What do you call a horror film that is not scary? A total disaster and that’s exactly what Rings is. Contrary to what many critics had to say, I enjoyed the second installment of The Ring. The first one was a delightful horror film and the fact that I had not seen its original up till the point when I watched it for the first time only made it that much more likable for me. The second part, that was panned by critics world over was also not all that bad for me. Rings, however, is a different story. The first sequence that unfolds on the airplane sets the mood for what you are about to run into.
The story revolves around a girl Julia (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) whose boyfriend suddenly falls off the grid. She is unable to contact him and so decides to pay a little visit to his college where she learns that he has already seen the infamous videotape, that after you have seen it, kills you within seven days unless you have passed it on to someone else. The girl discovers that her boyfriend is now part of an underground society that is actually trying to scientifically quantify the happenings related to the tape. A professor who had seen the tape himself is trying to use the spirit of the ghost, Samara, to unlock the mystery of life after death. Julia soon sees the tape herself and realizes that the tape she had seen has more to it than the others. As she races against time to find out a way to save herself, she uncovers a story that was not known right up till this point.
The film does have an interesting plot. I will give it that but the scares are so pedestrian and the use of the many jump scares are just so predictable and overdone that it just makes it an ordinary and amateurish attempt at horror. As mentioned before, the success of a horror film is largely based on three factors. Firstly the performances of the characters, which actually instills the fear in you, must be engrossing and believeable. Secondly, the horror sequences that must not be overdone and at the same time shouldn’t be underdone either. And thirdly, the story and the screenplay should be believable and affecting. Even if you are dealing with a matter as crazy as possession, there must be an emphasis on trying to make it believable. Ring falters mainly in these three departments. The story and the screenplay get funny at many junctures and that’s not a good thing for a film that is trying to be scary.
Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz is the only actor in the film who feels somewhat convincing. She portrays true scares. There is one sequence where she is shown enclosed in an open grave. That sequence gave me a jolt. I just wish I could say the same about the rest of the cast members. Every other character feels like just mouthing the lines given to him or her and that includes Johnny Galecki who plays a character on whose discovery the whole film hinges. Vincent D’Onofrio is one of my favorite actors of recent times and he is blatant as well. Even though he tries to break free of the morbid character that is written for him, he is unable to do so because of the puny screen time that he has in this film.
The film tries hard to get in some decent scares but we constantly have a feeling of been there and seen it before. There is another tingling issue in the film with the fact that it refuses to acknowledge the existence of “The Ring 2” which I saw as a kid and liked a lot. Even though it garnered extremely negative reviews, I loved that film and it scared the bejesus out of me. So when this film goes about the story pretending that whatever happened in “The Ring 2” never really happened, it becomes a nagging issue for me as my subconscious constantly keeps going back to that film. Coupled with the fact that the scares here can be predicted from a mile away and that the story is hilarious from time to time and you have a totally missable film.
To cut a long story short, Rings is not a good film. It’s not scary, it doesn’t have performance and above all, it wastes a fairly good concept because of its poor execution and horrendously bad and amateurish writing. You can miss this one.
Rating: 2/5 (2 out of 5 Stars)