February 8, 2017

Rings Review

Less-scary Samara

The Ring Two did not leave this potential horror franchise with much of a reputation to tarnish, and this boring, scare-less follow-up does nothing to recover any self-respect. The killer videotape resurfaces, and a cute couple, Julia and Holt (Matilda Lutz and Alex Roe), have to figure out how to stop the killer kid before their seven days are up—or so you would expect from another Ring. Instead, the whole seven-day deadline disappears, thanks to an update cribbed from It Follows (a superior film whose ever-present evil was a direct descendant of Samara). 

Reimagined as an alternate universe “Big Bang Theory” where Johnny Galecki’s Leonard is in hiding, researching Samara after she wiped through his entire crew (hopefully, Sheldon was first), the movie is more fun. Instead, Samara becomes some college prof’s research assignment. 

Any terror generated by Samara’s reality-bending attack has been lost in the intervening decade, and the movie does not even try to generate its own scares. Vincent D’Onofrio puts some welcome time into a feature that starts to feel like the worst Final Destination. Forget Rings, and just remember Samara as she oh-so-terrifyingly was in 2002.