Rings (2017)

Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars

So you’re probably sitting there thinking, “Hey man, why’d you watch the third installment to a film franchise that lost it’s steam a decade ago? It’s probably going to be a piece of shit.” To which I say, “Why not?” And you wouldn’t exactly be wrong in your summation that this movie is shitty. It’s just not a total piece of shit.

For those who slept through 2002,  the basic plot is that there’s a haunted video tape that when you watch it, a little girl calls you and says “seven days” then you die at the end of those seven days. The twist is that this time around Johnny Galecki (Big Bang Theory) watches the tape and, being a professor, gets the bright idea to do experiments revolving around the afterlife. He starts showing the video to students, telling them to copy it with the promise that he’ll find someone else to watch their copy. This goes all well and good till it doesn’t. That side of the story I was totally fine with. The main problem this movie has is that Johnny Galecki is only a minor character.

The real story centers on Julia, “played” by Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, who has more names than acting chops. She gave hands down one of the most hollow performances I’ve seen in a major studio release in years. I couldn’t tell if it was the language barrier holding her back (she’s Italian) or what, but she acted little a strawman the entire time. Her boyfriend Holt, played by Alex Roe, was not much better. It was like the cast agent said, “Meeh, they look alright. They got the part.” “Do you want them to read any lines before you give them the job?” “No, they’ll be alright.” I’m getting way off track here.

Julia and Holt are a couple who can’t act. Holt is off to college where he gets messed up with Professor Galecki and watches the tape. Julia goes to find him, she watches the tape, but her version has bonus material. She follows the bread crumbs and from there the movie actually manages to recapture some of the charm the original had.

That was actually the saddest part of the movie for me; the story wasn’t that bad. There were was a good amount of plot development and jump scares to keep me interested. The two lead actors torpedoed this movie so bad, it over powered all the good things this movie had going for it. Seriously, the acting is laughably bad at parts, which, again, kinda saves it for when it is unlaughably bad.

Watch it if you dare.

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