RINGS (2016) Reviews and overview

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‘Evil is reborn’

Rings is a 2016 American horror feature film directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez (Before the Fall) from a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka and Jacon Aaron Estes. The movie stars Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe (The Calling), Johnny Galecki (The Master CleanseI Know What You Did Last Summer), Aimee Teegarden (Beneath the Darkness; Scream 4), Laura Wiggins and Vincent D’Onofrio.

Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (The Uninvited; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street); The Ring and its sequel) produced the $25 million Paramount project. The film took $81 million at the box office worldwide.


A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious video tape said to kill the watcher seven days after they have viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…


Rings came off as a teen horror flick that’s more akin to the countless The Ring imitators that were gunned out after the original’s success, than the solid OG itself. Add to all that an often lumbering pace, some contrived moments (like our lead gal having a horror Samara dream before she even watched the tape) and a musical score that belonged in an action film not a horror movie and you get a flawed affair…” Arrow in the Head

Rings is dreadfully acted, with Lutz unprepared for the lead role, showing no range or discernible sense of urgency as she encounters supposedly terrifying visions. Galecki’s take on a pompous professor always looks like boredom, and D’Onofrio adds some ham to this sad sandwich.”Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

“Johnny Galecki as an unconventional professor and Vincent D’Onofrio as an enigmatic blind man are endlessly entertaining to watch, and director F. Javier Gutiérrez does a great job shooting the film with steady, ominous shots that let the horror do the talking. But those scares are few and far between…” Derek Anderson, Daily Dead

” …this mess isn’t likely to reboot or revive the American franchise […] The plot stutters as if radically different Ring scripts were commissioned and then shuffled together to justify creepy set-pieces without giving thought to the collapsing storyline (a key image on that tape is a snake swallowing itself) or engaging characters.” Kim Newman, Empire

“Sure, Samara’s jerky movements provide a few jumps, but there are no long scares. At a certain point in the middle of the film, you think it’s going to pick up as the plot twists around, but the scariness doesn’t materialize. It’s almost as if Samara has gone from an analog to a 4K spirit — rendered into such detail, even the creepy little girl is far less creepy this time around.” Chris Jancelewicz, Global News

“Even the ending of the film will leave you unsatisfied as it feels entirely unearned and seems to ignore plot elements of Ring 2.  It tries to end on a big note, but everything about the film has been so limp before that that it has little to no impact.” Jason McDonald, Horror-Movies.ca

“Since it is pretty much all stuff that we have seen before, despite the superficial attempts to move the material into the age of smartphones and social media, there is little tension to be had and even the big “BOO!” moments seem tired and halfhearted.” Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com

“If crap movies carried penalties for inflicting torture on audiences, then Rings would merit a death sentence. This overdose of cinematic Lunesta takes the horror out of horrorshow – and the show is lost as well, since Spanish director F. Javier Gutiérrez doesn’t seem remotely interested in rousing anything in us besides all-consuming apathy.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“The biggest problem with all of this is the overwhelming sense of apathy the film brings to almost everything. There’s no conceptual focus, no single character whose fate seems to matter, no interest in tying random events together in a coherent way, and certainly no investment in resolutions or payoffs.” Tasha Robinson, The Verge



In the UK, Rings was released on Blu-ray and DVD on 29 May 2017.

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

Cast and characters:

  • Matilda Lutz … Julia
  • Alex Roe … Holt
  • Johnny Galecki … Gabriel
  • Aimee Teegarden … Sky
  • Laura Wiggins … Faith
  • Vincent D’Onofrio
  • Andrea Laing … Libby
  • Zach Roerig … Carter
  • Surley Alvelo … Shanda
  • Adam Fristoe … Chris
  • Lizzie Brocheré
  • Andrea Powell
  • Drew Grey … Sam
  • Patrick R. Walker … Jamal
  • Chuck David Willis … Blue
  • Michael E. Sanders … Capt. J Forsett
  • Chris Greene … Officer Gonzalez
  • Bonnie Morgan … Samara Morgan

Filming locations:

Atlanta, Georgia



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