With the horror genre enjoying what is probably it’s most successful time in history, certain films can probably take the credit for jump starting it in the past couple of decades. The Blair Witch Project. Paranormal Activity. Shaun of the Dead. Scream. All huge hits that helped bring audiences back into the theatres for horror. But one of the biggest ones has got to be The Ring. The 2002 Gore Verbinski film made about three times its money back in the USA alone and terrified audiences everywhere, even spawning a sequel in 2005 that did not fare as well. Now 12 years later we return to the world of Samara in a brand new installment, Rings.
Julia (Matilda Lutz) gets a Skype call from her boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe), who is off at college but when she answers it a girl named Skye (Aimee Teegarden) is on the screen in a panic. To make sure Holt is okay Julia drives to his college but finds him missing with Skye being the only one who seems to know what is going on involving a cursed video and the fate of all their lives.
Rings does some things right and misses the boat on a few things. What it does right is capture Samara in the same creepy ways as the first two film, keeps the atmosphere heavy and foreboding, and introduces the character of Burke played by Vincent D’Onofrio who plays an interesting role in Samara’s history. What it does wrong is that it doesn’t try anything new. The story moves along at a good pace but doesn’t really break any new ground in the franchise. Even the scenes of Samara terrorizing people are basically carbon copies of the past films. Samara is such a cool character with such a rich backstory I just can’t help but think they really could have gotten creative with her scenes. And while The Ring has some genuine scares, Rings plays it pretty safe. For fans of the series Rings has some cools stuff to offer but this one is pretty much strictly for those fans.