Writer: David Loucka, Jacob Estes, Akiva Goldsman, Koji Suzuki
Cast: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan, Chuck David Willis, Patrick R. Walker, Zach Roerig, Laura Wiggins, Lizzie Brochere, Karen Ceesay, Dave Blamy, Micahel E. Sanders, Randall Taylor, Drew Grey, Kayli Carti, Jill Jane Clements, Ricky Muse
Production Company: Macari/Edelstein, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Vertigo Entertainment, Waddieish Claretrap, Paramount Pictures
Budget: $33,000,000 (estimated)
When most people attend the movies they don’t want to see the same old rehashed concept that came before. Fresh ideas with new twists and turns will always motivate the soul to hop off the couch and run to the theater. So back in 2002, when The Ring hit theaters, it had all you could ask for in a horror film. A story you’re dying to know, a plot you can’t wait to finish, and an antagonist you can’t predict. Audiences were running through streets in anticipation to tell all their family and friends about the new horror thriller that was filling seats at the cinema. It was a time to be a proud horror fan, and the future for that genre looked promising again. Though in the years to come reality set in, and fresh ideas that came back then were once again becoming harder to find. So, does the Rings sequel stand up to all the hype the first film did in the franchise? That all depends on if you’re in the mood for fast food or to sit at the table. What Rings does do is keep your attention and interest to the end. But anything beyond that is a pipe dream. It does not hit its mark, ending as a desperate attempt to take your dollars.
No one likes being misled or lied to, but studios are constantly doing it time after time. It happened here again in the marketing, showing footage in TV spots that never remain in the film. It’s upsetting due to the fact that these images are what sell tickets, and audiences anticipate how events will play out. So if you never see them you feel played. The plane scene that was all over the marketing didn’t play out like it did in the trailers, and it also served no purpose in the story. There was no link to the rest of the content. It’s like watching a cooking segment then cutting over to an NFL football game all in one picture. What does the former part have to do with the latter? This is never addressed.
That aside, no film would matter if the characters in it don’t appeal to you. Here they do, with Julia (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) and Holt (Alex Roe). Julia was a sweet little angel who wouldn’t fold under pressure, and Holt was your average jock without the bad stereotypes. Their high school relationship was not only genuine, but the kind most would long for. There was no silly puppy love moments, with their bond feeling real, and no false ties between them longing for attention. There was something there that drew them together that made you smile as they expressed their attraction for each other.
On the other hand, even if you have characters that you can get behind, they can only go as far as the writing allows them to go. This is where logic is thrown out of the window. The suspension of disbelief has already been used up with creatures walking out of television sets. So taking it even further wouldn’t be wise. I wanted to kill one character myself after they decided to watch the video KNOWING full well what the consequences would be. Not only did they know, but they witnessed the entire ordeal. Decisions like this bring me back to the ground realizing the studio ran out of material. It’s depressing, because the story was so intact; crossing all T’s and dotting all I’s until this decision. Imagine seeing someone walk into a fire and dying, but the next person says, “You know walking through the fire didn’t work out for that person, but I think I can do much better.” That’s the equivalent of what happened here early on in the film, and you’ll have to endure more.
That didn’t take too much of the runtime, and everything else turned into an adventurous witch-hunt searching for the truth. While it was all entertaining, and you’re dying to know how it all connects, the film turns into something it wasn’t before. Instead of a horror drama, it morphs into a somber adventure that continues to stretch itself out. It’s all elementary, not connecting to anything that came before. Then when it’s all said and done you ask yourself, “What’s the point?”
The biggest problem is after a while you don’t know who to cheer for when it’s all over. There is no true villain or bad guy besides the obvious. The film asked you to feel sorry for certain individuals that may not deserve it. Even after trying to empathize with some of the characters, they continue to switch sides from right to wrong, and it’s not clear where your emotions should land. Even after justice is served, malicious deviant behavior is still on the horizon towards the innocent which could’ve all been done before. No matter what happened throughout the film you realize it would’ve all ended the same. Then again you asked yourself, “What’s the point?” It’s all a waste of time, with the ending being inevitable and no possible victor.