Rings follows Julia (Matilda Lutz) on her search to locate her missing boyfriend, Holt (Alex Roe of The Fifth Wave). What Julia discovers in her quest is that Holt was part of a group of college students conducting research on a video tape that promises certain death to those who watch it. Now, Julia must race against the clock to save everything she holds dear.
The picture also stars Johnny Galecki (I Know What You Did Last Summer) and Vincent D’Onofrio (Sinister). Bonnie Morgan (who first appeared as Samara in The Ring 2) reprises the role. Morgan first appeared as the character in an uncredited appearance in The Ring 2.
I had high hopes when Rings was first announced. But my expectations were quickly tempered when I read the initial reviews. I still tried to keep an open mind going into checking the film out on home video. But I was, nonetheless, sorely disappointed.
F. Javier Gutiérrez’s Rings tries to rehash elements from the first two films and update them for a new generation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. Gutiérrez never really creates a sustained sense of foreboding. And, further complicating things, at the center of the story is a crappy teen romance that gives the audience zero reason to buy into it. Matilda Lutz and Alex Roe were not the least bit convincing as a couple and neither of them were particularly likable on their own. Add to that, Johnny Galecki’s reprehensible character and there’s really no one to invest in on any level. Samara actually ends up being the most sympathetic character portrayed in the film and that’s a real problem.
Not all of the blame lies with the actors and director. Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka and Jacob Aaron Estes’s script is poor and generally predictable. There are far too many instances of characters not letting on that they know more than they are admitting; not to mention too many jump scares; and the picture is riddled with numerous other cliches.
The only real saving grace is that the effects are fairly well done. Although they are largely CG, they are, nonetheless, convincingly rendered. But that’s not really a reason to check this one out. There have been a multitude of superior titles released this year that you’d be better served seeking out. If you’ve avoided Rings this far, I would recommend taking a pass on it indefinitely and checking out a far super effort like Get Out instead.
As far as bonus content, the Blu-ray release includes deleted scenes and featurettes. The DVD contains the feature film only. Rings debuted on Blu-Ray on May 2, 2017.
WICKED RATING: 2/10
Director(s): F. Javier Gutiérrez
Writer(s): Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka and Jacob Aaron Estes
Stars: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki
Release: May 2, 2017 (Home Video)
Studio/ Production Co: Paramount Pictures
Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)