Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

St. Petersburg Times Online

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'The Ring' plus teens equals screams

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Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 28, 2002

Movie: The Ring

  • Rating: PG-13

Summary: There's a rumor looming around Seattle after four local teens mysteriously die on the same night. Supposedly, if you watch a particular videotape, you will receive a phone call immediately afterward telling you that you will die in exactly seven days. A skeptical newspaper reporter (Naomi Watts), whose niece was one of the victims, views the tape and sets out to get to the bottom of the mystery before her seven days are up.

My view: This one starts out like so many other recent horror flicks. Once it gets going, and you think you know where it's heading -- BAM! -- it takes a sharp turn in the opposite direction. It definitely doesn't have the "fear of the unknown" factor that Signs had, but it did have a few scenes that made the audience jump -- then laugh at their own reactions. The characters didn't provide that sense of authentic trepidation that all great scary films have, but the plot had a good sense of mystery to it.

Favorite part: There were plenty of subtle, eye-catching, almost subliminal effects that flashed by. They were absolutely great -- and I'll leave it at that, so I don't spoil your fun.

Recommendations: The bulk of the audience for this one will be teens. This film isn't good for younger kids because there is some pretty graphic stuff that even made me cringe.

Grade: B

-- Billy Norris, 14, is in the ninth grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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