It’s been fifteen years since “The Ring” frightened children out of playing unknown VHS tapes, and for some reason the filmmakers thought it would be a good idea to bring it back. The plot centers around a group of college students led by their professor, played by Johnny Galecki, and their efforts to study the infamous “ring” tape. If you haven’t seen the first film, basically a little girl, Samara, gets thrown down a well by her mother and survived for seven days before dying. Somehow, she is able to manifest a tape of horrifying images that, when watched, results in the viewer receiving a phone call from someone that says “Seven days” – and then seven days later the little girl pops out of the viewer’s TV and kills them. Somehow, the college students in this film have learned that if you make a copy of the tape after you’ve watched it, and then get someone who hasn’t seen the tape to watch it, she won’t kill you and instead will go after the new viewer. Using this method, they are able to study the tape without fear of being killed. I know, it’s all very convoluted and the complexity kind of sucks you out of the moment.
Although this film is a sequel to a movie that came out fifteen years ago, it seems to be geared more toward a teenage audience. This, I believe, doomed the film from the start. The people that watched the original fifteen years ago aren’t teenagers anymore, and teenagers today won’t appreciate the film because they probably couldn’t even walk when the original came out. The original was dark, artsy, and cold. This is packed with quick cutaways that shorten scenes to a length a teenage mind, or goldfish, could keep up with. There’s some ridiculous teenage romance subplot going on that no one cares about, including webcam dates and an uncomfortable sex dream sequence that involves the main character and her boyfriend – and Samara (What?!).
Instead of a VHS tape causing all the chaos, this time the video has been digitally copied via computers, and packed up in nifty e-mails, so it may be sent anywhere in the world – and it does. Yes, eventually Samara gets wise to everyone’s plan to copy her video and stay alive, so she possesses a computer and literally e-mails it to everyone. I think it’s safe to assume that everyone is dead, which would mean no point in another sequel (Yay!). Unfortunately, I still had to endure this sequel, so let’s continue. Want to hear something stupid? We only see Samara three times in the movie that I remember, and the very first time we see her is in the beginning of the film when she pops out of the navigation screen in a commercial airplane and kills everyone. I don’t know the rules of the paranormal killer video watching, but I know everyone on that plane didn’t watch the video so technically could she kill them?
I’m think it’s within reason to assume the filmmakers knew this movie was going to tank. The acting is difficult to endure and any director with some sense would have made the actors re-shoot the scenes until they made their characters believable – unless of course this movie was just a cash cow to profit from the success of the original in an effort to retain the rights. The only actors that show the least bit of sincerity and don’t come across as dull are Johnny Galecki and Vincent D’Onofrio. Oh, that’s right! Vincent D’Onofrio plays Samara’s father. Yeah, he’s a retired priest that kept a little girl chained in his basement and raped her and then Samara was born, isn’t that nice? This movie did not need another layer to it, let alone another villain! In the end, Samara shows up and saves the day by rescuing the main character from evil Vincent. This was not without its cost, though, as Samara takes possession of the main character and wreaks havoc on the world. The end. Roll credits.
There you have it, another Ring movie and another in a long line of horror-ble movies. Although the entire premise of the first film was dumb, I’ll give it this – it tried. I mean it really tried to be scary. This just felt commercial and bland and every scene felt like filler material spawned from the ramblings of lazy writers in an effort to meet a deadline.
This movie is…
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’d rather watch the original.
Cheers and goodnight.