Apr 272017

Rings is simply a terrible horror movie amongst a plethora of terrible horror movies and even the venerable Vincent D’Onofrio couldn’t save this mess. The only thing this entry do is compete with The Ring Two, debating which is dumber.




Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural, Thriller
Paramount | PG13 – 104 min. – $39.99 | May 2, 2017

Date Published: 04/27/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
F. Javier Gutiérrez
Writer(s): Koji Suzuki (motion picture Ringu); David Loucka & Jacob Estes (story), David Loucka & Jacob Estes and Akiva Goldsman (screenplay)
Cast: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden
Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 38.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (untested)


THE MOVIE — 1.0/5

Note: This review contains some major PLOT SPOILERS.

First you watch it. Then you die… of boredom.

Ringu is arguably one of the best horror movies coming out of Japan. The Ring was arguably one of, if not the, best J-horror American remakes though in fairness, it’s a short list of good ones out there. Well, 12 years after The Ring Two, an awful movie in its own right, we get Rings, one of those part-reboot, part-sequel and the end result is one that I hope ends the franchise once and for all.

The story this go around, following an opening involving a man seven days after seeing the video, on an airplane when it crashes killing everyone on board. I can only assume this sequence was shoved in there explain the video and its “rules” for the uninitiated.

Two years later, college professor Gabriel Brown (JOHNNY GALLECKI) is perusing some junk at a flea market coming across a VCR and old tapes, once belonging to one of the victims of the plane crash, and decides to purchase it for… reasons. Taking it home, and trying to fix it, discovers a tape already inside and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the Samara tape which he of course watches and gets the dreaded “7 Days” phone call. He sits up and sees the rain on his window running upward. Don’t ask me why. Cut to title card.

Next we meet cutesy couple Julia (MATILDA LUTZ) and Holt (ALEX ROE) who sets off for college. Some time passes and, all of a sudden, Holt is incommunicado. After receiving a creepy face-time message from a strange girl named Skye (AIMEE TEEGARDEN) looking for Holt. Concerned, Julia makes the trek to the college and discovers one of Holt’s classes is with Brown whom Holt told her he was doing an extra credit assignment for, though the good professor denies this.

Julia becomes Nancy Drew following Brown to a slick laboratory (using a special key getting up on an elevator which I have no clue why she had such a key) where he is conducting experiments involving the tape, investigating the possibilities of finding the human soul or the afterlife, or something. She sees Skye arguing with Brown and later confronts her outside. Skye invites Julia to her apartment to watch something… Yeah, we know. Its apparent Skye is up against the wall with her 7 days coming up but Julia refuses to watch and, well, Samara makes a grand appearance through the plasma television. Skye be dead.

Julia manages to get out into the arms of Holt who clues her in on what the hell is going on and, because she loves him and all, voluntarily watches the tape to save him in the hopes, with the help of Brown, to end it once and for all, something Naomi Watts couldn’t do through two movies prior, but I’m sure she’ll succeed and it won’t sequel-bait at the end!

Rings is an ineptly told movie that goes down the same road as the previous movies with stupid characters following some sort of trail of breadcrumbs, discover a deep-seeded secret and get hookwinked by a 10-year-old girl they think they’re helping. But adding to the lousy story is a generic horror-thriller finale with a big bad guy. I can only think this was screenwriter Akiva Goldman’s contribution.

Taking the directing duties is F. Javier Gutiérrez who previously helmed the cultish movie, Before I Fall. The actual direction I suppose wasn’t terrible and he at least kept the jump scares to a minimum (I think there were only 2-3), yet it’s hard to differentiate this from any other supernatural-horror movie, let alone something like The Ring Two (Verbinski did bring some style and atmosphere to the first remake; and yes I know Nakata directed the sequel).

The cast was alright considering the bad screenplay since none of them really had nothing to work with. Matilda Lutz was fine as the female lead; Alex Roe had the personality of a cardboard box (not that his character was all that interesting anyway); Johnny Galecki was surprisingly the highlight and needed to have more screen time; and I haven’t the foggiest clue why someone of Vincent D’Onofrio’s status would even sign on to this trash.

I honestly have no idea why something like Rings managed to get a theatrical release and I suspect if there’s any desire for further installments, be it with Paramount or another studio, this will dive into the direct-to-video realm where it belongs at this point.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover. Included are a DVD Copy and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Terror Comes Full Circle (12:37; HD) is a behind-the-scenes featurette on how the series got where it is today, and today’s technology, from the eyes of its current cast and crew.

Resurrecting the Dead: Bringing Samara Back (9:19; HD) – This featurette looks at the return of evil girl, Samara as portrayed by Bonnie Morgan and the make-up design this go around.

Scary Scenes (6:35; HD) has the cast talking about what scared them working on the film and includes some behind-the-scenes footage.

Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (18:40; HD) includes 14 scenes that, for one reason or another, was cut down or cut out completely, likely for pacing issues. Includes an alternate ending.


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Rings crawls out of the Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Even though a fair portion of the film looks dark, I still found detail to be relatively sharp and colors, during the daylight shots anyway, appear natural looking. It might not be reference quality work, but compared to other horror movies of this ilk, it’s not half bad looking.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

The disc comes with a relatively robust DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. There’s a fair amount to judge here from the crisp and clear dialogue levels as well as the few supernatural elements which really envelops each of the channels. The music, from composer Matthew Margeson, which reuses the theme created by Hans Zimmer.


OVERALL – 1.0/5

Overall, Rings is simply a terrible horror movie amongst a plethora of terrible horror movies and even the venerable Vincent D’Onofrio couldn’t save this mess. The only thing this entry do is compete with The Ring Two, debating which is dumber. The Blu-ray release offers great video/audio transfers and so-so bonus material.


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