Just when we thought it was safe to pop in a VHS, Rings (F. Javier Gutierrez, The Crow, Before The Fall) decides to make its triligiolastic debut. Okay that’s not a word, but this is barely a movie (too soon? not even, I’m like 4 months late on this review). If you’re a fan of the first installment (because let’s face it, no one is a fan of the second one), don’t expect anything groundbreaking in the third (and hopefully final). Everything you need to know to tell this is going to be a lackluster ride presents itself in the first 5 minutes (seriously).
Within the first 5 minutes we already have an over the top review (through basic bitch dialogue) of what happens when you watch the video tape. Some dude is all nervous on a plane because he watched the movie 7 days ago and his week long death clock is about to toll. Naturally he gets a nosebleed and some turbulence ensues as Samara flickers on all the headboard screens (because apparently she kills anyone within your vicinity now too). It all felt very Final Destination (2000) and feverishly rushed. It was like the director was shouting “NO NO NO! THERE’S NOT ENOUGH EXPOSITORY DIALOGUE!” Because, you know, obviously that’s the best way to tell a story. Who needs to see the action when you can just have *insert pointless opening scene actor*’s testimony? I’m just going to eat my hot dog.
Enter not-so-talented Jennifer Lawrence as mainy, Julia…oh I’m sorry, her name appears to be Matilda Lutz (Revenge, Summertime, L’Universale); but as I’ve mentioned, she’s basically the B-movie knockoff of Jennifer Lawrence. Poor Julia has to deal with the very real scenario of her hot, blonde, boyfriend, Holt (Alex Roe, Hot Summer Nights, The Siren, The 5th Wave) moving away to college while she has to stay home and take care of her mother. After like two solid days of Holt not returning her phone calls or texts, and after receiving a very mysterious and strange skype video chat from some frantic girl that Julia can only assume is fucking her boyfriend, she decides to make a trip up to Spokane to find out whats going on with bae.
Upon arrival she walks into his very unlocked dorm room and investigates until she finds his class schedule (which was neatly and clearly pinned on his bulletin board). Of course the ominous professor she ends up meeting is the only class highlighted on his list. Upon meeting Professor Gabriel (Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory, Entourage, In Time) and interrogating him about the whereabouts of Holt, she finds herself disappointed in his dubious and obvious lies to his whereabouts. Yadda Yadda Yadda she follows a few people and finds out there is a huge underground network of people watching the video then copying and pasting to make others watch it to get Samara off their back. Inevitably she watches it to save her boyfriend whose 7 days is almost up and there you have it, a shitty horror movie.
I swear to Samara, this movie was written, directed, and acted for children 12 years of age or under who may or may have never seen a horror movie before. All the exposition in lieu of actual action mixed with the juvenile plot structure/progression culminates into a very lackluster viewing experience. Sure, Samara got an upgrade wit some special effects (like when she comes out of the TV that’s flat screen and face down on the floor) but it’s all the same bologna but with worse and younger actors. All in all I think this movie is actually a very cheap ripoff of the amazing It Follows (2014). The only saving grace is the whole tension of making somebody else watch it to save you (the whole It Follows thing)…but let’s face it, how hard is it to be like “yo, come check out this video, breh!” See, I just solved all their problems in one sentence. How this movie cost $25m to make is beyond me. This is why I generally stick to the low-budget and obscure; when they fall face first, it’s evident why. What’s your excuse, Rings ?
PS: I actually really loved the poster and tagline too “First you watch it. Then you die.” #genius #butnotenough
IMDb: 4.5 (18,000+ votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 6% Critics 25% Audience (hahahahahahahahah but #forreal)
Dead Puppy: 1.75 feet of gross wet black hair out of 5