Starring Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan, Chuck David Willis
Directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez
2017 / 102 Minutes / Paramount Pictures

Another sequel no one was asking for, ‘Rings’ is the third movie in the series, coming 12 years after the unsuccessful The Ring 2. The plot for this one is somewhat interesting if they had actually focused on it instead of two dumb teenagers running around trying to find out the origins of killer ghost Samara (origins we already know anyway!!).

A college professor is investigating the tapes in order to determine if human beings have a soul and is conducting a cult like class where students volunteer to watch the cursed tape and document its effects. There is a short film similar to this included in the bonus features of the first movie which follows a group of kids watching the tape and getting a thrill cheating death or something. That could be interesting! The cursed tape becomes like an addiction! It’s like when dumb shits idolize serial killers because they think they’re cute. OOH or what if an actual serial killer is killing people by sending them the cursed video? Then a hard boiled detective who was like 2 weeks away from retirement gets assigned the case and he really doesn’t want it but he’s thrown the rest of his life away for his job so really what else has he got to lose?

They also could’ve explored how the curse is changing due to updated technology, the fact that Samara could be anywhere at anytime now that the internet and video sharing is omnipresent. They touched on this is the opening scene where Samara takes down an airplane, which should be terrifying, but it was over so quickly that it barely had time to register. Instead they went the route of “what happened to Samara?”. Bitch, look up Rachel Keller! Why they didn’t tie in anything from the previous films seems like a missed opportunity to me. We don’t need MORE answers to questions that have already been answered.

But let’s get to the real issue here. What’s up with Vincent D’Onofrio as ghoul expert exposition guy? Is he hard up for cash? Does he have a serious gambling debt a la Nicolas Cage? At least he’s not phoning it in like he did LITERALLY in Sinister.

Another issue I had is that both leads are not American, and the girl is clearly struggling to hide her very obvious Italian accent. This drives me crazy. Like, what’s the point? Just let her be Italian! Here’s a little tip for all you screenwriters out there. All you need to do is write in a scene with a cranky sheriff or whatever who says “Look… I don’t know how they do things wherever the hell you’re from, but this doesn’t happen in my American beach community!” Problem solved.

Don’t bother watching this film unless you’re so hungover that you can’t get off the couch. Go watch the first one or the far superior Japanese original Ringu series.

Grade D+

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