“Rings:” an unwanted, unneeded sequel back from the grave

By IAN LACK Reporter

Editor’s Note: The grading system used here is similar to the 10-point scale used in SDSU courses.


In a weekend dominated by a Super Bowl game too tempting to turn away from, what could Hollywood possibly offer up to get people into a theater? Apparently, a long overdue sequel no one asked for and no one should be excited about.

Following a narrative close to its original 1998 Japanese film and English-language remake, “Rings” tells the tale of a teenage couple, Holt (Alex Roe) and Julia (Matilda Lutz), who are going through a rough patch in their relationship.

 When we first meet the couple, Holt is heading off to college, while Julia stays at home to care for her sick mother.

 However, Holt doesn’t keep the best contact with his girlfriend and Julia follows him to campus, where she discovers that Holt’s professor, Gabriel Brown (Johnny Galecki), is experimenting with the supernatural.

 This experiment involves a video that, when shown to a viewer, brings on a haunting from an otherworldly girl named Samara (Bonnie Morgan). As with all of the “Ring” movies, once you see this video, you get a phone call and the creepy girl on the other end whispers, “seven days,” and, you guessed it, she comes to kill you seven days later.

 After saving Holt from the psychopathic killer/college professor and watching the film herself, Julia and Holt go on a deeply philosophical journey to uncover the secrets behind Samara.

The mystery boils down to a final showdown between the living and the dead.

Even without seeing this film, there are several tell-tale signs of its poor quality:

 1. This is a February release and it was previously slated for October.

 2. Paramount held its embargo on reviews for the film until days before the film’s release, I assume in hopes to avoid bad press.

 3. The movie’s trailers, like the film itself, were poorly edited and offered nothing near excitement.

 But what makes a horror flick go this wrong? A combination of things.

 First off, this flick offers no real scares, opting for gore and the creeps instead. Is that bad? Not necessarily, but it needed to overcome that with a better-written story and sharper twists in the mystery. But, this film doesn’t offer that either.

 What it does offer is cringe-worthy. A muted color palette isn’t a stand-in for effective cinematography. The one brief silver lining this movie has is in its star, Matilda Lutz. Her performance as the typical tortured girl is actually rather good and she comes into her own with what little she has to work with.

My best advice in regard to “Rings?” Avoid it like the haunted video in this film. If not, you’ll die of boredom.

Ian Lack is a visual editor at The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected].