Here’s a look at RINGS (2017), another theatrical horror movie release from early 2017. Again, for a year that so far has had some pretty cool horror movies, it didn’t start out that way.
In RINGS, the main character is a young woman Julia (Matilda Lutz) whose boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe) goes off to college where he becomes a participant in an experiment run by his professor Gabriel (Johnny Galecki). Gabriel has in his possession the infamous videotape from THE RING (2002) and he’s having his students watch the tape to learn more about it. The way Gabriel sees it, as long as his students copy the tape and have someone else watch it, they will be saved. And so on, and so on. Of course, that’s a lot of “so ons.”
When Julia receives a strange message from Holt’s phone, she decides to investigate. Soon, she and Holt are searching for clues to learn more about Samara, the mysterious woman in the video, and their search takes them to a small town where they meet an equally mysterioius blind man Burke (Vincent D’Onofrio) who may have the answers they are looking for.
And that’s the story folks. Sound interesting? Not to me either!
I found RINGS incredibly dull and boring, so much so, that it was really difficult to sit through this one. The biggest offender was the storytelling. The screenplay by three writers, David Loucka, Jacob Estes, and Akiva Goldsman really struggles to tell a story. The movie gets off to such a disjointed start it’s laughable. We’re on a plane at first, there’s an incident, then we’re at some sort of yard sale we meet professor Gabriel, and then we jump to a bedroom with Julia and Holt, and then Holt goes off to college, and blah blah blah, and eventually after all this meandering we realize that the main character in this one is Julia, but you wouldn’t know it by the way it starts off.
The story itself about the videotape and Samara was a complete snooze. The most interesting part of the entire story happens in the final few minutes of the movie, and it deals with technology, and what would happen with today’s social media and just how fast videos can be shared today. Had this been what this movie was about, they may have had something interesting here.
Director F. Javier Gutierrez goes through the motions here. No memorable images or scares are to be found.
I did enjoy the peformance by lead actress Matilda Lutz as Julia. She was good here and I was actually interested in her character, even if she was stuck in a dull and predictable storyline. Lutz is an Italian actress and hopefully we’ll see more of her in future films.
Alex Roe was pretty standard as hunky hero Holt. He was rather plain and boring.
And while it’s always fun to watch Vincent D’Onofrio, his role here really doesn’t amount to all that much. I mean, it’s ultimately an important role in terms of plot, but he could play it in his sleep.
Sadly, I’ve reached the point where I dread seeing horror movies at the movies these days. The majority of these flicks are flat out awful. RINGS is no exception. Don’t bother with this one. It’s a complete waste of time.
Of course, when I wrote this review in February 2017, I hadn’t yet seen GET OUT (2017), A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2017), or THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (2017), three excellent horror movies, so the year definitely got better in terms of horror movie releases.
And so one has to wonder…how DO these films get past the presentation phase and into production? I would love to see a post by you about the differences between the films that were old and kitschy but successes versus today’s really bad efforts…What has gone wrong in B-Horror?