Review: Rings

Rings is a disappointing addition to a classic horror franchise, says

Image: Paramount Pictures

★☆☆☆☆
Director:  F. Javier Gutiérrez
Starring:  Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Bonnie Morgan, Alex Roe,
Running Time:  1hr 57 m
Rating: 15

Our favourite serial killing ghost is back, and this time, she’s the victim.

To be more precise, she’s the victim of an incredibly uninspiring sequel to a beloved and classic horror film.

Rings is the third film in The Ring franchise.  And like many of the other sequels to horror films, it falls flat.  The film relies so much on trying to remind you of how good the first film was, that it actually becomes the first film.  Full of recycled plot points and a bland set of characters, this film offers nothing new or original for the many fans of the first film.

The premise behind the franchise is that if someone watches a videotape then they will be killed by Samara (a ghost of a girl who was thrown into a well by her adopted mother and died within seven days).  The only way to escape the curse is to show the tape to someone else within seven days.  This plot proved both captivating and interesting in the first Ring film, however, it becomes a bit tiring after it has been used for both sequels. I found myself on the verge of laughing at times at the awfully scripted scene taking place in front of me, which felt like a bad imitation of a film I used to love.

This film starts out with an interesting premise of using the videotape to prove there is life after death and an existence of an ‘eternal soul’.  However, this idea is abandoned early on in favour of cheap horror tropes.  It offers nothing new or original in terms of the story apart form a little bit more detail into Samaras past – which is ultimately forgettable and removes the mystery which surrounded her, undercutting what made her so terrifying in the original films.

Samara’s confusing set of powers allow her to torment the lead characters in whatever way the plot demands of her.  Similar to The Ring 2, her powers remain inconsistent and undefined by any logic or reliance on the lore set up from the first film.  Whilst actress Bonnie Morgan does deliver a bone chilling performance at times, it’s hard to escape the fact that her character doesn’t really do much in the film except stand around looking scary.

One of the main problems with the film is that it isn’t very frightening!  Whilst it does have a few jump scares and creepy/grotesque characters and corpses, it often denies the audience the ‘jumping out of your seat’ feeling which is a key part of horror films.  Often, the film would create suspense through its screeching music, and then frustratingly deny the audience the pay-off in which they would actually get scared.  In all honesty, the scariest thing about this film is that it was made in the first place.

In terms of the actors, the majority give a bland performance at best, and at worst they become stereotypes associated with horror films.  The supposed ‘star’ of the film is Matilda Lutz’s who delivers a remarkably forgettable and lacklustre performance.  Her character, Julia, lacks significant development and is devoid of personality.  Furthermore, she acts like a damsel in distress whose only purpose is to restate key plot points.

In conclusion, if you want to see a horror film but do not want to commit to being scared, getting caught up in an intriguing plot, or have decent acting or script – then this is the film for you!

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