Rings Movie Review: A disappointing horror film, which does not live up to the franchise's legacy

The conceit of �The Ring� saga, if you somehow managed to forget it, concerns the existence of an unmarked videotape that contains a short surreal film that is supposed to be indescribably eerie but which looks more like a runner-up title at a lesser underground film festival.

Rings Movie Review: A disappointing horror film, which does not live up to the franchise

The third instalment of The Ring horror franchise, based on the famous Japanese films is less of a sequel and more of a remake.

Both the original 1998 Japanese version, the wildly successful 2002 English-language remake and their various sequels were made with a certain degree of skill, and that the American ones were graced with performances by Naomi Watts that were far better than the material deserved.


“Rings,” on the other hand, lacks even those modest saving graces.

The conceit of “The Ring” saga, if you somehow managed to forget it, concerns the existence of an unmarked videotape that contains a short surreal film that is supposed to be indescribably eerie but which looks more like a runner-up title at a lesser underground film festival.

More than a decade after The Ring Two, Rings starts over with a fresh cast. Pretty boy Holt (Alex Roe) is off to college, leaving his girlfriend Julia (Matilda Lutz) behind in the suburbs to look after her mom. At school, he meets an “experimental biology” professor named Gabriel (Johnny Galecki), who inherited the Samara videotape from the film’s first victim.

Gabriel welcomes Holt into his elaborate system that allows him and his students to continue watching, analyzing, and passing on the Samara tape without ever getting killed themselves. Predictably, this elaborate Rube Goldberg machine for spreading horror comes crashing down, but not before Julia catches a version of the cursed tape with some extra footage.

The images turn out to be clues to a mysterious disappearance, which leads Julia and Holt to Sacrament Valley, the kind of quaint small town that has a dark secret and then begins a series of horror-drama clichés.

The movie, isn’t scary, doesn't live up to the legacy, and it doesn’t nudge you to think of technology in a new way. But it does make you wish that you could rewind those two hours, or maybe just erase them and go for original Japanese Ringu instead.