, more attention and detail is given to the content of the website that kills but in The Ring more attention is given to plot and story-telling than to the content of the fear video tape that kills. (Thanks to VidManiac2 for heping me with this paragraph and other tidbits.)

Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts - Mulholland Drive ) is a Seattle newspaper reporter who is given signals from her young son, Aidan (David Dorfman, in an "I see dead people" mimicry performance) in the form of odd and even evil-looking drawings. This movie is quite a shift in character for Watts. In her other recent movie, Mulholland Drive, Watts portrayed a bubble-brained lesbian partner from hick country looking for stardom in Hollywood. In The Ring Watts is a seasoned professional and caring mother quite capable of the wrath of a mother whose son is threatened. And she didn't get in bed with anyone in The Ring. What a shift! Aidan's father is Noah (Martin Henderson), a video engineer. How convenient that Aidan's father is a video engineer.

The story opens with two teenage girls doing a sleep-over I guess, with one of them watching the tape and getting the phone call. Sure enough, seven days later the first girl dies of heart failure, news which brings Rachel into the picture. Curiosity gets the best of Rachel -- she watches the tape. And the obligatory phone call came in seconds. Now Rachel is going to die. In seven days. To the minute.

Relying on Aidan's father's video expertise, Rachel enlists Noah's aid in analyzing the film. In doing so, he watches the tape, too. And dies. Seven days later. To the minute. In a pool of water under his chair. In the days to his death, he and Rachel find pieces and parts that lead Rachel's investigative reporting skills to uncover many things about the tape, who made it and why. Amidst all the mess, Aidan sees the tape, too.

The movie lacks a lot in logic but not in ignominy. The Ring earned a final score of 52 which places it two points into the scoring range for R-rated movies in the CAP comparative baseline database of movies. Examples of material invasive to wholesome ethics and morality include 23 uses of offensive language [Col. 3:8] including two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive, seven uses witihout it [Deut. 5:11] and 14 uses of the 3/4 letter word vocabulary [Prov. 22:11]. Issues of violence include suicide by electrocution, gore, bizzare images, fright factors, graphic decay of human flesh and pulling a long cord attached to a small electrode pad out of a woman's esophagus [Ps. 141]. Additional programming of moral and ethical assaults include smoking by a teen, admission of sexual immorality, the dead grabbing the living, an undead girl climbing out of a TV screen and murder by an unholy presence [Ps. 1:6].

The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will provide all that was noted.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the ever popular "Oh, my ..."]
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Ps. 141:4 Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.
  • Ps. 1:6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    The Ring (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • explosive startles
  • death, unseen but heavy discussion
  • flashes gore, very graphic, repeatedly
  • story of suicide
  • images of bizarre amputated fingers, suicide and other horror things
  • woman pulling long cord from esophagus with electrode pad at the end
  • animal attack
  • breaking and enterting, repeatedly
  • dead body
  • great fall
  • graphic rapid decay of human flesh
  • reckless driving
  • rotting and rotten flesh
  • dead body

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 14 uses of the 3/4 letter word vocabulary, once before a teen and once by a teen
  • arrogance toward mother
  • teacher playing psychiatrist, butting in home life
  • lie to placate
  • lie to attempt unauthorized entry
  • vandalism due to anger
  • destruction of private property

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • admission of cohabitation
  • adult i underwear
  • partial female upper nudity picture
  • birth by immoral sex
  • ghosting of female anatomy through clothing
  • woman in shower

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • smoking by teen

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • visions, inlcuding by a child
  • video of a housefly becoming real
  • unholy presences, many
  • the undead grabing the living
  • unholy healing
  • injury by unholy fire, twice
  • girl coming out of a TV set
  • telephone earpiece oozing water

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • flashes of suicide
  • suicide by electrocution
  • murder of child by mother with flashbacks of it
  • murder by unholy presence

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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