Rings (2017) – Review

Against my better judgement, I opted to see Rings over Manchester By The Sea. What can I say? I was just in one of those moods. You know the sort – when you just feel like indulging in some trashy thrills over anything that will require you to actually think. I was hoping Rings would be just the thing I was after, and indeed, the fact that’s it’s terrible isn’t a surprise. I knew it would be after that dreadful first trailer which literally spoiled the entire film. What I wasn’t anticipating, however, is just how bland it would be. Now that I think about it, that’s really the best word for it: it’s a bland fart of a movie.

After an opening sequence boasting Suicide Squad levels of clunkiness (which is really saying something), the film proceeds to meander through its generic, predictable story without any kind of discernible effort while casually ticking every cliche in the book. Someone pulling a disgusting string/hair type thing from their mouth? Check. Couple visiting creepy ghost town where everyone looks at them funny? Check. Girl going rogue and discovering “the place where it all happened”? Check. Guy you thought was good actually turning out to be bad? Check. Generic jump scares of things that turn out to be innocuous? Check. I’d apologize for the spoilers but 1: it’s all in the trailer, and 2: do you really want to watch it?

Don’t get me wrong, of course – some of these cliches are what make bad/good horror movies, but in the case of Rings they’re just so insipidly thrown together that there’s never even a hint of joy to be found. It feels like a film made by people who think they know what horror movies are about, but have never actually taken the time to watch one. The least they could have done is make it look like they were trying.

And if you hadn’t guessed so by now, it’s not mildly creepy. Forget about any kind of atmosphere; you’ll be hard-pressed to find even one jump scare that will rattle you. What scares the movie actually has are delivered so poorly, yet it hardly matters in the first place because there are surprisingly few to be found. One kind of expects movies of this ilk to throw the kitchen sink of jump scares at us, because that’s all they know how to do (a habit which has given the technique a bad name), but after one ‘ringy’ scene early on, pretty much nothing happens for the next hour.

Seriously, nothing happens. It’s staggeringly boring.


Verdict:

The scariest thing about Rings is the realization that you’ve wasted 100 good minutes of your life watching it. Inert scares, rubbish performances and a script which flat-lines at every turn – this one is complete stinker.

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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