After 20 years, the latest installment of The Ring movie franchise, was released in American theaters. Some may think that it is a bit awkward to release the movie at this age, when videotape is already a foreign term to most millennials.
Entitled “Rings”, the movie is an outgrowth of the very popular horror flick, Ringu, which was released in 1998. The first movie was so popular that it was adopted in Hollywood and was followed by several sequels. During the first movie’s release, VHS tapes are not yet so obsolete, but DVDs were already on their way to become one of the most popular media technology trend. Ringu gained popularity as it merged Japanese horror theme of ancient spirits and digital technology. Fans would always remember the black-and-white tape and realistic images that it portrayed.
However, Ringu was made two decades ago and technological horror is not something that would scare people nowadays. Even the succeeding movies of The Ring failed to scare the hell out of audiences the same ways as the original movie did. In one of the sequels, the video is now embedded in a file that kills when shared.
In Rings, Gabriel, played by Johnny Galecki from The Big Bang Theory and Roseanne, is a college professor who ends having the original Ring videotape in his hands. The professor uses the videotape in an experiment on soul existence and shows it to some college students. In the movie, the curse of the tape is passed by making a copy of the tape and showing it to another person.
Meanwhile, Julia, who is played by Matilda Lutz, discovers that her boyfriend is one of the students who participated in Gabriel’s experiments. The movie becomes inconsistent at some points as the format of the video changes from the videotape and the becomes a computer file. Still, most of the images are those seen from the original Ring videotape though there some new ones are added.
The new images serve as clues to a mysterious disappearance. Julia investigates, and she and another character, Holt, end up in Sacrament Valley. In the town, they meet some mysterious and creepy locals. What happens afterward includes the normal horror flick formula, and the movie fails to achieve the same greatness the its predecessor attained 20 years ago.