Review: RINGS is The Sequel We Should Have Gotten The First Time

I liked RINGS. With all the negativity that has been leveled at this film, I wanted to get that out straight away. In the age of elevated horror and obligatory indie praise, my money is still on the studio film and the art of visual storytelling. RINGS is very visual and well acted and quite frankly, a better sequel than The Ring 2.

RINGS starts off with a man telling a story of the tape that kills to a fellow passenger on an airplane. It is day 7 and he thinks he has beaten it. Yeah, ummm, no. The plane is blinded by the disruption of Samara. When it clears, it is too late to pull up. The opening scene is the kind of opening moment that grabs you. It is apocalyptic in its implication and sets the stage for something different.

Two years later, Professor Gabriel (a perfectly sleazy Johnny Galecki) coming across a VCR in a rummage sale. Upon trying to un-jam it, he discovers a video tape. Is it Samara’s greatest hits? Yes it is! Now what he does with the tape is genius, he has his students watch it! Yep, best teacher ever. One student caught up with a death sentence is Holt (Alex Roe), whose girlfriend Julia (Matilda Lutz) dives right in to save him. If you show someone else the tape, they become the new target and you are off the hook. That is the theory anyway. With Julia the new target, it becomes a race against the clock to solve the mystery of Samara and end the curse.

RINGS answers a lot of questions from the series and brings new fresh ideas to the table. Most interesting is the addition of Vincent D’Onofrio as blind priest Burke. He is of course full of knowledge and surprises. Also deserving a shout out is Bonnie Morgan as Samara. Added to cast, I appreciate that she is given respect, after all, no Samara climbing out of a screen, no movie.

This film is a solid addition with an ending that hits at an explosive next chapter should they get to produce one. The thing that’s great about this film is it doesn’t try to be anything more than a RING film. Doesn’t try to reinvent the franchise, only expand on it in a new and interesting way. Like I always say, judge a film for what it’s trying to be, not what you want it to be. RINGS is worth your time. In the age of armature film making, a professional fright is what we all deserve.

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