Rings Comes to Screens Over a Decade Too Late

Promo material for Rings looking to revive some of that J Horror knockoff nostalgia. Photo/YouTube
Promo material for Rings looking to revive some of that J Horror knockoff nostalgia. Photo/YouTube

It’s true, she doesn’t stop. The studio, however, they should.

Rings is finally getting released after being pushed back for so long. That means the videotape and Samara are back for all kinds of watery and vintage carnage, not that we were begging for it.

A college professor (Big Bang’s Johnny Galecki, almost unrecognizable and coming across as a disreputable creep) stumbles upon a VCR at a rummage sale with guess what in it. Watching the infamous video, he sets out to prove the existence of a soul and an afterlife in a secret experiment that a pack of underdeveloped stock characters, including a girl named Julia (Matilda Lutz) and her boyfriend (Alex Roe, an English actor who is so boring and nondescript), get caught up in.

Julia is the focus; she is a conduit for supernatural activity, she uncovers further secrets surrounding the tape, but whatever. The film is uneven and hyped dramatic scenes, such as the trailer’s plane ride from hell, happen out of sync with the main story and are never mentioned again.

No reference is made to Naomi Watts’s character. Daveigh Chase (Samara in the original) appears in flashbacks cut in using recycled footage. Vincent D’Onofrio — about the only star power present — shows up to overact and pull a swerve (i.e., he knows more than he tells).

Really interesting concepts of the video entering the digital age and going viral are thrown by the wayside, in favor of explaining Samara’s origin, a cliche left turn to the story. The fresher ideas get explored meagerly until being thrust in again hastily at the end, a part of a vain attempt at teasing a sequel that (God willing) won’t happen.

The prior entry, Ring 2, came out in 2005 and was rather forgettable. No real connection is established between that and this new one, itself adding little that is different from other horror outings that want to milk a franchise by making money off young audiences.

Now is high time, maybe past time, to classify this franchise as obsolete as VHS.