Ring Rewind Rejected

Directed by F. Javier Gutierrez

Starring Johnny Galecki, Matilda Lutz, Vincent D’Onofrio

Released February 3rd, 2017

Rated PG-13


I consider Gore Verbinski’s 2002 remake of The Ring to be one of the best horror films of all time, even more effective than the Japanese original. The 2005 sequel, with a returning Naomi Watts, is an incomprehensible silly mess with bad CGI deer.

Amateurish in its execution of everything from editing to acting, the third in the trilogy, Rings, is by far the low point in the series.

It opens promisingly enough, with Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) fiddling with a junky Video Cassette Recorder he’s found at some manner of flea market. You or I could find many of these devices at any local Goodwill, but Gabriel eyes it like it’s a forgotten relic from the past that he’s fortunate enough to come across.

Amateurish in its execution of everything from editing to acting, the third in the trilogy, Rings, is by far the low point in the series.

Taking it home and using his skills with a screwdriver, Gabriel gets it to work and proceeds to watch the old videotape found inside. Which might be cursed. OK, you know it’s cursed. It’s a copy of ABS OF STEEL. Just kidding, it’s the tape from The Ring. The one where if you watch it you’ll get a phone call from a young girl whispering “Seven days” in your ear and then you die horribly at the end of those seven days. Have fun watching!

…or don’t.

Gabriel, who is a college professor (the hip kind that kids relate to!) sets up what can only be described as a goth computer lab secreted away on the seventh floor of the university (c’mon, NOBODY goes to the seventh floor) where he can show the cursed videotape to a multitude of curious students in a bizarre attempt to learn more about its effects, the afterlife, and the nature of the soul itself.

I like the idea of a VCR as a modern day Lemarchand’s box unleashing the evil Samara upon the world, but this story thread is quickly abandoned and we find ourselves following two bland actors portraying two bland teenagers trying to discover more about Samara’s past in the hopes of escaping her wrath.

As Bland Teenager #1, actor Alex Roe is just sort of there. Sometimes he is wearing a shirt. Other times he is not. Actress Matilda Lutz is Bland Teenager #2. She resembles Jessica Alba in both looks and acting chops. Matilda and Alex both seem bored, which is a comfort when you get bored watching them.

This film brings about series continuity issues concerning Samara’s parentage and history, additional (and quite lame) images added to the classic cursed videotape, and jump scares that aren’t as effective as the ones found in Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Now then, I have some questions.

  1. If you watch the cursed videotape and then cross the International Date Line going east, do you subtract a day? (See also: The Gremlins Conundrum)
  1. If you watch the videotape and Samara calls you on your cell phone, does she leave a call back number?
  1. Why was this movie’s release delayed four times (from November 13th, 2015, to April 1st, 2016 to October 28th, 2016, to February 3rd 2017)?

Oh, wait! I know the answer to that last one. Because it stinks.