Rings is nothing short of spectacular. It’s not often that so many people work together to transform a lauded horror movie franchise into the comedy event of the year.
The premise of the Ring movies seems like a natural fit for the modern world of social media. A vengeful ghost that kills you seven days after you see a video: upload that thing to YouTube or make it Snapchattable and you have a spree of teen murders and a fascinating plot. But Rings decides that it’d rather be a hackneyed, predictable and laughable creepy village story than anything remotely original or genuinely chilling.
“Between laughable jump scares, a failure to understand basic logic, and absolutely ludicrous product placement, Rings left me howling with laughter”
From the first scene to the last second, Rings spares no contrivance or horror cliché to attempt to convince you that the stakes have never been higher. ‘Hyping’ you up with a ridiculous plane crash sequence reminiscent of the infamous Sharknado, the plot jumps through hoop after hoop to ensure the cast of forgettable, wooden actors – except for The Big Bang Theory’s Howard, who inexplicably plays a shady university lecturer – make it to the end of the lumpy plot alive. New, convenient and contradictory revelations about the nature of Samara are only pulled out as the plot demands them, and with them any tension vanishes. It’s hard to feel any investment or fear at all when the film is bending over backwards to ensure its blundering idiot protagonists survive.
That’s not to say that the film isn’t entertaining. Between laughable jump scares – the most scary thing in the film is a dog – a failure to understand basic logic – there are ‘gaps in the data’ that reveal a secret, second video inside the first – and absolutely ludicrous product placement, Rings left me howling with laughter throughout.
As a horror movie it fails utterly and spectacularly, but if terrible films are your kind of thing and you’re done with thinking for the day, it’s worth a watch. Just make sure you don’t sit near anybody else in the cinema.
More like this: The Grudge (2004)