The Ring franchise saw many different ways that it got absolutely destroyed by Hollywood. The first remake was way worse than the original Japanese film, but still, it had a solid foundation. The Ring Two, however, pushed the franchise near its certain death. Fast forward to 12 years later, studio executives thought it would be a good idea to once again do the same thing with the same franchise, expecting a different outcome. Hence, Rings (2017), or The Ring: Rebirth (as it’s known in Japan), or The Ring 3, was born.
A film with many different names, and yet not a single reason for existing.
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The Movie Review
As always, this franchise revolves around a mysterious videotape that will curse anyone who watches it. If you watch what’s on the tape, you’ll be extremely scared at first, and then you’ll receive a phone call telling you that you’ll die in 7 days.
The story follows Julia, a college student who discovers the tape while looking for her missing boyfriend, Holt. Julia watches the tape and receives the ominous phone call, but she soon discovers that there is more to the curse than meets the eye.
With the help of Holt and a professor who specializes in the occult, Julia delves deeper into the origins of the tape and the mysterious figure known as Samara. As she uncovers the truth, Julia becomes more and more entangled in the curse, risking everything to uncover the secrets of the tape before it’s too late.
I knew that Rings would be a complete disaster of a horror movie from the minute it started. Right off the bat, it fails to engage you for a single moment, it has a weak story, it’s characters behave as if they’re lifeless clones instead of real people, and there’s an array of predictably cheap jump scares that you can see coming a mile away.
The story is so much simpler than ever before here, and yet despite that element, the creators have hardly put even slight effort into its development. It barely moves, and when it does move, it flies by, it’s almost if they don’t care about what’s happening in the film as long as its creepy sometimes.
The horror in Rings is as predictable as the humor in a Disney movie. It relies so heavily on tired clichés and cheap jump scares, with the scares being so unearned. They’re just the same old loud noises and sudden cuts to shock the audience.
The story jumps from one plot point to the next without any real connection, leaving you slightly disoriented. Director F. Javier Gutiérrez fails to provide a clear narrative throughline, mainly because the movie just drags on for what feels like an eternity.
This slow and tedious pacing makes it a painful experience to sit through, and just when you think it’s getting good, it’s over. Unfortunately, the problems with Rings’ screenplay don’t stop there. The script is poorly written, with some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue I’ve seen put to screen.
The characters feel like cardboard cutouts with a human bone within them.
The unfamiliar cast of the film includes Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, and Johnny Galecki, who struggle here to bring any real depth or nuance to their characters. It is hard to blame them though, they were dealt a horrible hand with the way his film is written. Their performances feel wooden, with no real emotion to be found anywhere.
There is no chemistry between the characters which makes it all the more difficult to care about what happens to them. The filmmakers do little to flesh out their personalities, or even their motivations.
They’re just a bunch of basic archetypes walking around and dying. I’d take time to mention how each individual performance was, but ‘wooden’ is a more appropriate term to explain that anyways.
Alas, Rings fails to push the boundaries of visual storytelling. The cinematography feels uninspired, lacking any distinctive shots or intriguing camera angles. The film simply leans on familiar horror tropes like dimly lit corridors and predictable jump scares, without adding any avant-garde touches to the mix.
Moreover, you have the score composed by renowned composer Matthew Margeson, who tries but cannot save this lackluster production.
The potential for a spine-tingling soundtrack is squandered as the score is employed in a very sparse capacity, with minimal effect on the overall atmosphere. One cannot help but bemoan the missed opportunity, considering Margeson’s exceptional work on the 2013 Evil Dead reboot.
Rings didn’t fail simply because it’s a bad film, it failed because it was a soulless one. There’s no real sense of creativity, no sense of passion, or vision that went into this ‘product’. It’s a tragedy that such a classic horror franchise was reduced to this lifeless cash grab by executives looking to capitalize on a beloved intellectual property.
Rings had no chance of succeeding because it was made without any real intention of creating something special. Rings won’t be celebrated as an icon of the horror genre, instead, it shall forever be remembered as a testament to corporate greed.
- The film manages to stay true to the basic premise of The Ring series
- There are one or two decent scares, even if they are mostly predictable jump scares
- The plot is convoluted, with snail-like pacing and a lack of any coherence or direction
- The script is poorly written, with unrealistic and cringe-worthy dialogue
- The characters are forgettable and lack any real personality or good acting to back them up
- The horror is predictable and uninspired, with only cheap jump scares
- The cinematography is forgettable, with no standout shots or interesting camera angles
- The soundtrack composed by Matthew Margeson is forgettable and used in a heavy-handed manner