Rings (2017) -- My take on the movie with spoilers!
Some things never die. Entities, that have been mistreated, remain and manifest. In the same way, the legend of the videotape that kills viewers after seven days, doesn’t die. Samara, the ghost girl in the video, is still haunting, her rage, never extinguished.
As with the previous parts, Samara’s story is further explored, though her character is never fully defined. It started with Samara being a hapless victim, killed by her adopted mother. She was thrown into a well, where she survives for seven days before she dies out of starvation and cold.
Then, it turns out Samara had to be killed because she was evil and was projecting disturbing images in peoples’ heads and driving them insane.
In order to get rid of her, her body had to be found and buried. But in order for her to be completely vanquished, her soul must be trapped in the well again or else she might possess kids, as she is on the hunt for a mother to take care of her.
All that befuddles and eventually, there is no sympathy for Samara or no sense of fear towards her.
The reason, I was nevertheless excited for the new installment, because I was certain, that the story would be taken to a new level. Now that we’ve reached 2017, Samara wouldn’t stop at only videotapes, will she? Do VCRs even exist anymore?
As usual, my excitement was quickly quelled in the first scene itself. The scene on the plane was cheesy and instills absolutely no fear or thrills. A passenger talks to another of watching a video that is going to kill him after seven days, the last day being that day. He goes into the bathroom and his nose starts to bleed. The equipment on the plane starts to go berserk and it is not only that guy who is killed, but the passengers are unfairly shown the video on the TV and later, we are told that the plane had crashed.
Basically, Samara has taken her killings to a whole new level, no longer following her own rules. The guy had watched the video seven days prior, not everyone. They watch it, and are instantly killed. Unfair or a shoddy plot?
Years later, the VCR is sold to a pawnshop where a professor buys it and watches the videotape that is “stuck” inside.
Cut to the next scene, we are shown a high school couple, very much in love who are saddened by the fact that they must part because the boyfriend has to go away to college. Another time jump, and the boyfriend is no longer keeping in touch with his girlfriend and no one seems to know where he is. The girlfriend, decides to go to college and investigate.
There, she learns of the professor’s experiment. He has watched the video, shown it to his girlfriend, then lured more students to watch it and create a tail so none of them dies. His crazy experiment is for some reason, not found out by anyone in the college. Somehow, it doesn’t occur to the superiors to go to the top floor and see the lab for themselves.
The professor’s girlfriend tries to get the girl to watch it, but before that, is killed by Samara. The boyfriend unites with his girlfriend and reveals that he has no one to watch the video for him. The girlfriend, makes the ultimate sacrifice and watches it for him. Only, this time it is different. Her copy has additional images and the hauntings have become rapid and terrifying.
For some reason, Samara has chosen her to tell her story of her mother who had been raped by the priest and who then abandons his daughter. Samara had no mother to take care for her, and is therefore, eternally searching for an ideal candidate.
The girlfriend manages to get out of the clutches of the lying priest and thinks she is safe after Samara’s bones are burned.
However, as in every horror movie, there is a cliffhanger. Only this one is just so senseless. No matter what, Samara is never destroyed. Her story has been told, her motives justified, but her soul keeps haunting people for some reason.
It is in the end, though, that the copy of her video is sent to all email contacts.
This should have been shown before. The videotape, should have long ago been converted into video files and the internet should have been shown to distribute the creepy video. Instead, the tired old gimmick of showing people watching the video on tape was shown.
Rings, doesn’t bring anything new. Samara’s story has been told before and a small fact about her father that wasn’t revealed in the earlier parts, didn’t have much meat in them. The story should have been propelled forward. Samara is plain evil; there is no need to try to get the audience to feel sympathy for her. We were never going to after she kills people senselessly.
It’s always the same thing: Samara kills people, the story introduces an arc that is supposed to make us sympathize with her, the characters do whatever it takes to save her soul only to find out in the end that Samara didn’t deserve saving.
Hopefully, if there’s a next part, it will finally conclude Samara’s story once and for all.