Thursday, February 9, 2017

Movie Review: "Rings" (2017)

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Director: F. Javier GutiƩrrez
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

As part of an ongoing research study for one of his college classes, Holt (Alex Roe) watches a cursed video and has seven days to make a copy of it and show it to someone else. Unbeknownst to him, his girlfriend Julia (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) watches it to save his life, but now, she is unable to make a copy and the video has changed. She has seven days to find out why.

"Rings" is a sequel or perhaps a spin-off of the 2002 film "The Ring." It is directed by F. Javier GutiƩrrez with a story by Jacob Estes and David Loucka. It stars Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz as Julia and Alex Roe as her boyfriend Holt. When Holt heads off to college, after a short time, he abruptly breaks contact with Julia. After not hearing from him for a few days, she heads up to his campus looking for him. It turns out Holt has entered into a study that is being performed by one of his professors, played by Johnny Galecki, where each student watches the video from "The Ring," makes the copy needed to spare themselves, and shows it to someone a few days later so they won't die. Unfortunately, a terrible incident occurs and Holt loses his "tail," and in order to save his life, Julia watches the video. For some reason, she is unable to make a copy of the video that will save her life, and now, the video has changed, offering new images for a new story to be unraveled.

"Rings" is a horror mystery that begins with the same David Lynch-esque student film-type video we saw in previous "Ring" films. The only difference is now, the VHS has been converted to a QuickTime file, so copying the actual cassette tape has been replaced with quick click copy and paste. The only problem comes when Julia tries to click copy and gets a terrifying error message. DEAR GOD, SO SCARY! This film is bloated with predictable jump scares, like the terrifyingly loud noise made from an opening umbrella directly towards the camera. oOoOoOoOo!! Most of the eerie imagery is recycled from the original American version of "The Ring."

In addition, the acting is flat out dreadful when it comes to the two principal actors. Neither Rowe or Lutz is able to properly emote or put any emphasis or passion into their lines, giving bland performances in a boring, dull, unnecessary and long-oft sequel no one asked for...ever. Where the first film succeeded in having an adult journalist as the main character, this movie has college-aged kids who proceed to fall into tropes and contrivances of the PG-13 horror genre. "Boyfriend suddenly and mysteriously goes missing, so of course, don't contact the police, just investigate his disappearance yourself!" Johnny Galecki's performance as professor Gabriel isn't much better as he also devolves into a series of cliches. "I found out crucial information that the audience discovered on their own 20 minutes ago, let me leave Holt a voicemail message telling him I found something and then make the four hour drive where I will surely perish along the way to tell you any details instead of, you know, TELLING YOU ON THE CALL IN THE FIRST PLACE." Not that it matters in the slightest provided Holt never checks his voicemail OR his texts, so unbelievably unrealistic.

The characters in "Rings" are stupid, every twist and turn is stupid, and every single tiny bit of effective scares are recycled. On top of all of this, the pacing is atrociously slow. The film feels 10 years longer than it needs to be, and it's not really a long movie, but we couldn't help but check the time on our phones in an entirely empty-but-us theater because we got so bored watching this. You're better off avoiding "Rings" altogether, and you would be far better off revisiting "The Ring" from 2002 or checking out the Japanese original "Ringu," both of which are a thousand times scarier than this garbage prequel/sequel/reboot/whatever the hell.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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