Horror Week #1: Rings (2017)
When I was younger, I wasn’t even allowed to watch horror films, but my brother showed me The Ring on actual VHS tape, and the rest is history. I think The Ring is a pretty decent horror flick to start off with if you’re into horror because it has an interesting concept, a truly horrifying villain, and a race against time. I’ve been waiting for this film to come out ever since it was originally called The Ring 3D. This franchise, in my opinion, is one to see. Now that I’ve seen the third film, what could it possibly be about?
Well, Samara is just as active as she’s always been. Don’t ask me how. I never seem to know. I feel like they always take care of her by the end. All I know is that she is active again, and it’s worse now, because VHS isn’t even a thing anymore. They have this thing getting file-shared across the internet like a virus…well maybe not as in-your-face. There is a group that views the video, digitally copies it, and then has someone else watch it, spreading death like a disease. Well, one girl decides to find out how to stop it overall, which means digging even deeper into Samara’s life story.
These horror films are so different, because in a certain light, even though the villain is terrifying, you do have this feeling of empathy when it comes to her disturbing life and how she was a victim to it. They proved that in all three films now, and I think this film dug really deep into her past in a way they’ve never have before, and gave it more heart, more meaning, and ultimately added to the story.
If you’re wondering about how scary it is, it’s not really scary. There are a couple of really cool scenes with Samara and some really good lead-up thrills, but other than that, I like the discovery elements of the film more than anything else. Unfortunately, the opening scene gets the blunt of the bad stuff. The intro felt like an intro to Scary Movie 6, it was just…bad…all around, bad. That’s the foundation, though. The foundation is often the most important part of the film, and this is an intro that could have people walking out of the room. I think after that intro, the film is fine, it’s just the first scene that bugs me.
PEOPLE SCORE (5/10)
Acting – 1|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 0
Here’s where the film held it’s first problem – people. Horror films feed off of good characters, casting, and acting…because they want you to care about people when one ultimately dies. I can say truthfully that I really didn’t care for anyone…not really. This wasn’t a film that you remember based on the people at all. The acting was mediocre, the characters were forgettable, only a couple people really add to the actual plot, and absolutely no one has chemistry. Unfortunately, this is really important for the film, and it’s one of the main flaws it has.
WRITING SCORE (8/10)
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2
The writing wasn’t too bad, though. While the dialogue was mostly just typical, I do consider this a very balanced story that has a deeper message beneath it all. Samara has always had a way with sounding like more of a victim than any of her own victims, and they did it again here, in an even deeper way. As far as originality goes, it mostly feels like you’re watching The Ring for a newer audience, but yes, the changed enough things up to at least partially be original. Also, this is a horror franchise that I love, which pretty much automatically makes it interesting to me.
BTS SCORE (8/10)
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
The stuff going on behind-the-scenes was also somewhat decent. I like what this movie looks like. While I appreciated the classic-ness of the original film when it came out on VHS, I also appreciate the dark gritty tones and contrast of light on dark in this movie. The directing was mostly what you’d expect, so nothing really stood out there, but the editing was pretty good. This needed some intense editing in spots, especially with the Ring video, and they definitely did a good job there. It was AS advertised, and the music was relatively typical and does what it needs to do.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE (10/10)
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Perfect narrative arc score here, because everything was in place. The introduction reintroduced us to the concept of Samara, about copying the tape, and it also introduced us to our main characters in the film. The Inciting incident is when the main girl’s boyfriend goes missing, and she discovers the reason has something to do with the Ring video. The obstacles mostly had to do with a bunch of red herrings, research, and discovery. The climax was really interesting and satisfying, and it ends on a new norm that I liked. Perfect score here.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE (6/10)
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impusle/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 1
Next up, we ask ourselves how entertaining it is. Is it a rewatchable film? It is, actually. I’d watch this with the other movies as a rewatch, and I’d also watch this on its own as well. Is it fun? Yeah, man, it’s the Ring, I always have a good time watching them. It also sort of sucks the audience in, but at the same time…doesn’t in other parts. I have a slight interest in talking to someone about this, but mostly just other people that appreciate the franchise. However, no part of me actually wants to buy it.
SPECIALTY QUESTIONS (40/50)
Sequel – 10|Add something – 10|Horror – 5|VHS/Modern – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Alright, so the first thing I want to know here, is if it fits very well with the Ring Universe. The answer to that is a resounding yes, which is a good thing. Having Naomi Watts not show up in this film was a strange choice, but thankfully, she wasn’t needed. I wanted to know if this adds anything to the franchise, and it does – a deeper, more meaningful piece of Samara’s history. How scary is it? Not very scary, some basic jump scares, but that’s about it. One of the main questions I had is how well it works with modernizing the whole VHS concept thing. Well, file-sharing feels a little less concrete and physical…so the threat of the video itself was dulled way down, unfortunately. Finally, is it halfway decent? Totally.