Rings Review

4.5 Overall Score
Acting: 5/10
Story: 4/10
Development: 4/10

The new images in the cursed video

Predictable ending | Recycled copy of the original

Release date: Febuary 3rd
Rating: PG-13
Run time: 102 minutes
Genres: Horror, Drama
Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Cast: Matlida Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio

It’s been twelve years since Samara’s infamous cursed video, and in that time technology has made it’s way into the digital age, making it possible for movies and shows to be viewed on computers and mobile devices. Long gone is the need of a VHS player to play an old cursed video tape. With the use of modern technology, Samara’s curse has evolved as well. But with that evolution, the core of The Ring’s lore gets lost in translation. The closed off personal feeling that the original film gave to it’s audience is all but forgotten.

Rings borrows heavily from the lore of the 2002 film while taking heavy story “inspiration” from the mostly unknown short film ‘Rings’ (2005). It follows the same premise, but instead of teenagers circulating the video and posting their experiences online, it’s a professor (Johnny Galecki) who comes across the cursed video in a garage sale and ends up turning his experience into an occult like experiment for a select few of his students.

It’s this story arch that’s the catapult for the main protagonist Julia (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) and her Her boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe), who she soon discovers has gotten himself caught up in the cycle of the cursed video and only has a day left to live. Instead of Holt passing the curse on to survive, Julia takes it upon herself to watch the video and save him. After Julia watches the video the images start to change, making a new curse, prompting the duo to search out the origins of these images and find a way to save Julia before her time is up and Samara comes to claim her next victim.

While Rings isn’t a horrible movie, it does little to breath new life into an already fading franchise. It suffers from a recycled story and rehashed horror tropes. It struggles with trying to grasp at an identity; does it want to be a remake, or a somewhat reboot? We see Julia and Holt try to unravel a mystery but the mystery element has been done before in the first film, and it was a mystery done well. Everything in The Ring had a connection to it, but Rings? It collapses at the start of the film with it’s Final Destination opening that has nothing to do with the rest of the plot.

Rings tries to build up Samara’s backstory and explain where she came from. But again, this is something we’ve seen before with Samara’s biological mother being brought into the story of The Ring Two. And while that film paled in comparison to the first, it at least left some of the mystery as to why this child was evil.

It’s apparent from the start that Rings doesn’t understand suspense. It makes it’s audience feel comfortable instead of uncomfortable. As you wait for that dreaded phone call of Samara whispering “Seven Days” into the phone, it comes too soon and the effect of Samara being able to reach through a screen towards her victim is ruined by showing it numerous times throughout the film. But once Samara came out of a cell phone, it became laughable.

Rings leaves little to care about. We have characters placed in front of us to sympathize over and root for, but they’re dull and seem to lack any foresight even though the cause and effect have been right in front of them the whole time. It’s a far cry from the interesting side characters and the protagonist Rachel (Naomi Watts) who was a determined and feisty journalist in the first film.

There is no slow build of a bleak horror here, as Rings tries to go for something more modern by taking Samara’s curse and making it digital. But in doing so, they have killed the urban legend and made most of it’s story mediocre with a painfully predictable and  laughable ending, really killing the legend of Samara and her curse. Rings tries to mimic the look and feel of director Gore Verbinski’s first film with it’s murky dark tones, but it just misses the mark on several occasions and begs the question, why watch a faded copy when you can just watch the original?

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Alice Lee
Author: Alice Lee View all posts by
Alice is the owner and co-founder of Virtual Crunch. She's a long time gamer who started out on a mini Donkey kong arcade at three. She is also a horror movie aficionado. Have any questions? Contact her at AliceLee@virtualcrunch.com