Rings is the third movie in The Ring franchise and brings the story into present day. All three movies are based on the urban legend of the girl who died by falling into a well and seeks revenge by killing people who watch a disturbing tape. The infamous tape that kills whoever watches it in seven days is now available on your iPhone.
The highly anticipated film directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez starts off calm with a few jump scares here and there, even in the broad daylight. Julia (Matilda Lutz) heads to her boyfriend Holt’s (Alex Roe) college after she becomes increasingly worried when he does not respond to her calls or texts. Upon arrival, Holt is nowhere to be found, but Julia follows his tracks to a secret project on the seventh floor of a building on campus.
She finds out that he is deeply involved with the research his biology professor Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) is conducting with participants who are seeking extra credit. The research is based on the urban legend of the girl (Samara) who fell in the well and kills people in seven days after they watch her disturbing tape.
They find out that the game works a little differently than the original, and it goes like this: someone watches the tape and in order to not die in seven days, they have to find another person to watch it. Gabriel calls this, “finding a tail” and it is essentially finding someone to die in your place. And so, the cycle goes on.
When Julia finds out that Holt only has a short time to live she sacrifices herself and watches the video on Holt’s laptop. But, as she copies the video to show another person, she realizes that her’s is different than the original, with extra footage. This sets Julia and Holt on an adventure of finding whatever Samara wants them to know.
The movie only takes off towards the ending with unexpected twists and a good adaptation of the original for the present day. Although the audience was left giggling and scratching their heads after Samara somehow came out of an iPhone, the cinematography was consistent with classic modern-day horror movies.
The plot tries to appeal to a young audience and is a little narrow for the third installation of the large franchise. The writers did their best to modernize the original story, but some things are just better left in the past.
While there is little character development for the two main characters, Julia and Holt, the secrets that are revealed about others who have short on-screen time add dimension to the movie that nobody saw coming. Julia and Holt’s past are unknown and it’s uncertain why Julia is the chosen one to figure out Samara’s story.
Bonnie Morgan, who plays Samara, saves the story with her acting. Supposedly, there is no CGI, just her being incredibly flexible. Her eerie ability to transform into her character might be the only reason for the screams coming from the theater. Most of the other sounds were laughs from the crowd for bad acting and whenever Samara came out of a flat-screen television.
When Samara’s gruesome past is revealed, it is made apparent why she does what she does. The film gives information on what happened in Samara’s past, but it’s still quite uncertain why she just won’t let these teenagers live.
The movie ends with another twist that hints at the promise of another Ring movie.
Rings premiers in theaters on Friday, Feb. 3.
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