Plagued with a series of events that pushed back the release of the film several years before being quite literally dumped in the depths of the year’s early crap fest, it is understandable that Rings is not only confusing but equally disappointing for the promise that shone through in several decent sequences.
As the third film in the series that started with the chilling Gore Verbinski remake from 2002, it follows the continuing misadventures of a video tape (still used in 2017…) and the vengeful creepy child spirit Samara.
Beginning with a completely unnecessary and random plane sequence, we soon follow as hipster professor Gabriel, The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, thrifts a VHS machine that unfortunately carries the cursed tape. A young woman and her 30 year old high school boyfriend soon find themselves along for the wacky ride. As the tape upgrades to a Quicktime file, they must race to uncover the mystery behind the video before time runs out. I feel it is unnecessary to go any further into the plot as it clearly has been manufactured as another cash grab by its studio to get teens into seats and money into studio execs’ wallets.
Yet, it is unfortunate that the film had the chance to defy expectations. From the fantastic casting of Vincent D’Onofrio, as a blind man from middle of nowhere USA, to the score overseen by Hans Zimmer, several pieces were in place to upheave the expectations laid before it: but then it was pushed from release date to release date with no intention of actually seeing the film coming out. It was readily apparent from the poster outside the theatre that still stated Oct. 28, people involved in the film saw it as no more than another paycheck in the bank.
From the low cost sets to the overabundance of jump scares, the film plays out almost exactly as one would expect.
A decent enough final twist is upended by another last twist that makes so little sense other than “hey let’s see if this makes enough to go and make another one of these” that it is almost insulting how painfully forced it comes across.
The acting aside from D’Onofrio ranges from fine enough to outlandish, as characters bounce back and forth on characteristic thought to be set up only to show that they are little else than pawns in the filmmakers money laden hands. And with the box office haul already being the top of this weekend’s boards, it’s almost a guarantee that we will be seeing another installment of this diminishing franchise, where the scariest thing will once again be the obnoxious teenager snap chatting her friend two rows in front of you.