Directed by: F. Javier Guiterrez
Written by: David Loucka, Jacob Estes
Starring: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
“Rings” lacks everything a horror film should have. It’s boring, it’s obvious, and there’s nothing unique or special about it. Disappointment is an understatement.
“Rings” follows roughly the same formula as the last two films; the characters and setting revolve around a mysterious video that kills you seven days after you watch it. Now, it should be noted that, in the trailer, a scene is featured in which the video starts playing on every screen aboard a passenger jet, causing chaos. Judging from the way this scene is presented, you would logically assume it takes place during the climax. Nope, it’s the cold open. The delivery is nonsensical and, despite resulting in a plane crash, this event is only mentioned once in passing during the rest of the film. It’s a completely unnecessary and ineffective scene. And this is just the first of this film’s many problems.
The actual story revolves around Julia (Lutz) and the search for her missing boyfriend Holt (Roe), who recently left for college. This leads her to discover Holt secretly working with Gabriel (Galecki), a professor at the college, who is trying to study the video and its effects on people. What follows is roughly the same plot as the original “Ring” film; a quest to discover the origins of the video and the deadly ghost girl who appears at the end of your seven days. Something that should be mentioned is the absurd behavior of certain secondary characters. In the films universe, you can pass the curse on to someone else by making a copy of the video for them to watch. One girl panics when she realizes her seven days are up and she forgot to pass it on. Really? She forgot to save her own life for seven days?
In addition to such inconsistencies, the story deliberately tries to be complex when it is simple, which just comes off as confusing and lame. Not to mention the line delivery is so poor that in some scenes it feels like they only did one take and called it good. Plus, there is nothing visually exciting about the film, and it is more likely to put you to sleep than keep you on the edge of your seat. To give you an idea of how ridiculous it can get, there’s a scene where the video starts playing on someone’s smart phone, and you wouldn’t be faulted for assuming a tiny version of the ghost girl was going to come out of that screen. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen, but things get so ludicrous at times that anyone would expect it.
Arguably the biggest sin this film committed is the ending. Now, if you go in knowing absolutely nothing about this film, you might be pleasantly surprised by the ending, and how it gives an eerie but sensible twist that leaves the door open for another film. However, if you’ve watched the trailer, you might be a little angry. The film’s “twist” ending is right there in the trailer. And the film ends in such a smug way like “They’ll never see this coming!” But you can. Without even seeing the full film. Either the people who edited and distributed the trailer are extremely incompetent, or they assumed that their audience would be too stupid to notice. And that is reason enough not to give them your money. If you’re interested in this whole concept, and haven’t seen the original “Ring,” go ahead and do that. The scares may not have held up so great over the years, but at least the original feels like an actual film where people paid attention to what they were doing.
Review by Truman Templeton