If you’ve been jonesing for a continuation of the horror saga from The Ring, but thought that what it needed was a lot less of that creepy girl crawling out of a well, then here’s the movie for you. Once again, somebody has watched the videotape that dooms you to death in seven days—this time, a young woman (Matilda Lutz) trying to save her boyfriend (Alex Roe)—only now there’s more to the back-story of string-haired haunted soul Samara that needs investigating. A potentially interesting initial premise that finds a researcher (Johnny Galecki, now improbably typecast as an academic) subjecting students to the curse is abandoned early on, leaving our two attractive protagonists to do a lot of prowling around in dark places. There’s simply none of the unsettling visual sensibility that at least made The Ring distinctive, replaced by a final hour built around jump scares from a dog barking and (I’m not even kidding) an umbrella opening. Forget about a story with enough creativity to re-invent it for the age of YouTube; Rings appears more interested in hearkening back to the terrifying adventures of Scooby-Doo.
Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Producer: Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Amy Sayres, Ehren Kruger, Mike Macari, Neal Edelstein, Christopher Bender, J.C. Spink and Roy Lee
Cast: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D'Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan, Chuck Willis, Patrick Walker and Zach Roerig