Combustible Celluloid
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With: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D'Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan, Chuck David Willis, Patrick R. Walker, Zach Roerig, Laura Slade Wiggins, Lizzie Brocheré
Written by: David Loucka, Jacob Estes, Akiva Goldsman
Directed by: F. Javier Gutiérrez
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence/terror, thematic elements, some sexuality and brief drug material
Running Time: 107
Date: 02/03/2017

Rings (2017)

1 Star (out of 4)

Bored of 'Rings'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This lethargic, sadly unnecessary horror sequel attempts more of the same mythology but quickly proves to be utterly boring, with dull characters, lacking in any actual scares, and with nothing to say. Following the American films The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005), and based on the original series of Japanese novels (by Koji Suzuki) and movies, Rings adds nothing to the mythology, with possible exception of updating the old VHS tape to new, digital files that can be played on phones and desktops.

In Rings, the cycle of the mysterious video and subsequent deaths continue. After a plane crash kills the latest victim, a professor (Johnny Galecki), visits an estate sale and buys an old VCR. Inside he finds the tape and watches it; he receives the inevitable phone call that he will die in seven days. He saves his own life by "passing on" the curse to others, including clean-cut college student Holt (Alex Roe) and his girlfriend Julia (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz). With the curse resting on Julia, she and Holt begin investigating, using the images she sees in the deadly video; this leads them to a dying small town and the home of a blind man (Vincent D'Onofrio) who may know more than he lets on.

The attempt to solve the new mystery only begs the question: didn't they already take care of this in the last couple of movies? And being stuck with our two leads doesn't help; they are arguably the dullest couple of characters ever to grace a horror movie. Director F. Javier Gutiérrez goes for only jump-scares — including the sudden opening of an umbrella! — but these are so glumly routine that it's impossible not to guess when they're coming. In the end, this Rings is less "lord" and more "bored."

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