Rings (2017)

RingsI’m going to lead with the rating on this post instead of building the suspense for several paragraphs because I noticed I’ve reviewed a lot of movies here 4/10, now including Rings’ 4 mysterious wells out of 10.


Does this mean I have a penchant for watching below average movies? I think it means I am often disappointed by a lot of movies that should have been better and maybe that’s a personal problem. I do try to have zero expectations when watching any movie – I rarely watch trailers anymore and only listen to coworkers discuss plots that I know I’ll not waste my time with. But a sequel whose predecessors I have already seen is another matter. I love The Ring, I hate The Ring Two. I don’t even really remember The Ring Two outside of the fact that I hate it. Regardless, I couldn’t help but be hopeful this would be as good as the first. It’s not.

The first movie (and of course the original Japanese Ringu) used an unexpected vehicle for a haunting – a VHS videotape that will kill you seven days after you watch it. That is, not the tape itself, but you know what I mean. It was an interesting premise in the last days of the VHS, like a piece of the past coming back for revenge. Naturally, that’s exactly what the story was about – a restless spirit from another time looking for peace and/or payback. So now The Ring is locked into pop culture and everyone is familiar with the girl crawling out of the TV. Like I said, I don’t remember The Ring Two, but the ghost girl from the tape ain’t finished yet.

Here in installment three, we have a college professor (of theoretical biology? Did I hear that right? Is that a real field of study? They teach classes for that? News to me.) in possession of the killer video and he has stupidly made a bunch of digital copies to share with his students because he wants to kill them all. No, not really, it’s for an experiment that is intended to prove the existence of the afterlife. I guess it’s pretty clear when seeing the effects of the video that something paranormal is at play, but the exact procedures of the experiment are never laid out. All we know is the teacher has several students watch the tape so he can put them on a countdown and record the weird happenings over the next seven days – with the promise that he’ll find someone else to watch each person’s copy of the video so it will pass onto them. How he expects this experiment to EVER END is not addressed. He’s doing fake science, dammit, don’t bother with those details!

So of course the first person on the countdown is killed because the Prof waited until the last second to find someone else to watch their video, thereby passing the curse off to them. Our main characters are Julia, a college girl (I assume, though we never see her at school or meet any of her friends or family), and her boyfriend who signed up for the professor’s experiment. He’s got 12 hours left before his 7 days are up, so what do they do? They go to fucking sleep. Personally, sleep wouldn’t be possible if I had a tortured ghost after me who can make calls on the AT&T network. But whatevs, the girlfriend watches the video to save her boyfriend and buy some time. Things go wrong immediately.

Samara, the drowned ghost girl, has chosen Julia for a special task. We never learn why. She gets a special video with new shots to clue her in to what to do next. Finally, a plot! And we’re 35-40 minutes deep in the movie. So much of this movie is exposition, setup, and rehashing the first movie just to reach this point. I was honestly sick of how much they reminded the audience of the rules of the curse and what happened in the first movie (they too forgot about the second). This turn in the story, where Julia is singled out as the Chosen One, should have come about 20 minutes earlier. Removing a pointless opening scene on an airplane would have done a lot to fix this. Removing every aggressive stranger Julia comes into contact with would have done even more. Whether it’s her boyfriend’s college friends or the operator of a shitty B&B in Samara’s hometown, it seems that everyone would rather Julia just fuck off and die. Geez, lady, if you want these snoopy kids out of your face DON’T RENT THEM THE ROOM.

From this point on it’s really just remaking the first movie. Our heroes do a little detective work, psychic visions are seen (these parts almost make this a Nightmare on Elm Street movie), the truth about the past is dug up, they meet a creepy old dude who knows more than he lets on, and they save the little girl’s spirit from her eternal torment.




And then she proves what an asshole she is by not staying dead. The end.

Just what in the world does this girl WANT? These movies have seen her remains laid to rest at least TWICE and all the people who directly did her harm are dead. Apparently the leads of all three movies have consistently made the wrong choice by trying to put her to bed, spiritually speaking. Like Don Henley said, all she wants to is dance. And by dance, I mean kill a whole bunch of people for no great reason. She’s just an evil little turd? That’s it? All of the revelations about the past suffer from diminishing returns once Samara is shown in the first film to be unreliable.

Posted on 01.07.2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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