Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Rings (3½ Stars)

I was quite excited when I saw this film advertised. It was sprung on me. I hadn't heard anything about it being made, then suddenly I saw the film poster at my local cinema. I loved the Japanese Ring films (1998 and 1999), and I loved the American remakes (2002 and 2005) even more.

I wasn't sure whether the new film, also made in America, was a belated sequel to "Ring 2" or a reboot. After watching the film I have the impression that the film itself doesn't know what it's supposed to be. As it starts it looks like a simple sequel. There are college students who already know about the cursed video tape and how to avoid being killed by it, so they've formed a club (I almost said "cult") around it. VCRs are no longer made today, so people need to buy second hand machines at flea markets to indulge in the tape.

On a side note: I last used my VCR in 2008. I kept it until 2015, just in case, which is when I finally dumped it in the trash.

Getting back to the film, it develops into a story about investigating the past of Samara, the girl who created the video tape. I failed to see the point in this, because it had all been done in the first film, "Ring". As it continued things were unearthed which contradicted the first film. So it is a reboot after all?

"Rings" is scary. That's undeniable. The pacing and the atmosphere have been designed very well. I was scared, and I repeatedly felt the people around me in the cinema jumping. When the film was over I overheard the couple behind me talking about how much they loved the film. I can't be so generous. For me the problem was with the story. So much of what happened didn't make sense. The only reason I would watch the film again is to try to figure out what was happening in some of the scenes.

The story ends with a hook to offer a sequel, "Rings 2". "Rings" has been a box office success, so we can expect another film soon.

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