‘Rings’ is the latest American addition to the ‘Rings’ movie franchise, as started by the genuinely original and unsettling Japanese horror movie ‘The Ring’.
With the premise already established by the previous movies, ‘Rings’ inevitably nods to towards its origins and also other horror movies like ‘Final Destination’ and more recent horror fare in terms of ‘Don’t Breathe’ (especially in its final act). And this is a problem for ‘Rings’ and similar sequels of its ilk. Whilst the monster(s) that you loved from the original movies still largely remain the same (and deliver the same scares), the scenery (or in this case) the acting talent around them is the only thing that changes – and that is simply not enough (even in the steady hands of Vincent D’Onofrio).
Whilst the monster(s) that you loved from the original movies still largely remain the same…
Thankfully ‘Rings’ doesn’t sell-out completely with assailants lurking behind open doors or figures walking across the camera, but it still hangs heavily on its cliché crashing score – without which it might actually fail to provide any shocks at all.
So, left devoid of any suspense or genuine disquieting imagery, ‘Rings’ finds itself dangerously teetering on the brink of being barely horror at all. That said, whilst it doesn’t do complete disservice to its source inspiration, it neither adds to or expands the mythology of the characters that spawned it, and thereby leaves it with a shaky claim to being any kind of sequel at all.
So when considering seeing ‘Rings’ in the cinema, you might do well not to answer the call this time. This franchise needs to break its own cycle or forever risk slipping down the well of its own good, yet formulaic intentions.