Rings - This Horror Movie Does Not Rock. Go Bang. Jump. Go Bump In The NIght - Nuthin'
Dir: F. Javier Guttierrez
Starring Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D'Onofrio
The latest in the Rings cycle opens well with an impressive scene aboard a stricken airplane – which makes absolutely no sense. It ends well with an impressive scene inside a bathroom, which, despite some nods to the past, makes absolutely no sense. In between, the movie profoundly underwhelms. And, for the most part, make little or no sense.
It’s been about a dozen years since the last American Ringu-inspired incarnation. But time has not withered her – it’s just kind of given up on her completely. Rings (not a plural of a title that thrusts it into Aliens territory) begins with all the familiar tropes of the series, even seeking out that most ancient of artefacts – the VHS player, now something akin to the Ark of the Covenant.
Into this the filmmakers establish the vague rules of the “watch this video and die seven days later” mythology, and casts our young innocents - Lutz and Roe – into its milieu. Then they also add Galecki (as a science professor no less) who appears to have gone straight from innocent Big Bang man child to dodgy old sleaze of an academic without passing go, without collecting his $200, (not that he needs the money.)
And from then on – we’re in a completely different movie. Our young heroine and her veritable useless lump of a boyfriend, opt to go in search of the truth of the young girl in the cursed video, and all that follows is Basil Exposition and a huge heap of dullness. In attempting to fathom the depths of the horror this series has displayed to date, the film becomes something else entirely. And it’s not good.
What we have here then is the horror movie that knows no horror, a chiller without chills, a thriller minus anything resembling a thrill. It doesn’t even bother with the standard issue of quiet/BANG that predominates the genre these days. It just moves forward into almost stupid, pointless territory. Admittedly, a blind Vincent D’Onofrio livens things up briefly, but all he does is chew scenery and offer our youngsters the advice “Be careful.” No shit, Sherlock!
Rings – for better or worse – starts off as a Ring movie, does a complete U-turn and becomes a whole other movie (a lesser one) and then suddenly remembers where it’s supposed to be in its coda. In between, it just disappoints and bores. Take the advice offered to all those on screen – “Don’t watch!”
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