Rings (2017)3:44 PM
First You Watch it. Then You Die.
This review contains Spoilers
Rings is directed by F. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall) and stars Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz (Summertime, The Fifth Wheel), Alex Roe (The 5th Wave, The Cut), Vincent D'Onofrio (Men in Black, Jurassic World) and Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory, In Time). "A young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a terrifying curse that threatens to take her life in 7 days". Was Rings made to jump on the nostalgia bandwagon?, was it made because people are running out of ideas? or was it made because the creators thought it would add to the existing universe? Who knows...
Wow, this film was something. I think I have finally found a horror film that is kind of just as bad if not worse than 2014's Ouija. However, that film was redeemed by a very good sequel in 2016. Rings is the third instalment in a series that started off relatively strongly and it has definitely reached a new low here. Rings is everything that is wrong with horror films - it is cliche, predictable, stupid and the worst thing is that this film isn't even scary - that's what's scary about it! I really don't think there are any redeeming factors - it does get slightly more interesting in the last 15 minutes but that doesn't save an uninteresting and dull 90 minutes beforehand.
The acting in Rings is terrible. Matilda Lutz is horrible - she really struggles to lead the film and there is no strength to her character or performance. Lutz can't even save herself by being good at 'looking scared' because her screams were just horrible and laughable at times. Alex Roe is also subpar - Roe keeps finding himself in January releases and we all know what January releases mean - 💩. I can't really see Roe's career going much further if he keeps being involved in projects like this. Who should be really ashamed of their involvement in this film though? Vincent D'Onofrio. I did not believe that he was playing a blind character for one second and his character was essentially a stripped now, knock off version of Stephen Lang's character in Don't Breathe - a far far superior horror flick. The performances are so inconsistent and so forgettable that you actually think there are more characters in this film than there actually are - it feels very crowded and although there's lots of talking, you can't help but think nobody is saying anything (interesting anyway).
The story for Rings is taken straight out of the handbook of a horror film - it follows every typical narrative device step by step. The film is incredibly slow in pace - nothing of interest or exciting actually happens till the last 15 minutes. The characters are paper thin - you don't know much about them or care about them at all. There are no character arcs, there is no message - Rings is trying to be nothing more than a bog standard horror flick - it has literally nothing on its mind. The final 15 minutes are ok and if the rest of the film had followed a similar pace, I may have been a little kinder to this film. There is a strange and random twist at the end - the whole idea of Samara having a 'rebirth' into our lead character didn't make too much sense but it was interesting. However, the scene where this is revealed is actually one of the main moments from the trailers - the final scene of this film is literally in the trailer. Rings is also incredibly stupid - I laughed out loud numerous times - it's predictable and dumb. When they are passing around the video to save each other but suddenly Julia's copy is basically an extended version and is too big to be copied - how stupid and how ridiculous? There are many moments in the film like this, I won't bother mentioning all of them.
Rings is not scary at all - the space is tediously slow and unlike last year's Blair Witch which was similar in this aspect but did create an unsettling feeling, Rings didn't - it just wasn't going anywhere interesting at all. None of the jump scares were effective - they were either false scares or they just didn't have the build up or tension for them to be effective. I also think the film was much quieter than it could have been, if the volume was slightly louder, the sound of the bangs may have at least made me flinch.
What's most awful about this film is that 'The Ring' has become a horror classic - everyone knows it and has at least heard of it. Thankfully, not many people are paying to see Rings because I really think this is a burden to the name of the franchise - it adds some stupid backstory to the villain but also turns the villain into a hero towards the end. Can't something just be plain evil for once? Rings is definitely that threequel that people will just forget about it because if anyone watches it, I think it will definitely ruin the other films. The concept is scary enough but Rings manages to wipe away all of that horror and fear - it just ain't scary and definitely doesn't live up to the hype of The Ring franchise which is known for being terrifying.
Yes, it's only February but I can confidently say this will be making my worst films of 2017 list - it's just awful. The acting is horrible, the story is unoriginal and predictable, it just isn't scary and the film is dull, uninteresting, substandard and transparent. There's nothing to Rings - they try and add some depth to the antagonist that is just silly and then there's a bizarre yet interesting twist towards the end. The director's previous film is called 'Before the Fall' which is kind of ironic because this film is definitely the fall of everyone involved and The Rings franchise - it will be incredibly hard to come back from this but hey...Ouija managed to do it.