Rings, the sequel to the acclaimed The Ring and The Ring Two was directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez (different director from the previous two) and is set 13 years after the events of the previously two films. The plot revolves around Julia (Matilda Lutz) and her boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe) as she bids him farewell for college. After not hearing from him after a while, she becomes worried and visits his college only to discover a dark experiment featuring The Ring video given to him by Holt's professor, Gabriel (Johnny Galecki).
Matilda's performance throughout keeps the audience engaged when the film itself fails to deliver anything new. The fact that a one to two minute video clip with little to nothing terrifying happening can still be scary in 2017 is silly. Many years ago, when the tape that can kill you after seven days was first introduced, it was scary since the idea had not yet been introduced to American audiences. Also, the years in which the previous two films had been released saw the digital age still in heavy development. Now, with such an advancement in technology, ideas must be changed since doing same thing from twelve to fifteen years ago will not work. Rings fails to do this.
The big problem with Rings is that the film is not scary. Let me rephrase, if you've seen a horror movie in the last decade then nothing in this film should scare you. The film itself feels like a giant checklist. The television turning itself on even when there's no electrical output? The phone call telling you that you will die in seven days? Samara crawling out of a television? The occasional jump scare when Julia turns the corner? Check, check, check. While the occasional jump scare might get the casual moviegoer, those accustomed to it will find them laughable. Yes, these are methods of fear that this franchise rely on. Nonetheless, there's no excuse when other horror franchises have managed to be innovative with their scares even after multiple sequels. There is simply no excuse.
The first two entries in the franchise were much more personal stories. You don't feel connected to Julia, Holt, or any other chracters because they are young and stupid. The decisions made by a lot of the characters in the film will leave you scratching your head. Also, the long-awaited introduction of High-speed internet and High-definition television into the franchise sorta hurts it. To see a video that is suppose to kill someone be so polished, diminishes any scare factor it may have had. However, not everything about the film is a total disaster.Those have stuck with the franchise this far will be rewarded with an ending that makes sense. Whether or not another should be made, will be up to the audiences' wallets.
Rings is currently in theaters.