So it’s been 15 years since The Ring came onto our screens with an intriguing mystery, hanging dread and clear stakes for the characters which culminated in a pretty decent climax in an otherwise creepy horror. So how does the sequel compare? It doesn’t. I never thought I’d see the day where a Resident Evil sequel was far superior to a Ring sequel but here we are.
The story follows emotionless Julia (Matlida Lutz) who gets caught up with The Ring curse where, upon watching a video, you are told you have 7 days to live before you die. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend Holt (Alex Rowe) but this time it’s different. There’s an inception esque video within a video going on with a brand new video and mystery to be uncovered before she supposedly dies within 7 days. Whilst this isn’t initially clear as, unlike the original, the rules aren’t clear after watching this new video but where Rings tries to follow it stumbles and eventually fails on so many levels.
Beyond the atrocious acting where only Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) stands out like a slightly shiny tin can in a rubbish bin, for a horror it’s solely lacking in its source material. Aside from one or two jump scares, the film just isn’t scary in the slightest. The original had one of the creepiest openings of any horror I’ve seen in a long time. Rings opens with one of the worst. While I won’t give anything away, the film lacks any tension, suspense or horror that made the original so intriguing to watch. Some of this is due to us being told the rules to this tape within the first couple of minutes of the film but mostly due to the mystery from the original all but evaporated.
We know this is Samara, we know she’s a girl trapped in the well and we know she will appear after 7 days. While the cast stumble their way through familiar revelations from The Ring video, we just want them to hurry and catch up. The new video and the “changing of rules” is a nice twist but it’s never executed correctly. Whether it be the elements of the new video shown in quick succession or the unbelievably poor climax that looks like a scene straight out of Don’t Breathe last year, the film lacks the charm or any sort of cleverness that made the original so endearing.
So with plot inconsistencies ranging from passable to head-scratching annoyance (how is there a “Ring” club where everyone gets spooked after the death of one of their own but none ever saw the picture of the original girl in the first film?), non existent horror, a terrible climax and some atrocious acting, Rings has one thing going for it. It is officially the worst film I’ve seen in 2017 and after some of the films I’ve seen recently – that’s taken some doing.