The Ring was one of the creepier films of the early 21st century, inspiring numerous other American remakes of Japanese horror flicks. The film also inspired a 2005 sequel, which failed to leave much of an impression. Almost twelve years later, we finally get a third installment. Unfortunately, Rings is simply too little, too late. Much like last year’s Blair Witch, it’s a sequel that nobody asked for, tries nothing new, and serves no purpose. This franchise ran out of gas a long time ago and the studio’s attempt to breath life back into it just feels desperate. But hey, that’s Hollywood for ya.
Unfortunately, Rings is simply too little, too late.
The story of course revolves around a cursed VHS tape that will kill anybody who watches it in seven days. Naomi Watts’ Rachel and her son Aidan are nowhere to be found, shifting the focus to a more forgettable cast of characters. The tape falls into the possession of a college professor named Gabriel, played by Johnny Galecki from the Big Bang Theory. Gabriel realizes that he can pass on his curse by making a copy of the tape. He eventually shows it to several students, including a young man named Holt (Alex Roe). New images appear on the video, however, when the curse passes on to Holt’s girlfriend Julia (Matilda Lutz). While trying to uncover the meaning behind these images, our heroes also learn more about the ghostly Samara and her family.
Interestingly, there are exactly seven reasons why Rings doesn’t work. So instead of a conventional review, let’s just count them down!
1. How is it possible that these cursed videos are still around, especially in a world where VHS is obsolete? You’d think every copy would’ve been lost or destroyed for good by now. Rings doesn’t even really explore how DVD replaced VHS or how streaming is slowly replacing DVD.
2. Julia is a complete idiot. Even after discovering what the video is capable of, she still watches it. Doesn’t this woman know anything about surviving a horror movie? Granted, she only watches it to lift her boyfriend’s curse, but her actions still make about as much sense as Superman’s sacrifice in Batman v Superman.
3. The film isn’t scary in the slightest. Every visual feels recycled and nothing comes close to topping the fist time we saw Samara crawl out of that TV set. Scary Movie 3 was more chilling than this.
4. Every scene is draped in a grungy, green color, which makes you want to vomit after awhile.
5. The pacing is unforgivably slow, dedicating a 102 minutes to a mystery that could’ve been wrapped up in half an hour.
6. The climax involves a showdown with a blind guy, which pales in comparison to Don’t Breathe with Stephen Lang.
7. The movie ends where it should’ve started. Without giving too much away, there’s actually a cool last minute twist that makes leeway for numerous possibilities. Just as things start to get interesting, though, the credits roll. Maybe this twist will be elaborated upon in yet another sequel. At this point, however, it’s probably better for the studio to give up on this series.