The famous Japanese horror franchise gets the American Treatment once again as everyone’s favourite TV looming killer girl Samara returns for another outing in America. This time there seems to be a way that she can be stopped but some girlfriend of a guy who watches the tape messes all that up because she wants to prove that she’s not afraid.
The first ever Ring movie is scary, no one is going to argue that point, at least not with me as I have a refill on my pepper spray and I’m not afraid to use it. But the constant cashing in on the same character and themes lessen the pure enjoyment and pant staining joy of these films. When I heard last year that we were getting a new film in this American form of the franchise I straight away went out and offered a hammer to people to hit me on the back of the head. Although there were a few people considering it nothing really came from that. So I sat down this week and watched it. I just wonder why bother.
The film deals with the same problem, a mysterious tape, a strange bunch of images, and seven days later you die. No matter where you are she finds you. Now a college professor has found a way after watching the tape of keeping the long dark haired girl at bay, but that’s not the story that we get to see. It’s the story that I wanted to see though. It would have been an amazing story. Instead we get the poor man’s Jessica Alba, Matilda Lutz, and her chiseled boyfriend Alex Roe running around trying to avoid Samara, thinking that they can release her spirit. The college professor who has found a way to keep the Well Chick at arms length is greatly ignored, but The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, is the best character in the damn film and even the film makers ignore him. Then the final nail in the coffin of how this film pissed me off was Vincent D’Onofrio’s really awful part. How does a man who has that much talent wind up in the amount of terrible roles that he does? How many mirrors did he break?
So instead of venturing into new ground and the process and consequences of surviving watching the film we are on a trip to Samara being released from her grudge, again, again. The spooky town where her Mother grew up, the reason behind her birth, it’s like A Nightmare on Elm Street here. Throwing in a few jump scares does not make a horror movie. I don’t care about the two teen leads who are trying to make it through the week. I wanted something new. At least one of the Nightmare films gave us a cheesy 3D adventure. At least they tried something new once every four films.
If we got to see the scientific method of staying alive, Samara getting angrier and angrier that she cannot kill, or even the scientist finding a way of trapping Samara in our world. That would have been something. My cute backside would be on the seat every showing on opening day. But this offers nothing new to the franchise. The opening scene is even a blatant rip off, or I guess the hacks that made this would call it a homage, to some of the Final Destination movies. It goes nowhere and does nothing for you.
The question I ask myself these days while watching horror films is simple. Do you want the obvious survivor to live or do you watch hoping that the horror creation wins. If you want the horror creation to win then the film does not do its job properly, from the start I wanted Samara to kill all the members of the cast, and have a go at the crew as well. Fingers crossed this is the last adventure but I’m sure some set of fans will make it profitable so we’ll have more. Samara does Dallas? I don’t know, it may be an improvement.
Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Writers: David Loucka, Jacob Estes, Akiva Goldsman
Stars: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki