DAY FIVE OF 31 DAYS OF HORROR
Rings - 2017
"I keep thinking about this story. There's this video that kills you. Seven days after you watch it. The second it's over...the phone rings. And this voice says..."
Now ya'll know I don't like to write negative reviews because every film project is someone's baby, and every film was a job for hundreds of people who put in countless hours of hard work. So let's get the bad stuff out of the way....
The problem with this sequel, coming 12 years about the last one, is that it shouldn't have been made because it would never work. And don't get me wrong, I love a sequel, I love a franchise. But the beauty of The Ring was that it was a VHS tape. We all had those laying around our house, those blank tapes that you had no idea what you'd recorded on them. And sure, you could copy a VHS, but it took a feat of strength. The internet was not as prevalent as it is today so when urban myths spread they spread slowly and it was harder to find real evidence. So The Ring worked. It does not work in the modern age. The fear is quickly taken away from it. And while I applaud the efforts of director F. Javier Guiterrez, there were six writers credits for this script and this may be a case of too many cooks.
Rings is about Gabriel, a Professor who buys an old VCR and finds a videotape inside. He then creates a sort of social experiment with it where he makes it an mp4 and gets other people to continuously watch it and pass it on so no one actually dies. He convinces a bunch of University students to get involved, one of them who is a young guy called Holt. When his girlfriend Julia doesn't hear from him for awhile she shows up at the college and gets wrapped up in this new Samara saga.
Is it scary? Not really. But I'm sure it worked with a younger audience. Was it clever? Sometimes. But like I said, it just doesn't work in a modern technology age. There's too many plot holes and it gets out of control too quickly.
Let's talk about what's good about it! I liked that it kept the original blue, gloomy coloring that made the first two so creepy. I liked that they kept the original video but added to it. The new updated video was creepy and worked very well. While the story tried to be complicated but instead got too confusing, it was interesting to follow along. I didn't see the twist with the Priest coming so that was enjoyable. Learning some more history about Samara was great too, she's got such an interesting back story so it was fun to delve a little deeper. Only problem is that as we got deeper, more plot holes appeared.
Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz played our lead Julia and handled it decently enough. Alex Roe played Holt and he was also decent. Johnny Galecki of Big Bang Theory fame played Gabriel and did a great job of playing that sort of creepy, drunk Professor. Bonnie Morgan played Samara and blew me away with some of the contortions she pulled. Unfortunately, Samara got a little lost in CG, but then that happened in the originals too soooo...
Overall, Rings was quite disappointing but is watchable. I think the problem on my end is that The Ring is a favorite of mine so I hold it in high regard. The same thing happened to me with The Blair Witch reboot. But Rings is a good, basic horror movie. Nothing crazy, nothing shocking, nothing new. It does its' job and we'll give it that.