'The Ring,' Fact Or Fiction?

Posted July 19,2002 - 04:07 PM

In a world where it's becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish between reality and imagination, Dreamworks is setting the standard for blurring the lines. After a very successful online murder/mystery marketing campaign for A.I., Dreamworks has cooked up another unique promotional strategy for the upcoming The Ring, a Gore Verbinski film starring Naomi Watts. The idea behind the film is that a video is circulating that contains disturbing images. Once a viewer is done watching the video, the phone rings and on the other end, a voice says "You have one week to live." While on face value, the movie seems harmless enough, there's more going on. The Dreamworks movie is based on a Japanese movie released in 1998 that attempted to pawn off this "urban legend" as truth. The latest incarnation will tie into this original movie. Not only that, but along the lines of their A.I. promotion, it seems as though Dreamworks has created a few Internet sites that help to paint the movie as being based in actual fact. If that wasn't enough, it appears that random people are reporting having received an unmarked videotape that contains the same weird images as the one in the movie with little or no explanation. Sounds like another intriguing mystery is afoot...