Directed by: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Starring: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki
Don’t you miss the days of true horror movies? I mean those movies that would haunt your dreams after you watched them. Those movies that were so scary, it left you uneasy even in the daylight. What happened to the “horror” in horror movies? The last few years we have been treated to movies, mostly sequels and remakes, that have been nothing but disappointments! Lackluster blockbusters such as The Blair Witch Project 2, literally seem like all we are given now a days. Rings, is one of the latest failures to that has invaded our cinematic universe.
Rings, is the third installment of the franchise The Ring; which is one of my top ten scary movies of all time for me. Brought to us by Paramount Pictures and starring The Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki, Rings brings back Samara; that creepy girl that would crawl out of your tv and kill you after 7 days of seeing her tape. This film is doomed from the beginning, a sleep deprived guy is on a plane when he and another girl who had watched the tape are attacked by Samara who not only kills them, but it is implied kills everyone else onboard by causing the plane to crash. Cut to two years later, when a guy named Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) buys an old VCR containing the video left behind by the dead plane guy.
Obviously Gabriel watches the video, and being a professor at a university he starts an experiment involving the said video, by sharing the video with a group of students who also share the video so they can avoid the 7 day curse. Needless to say one of these students is a guy named Holt who ends up going missing for a few hours and is unresponsive to his girlfriend Julia’s calls and text. Holt had watched the Samara video and is now marked by Samara. After tracking down Holt, Julia learns of the Samara curse and chooses to watch the video to save him. For some reason though, not really explained, hidden clips within the video are now in the video which have not been seen before, and randomly the video can no longer be copied. Julia is now marked and must go on a journey to discover more history behind Samara. Assisted by Gabriel, Holt and Julia go to Samara’s origin town to find her body and ultimately free her before she causes more havoc.; which ultimately is unavoidable. Samara however has power now everywhere.
There sadly not a lot to say here. The film isn’t scary and logic jumps throughout the viewing experience make it almost laughable. The real problem is this film falls in the area between good and not bad enough. Were it just a little worse it could have become a cult classic. This film just ends up being insulting. It’s not scary, it looks cheap, and the overall script needed tuning up. This one just does not work.
Video quality was overall decent. I found the style in which this film was shot to have an overall darker tint, assumably to make up for lack of effective content to really set mood to the story. The scenes themselves were beautifully captured and the editing was well done, yet again the story was faulty. There was about an hour and forty minutes of footage.
According to the packaging, the sound in English was 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Overall dialogue quality was good. What was lacking though, was the timing of any score. I compare to the first film The Ring, the timing with music to enhance suspense and to add emotion to any lack of action was spot on. RINGS, really missed the ball on enhancing suspense through music. Sound effect wise, things worked well and if you were to close your eyes you could identify key objects or actions taking place along with the dialogue.
Packaging and Special Features
Presented in a Blu-Ray digipack pack, featuring of a standard DVD and a blu. The cover art features Samara and sticks to the original design set by the first film. It is very enticing and makes you excited to see the next installment. Disc 1 along with the HD version of the film, features a variety of language and subtitle options. Disc 1 also holds the special features, including deleted scenes that really would not have saved the film, as well as discussions on the legend of Samara. Disc 2 packs the SD version of the film along with a variety of language and subtitle options.
I feel like this film was not a fully conceptualized addition to the franchise. It relied heavily on fear of Samara, without providing the level suspense the prequels had. Why after all this time is Samara able to change and adapt her video? Also I know it was a push to attempt to catch up with technology, as far as making Samara mainstream with streaming and such, but what made the original scary was the nostalgia of a VHS, as well as the personal attack with those who have watched the tape. It just felt like there was no chance to connect with the characters like you could in previous films. We also saw Samara’s history before; it was not necessary to expand into it. If this was a pure story about transferring this entity to other mediums and then stopping those mediums it would of been better. Nothing was scary or horrific about this expanded tale. Rings sadly ends up being just one of the many films the last few years to have failed the horror genre.