Naomi Watts looks very different in this movie. When we last saw her, she was the ingenue/amnesiac in Mulholland Drive. In this movie, she is a young, but tough mother trying to maintain her career as a journalist. Looking both young (conversing with teens as a near peer) and very old (her hands look very worn in the car), Watts pulls off another good role. Her hair is much longer and in this movie, her co-actors must be taller than in Mulholland, she looks smaller.

I watched this movie on DVD and it doesn't have as many features as your average disc. There are no interviews, or making of featurettes; however, there are several alternate scenes strung together. These are provided without comment. So, I spent some time on IMDB and realized that this movie has left a lot on the cutting room floor. I found it interesting that they seemed to be going after a PG13 rating because they cut some intersting scenes including some storyline with Chris Cooper as child murderer. Not everything made it into the extras on the DVD.

What we basically have is a story that gives us a convenient device of a ticking clock. This is used effectively. A mysterious video tape is discovered and those that see it only get 7 more days to live. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is drawn to the tape after her neice falls victim to the tape.

Curiously, Keller believes the story about the tape but not enough to be maniacal in her approach. She stays methodical in her purusit of answers about the tape instead of staying up all night or having her own horrible nightmares (save one). The tape's disturbing images lead Keller to at least one of the other stories in this movie - the Morgan family. The Morgans live on an island with horses and nearly everything, except a child. One year, after returning from vacation, the Morgans have a mysterious child. This child becomes the cornerstone of the tape's mystery. Rachel slowly uncovers more truth about the girl, but meanwhile, her own son has viewed the tape and her search becomes more intense. It would be unfair to reveal any more of the movie.

This is directed by Gore Verbinski who is probably more famous for bringing us the Budweiser frogs. He shows a good understanding of this genre. There are a lot of things to pay homage to - the original Japanese movie, Hitchcock, and even a little bit of Poltergeist.

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