Maybe that cursed videotape should have just stayed lost this time around.
‘Rings,’ the long-delayed revival of horror franchise ‘The Ring’ (the US remake of Japanese horror series ‘Ringu’), has been met with a very harsh critical response, currently sitting at an abysmal 5% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Rating the film a 4/10, Joshua Starnes of Coming Soon likens the film to “a copy of a copy of a copy of an old video tape; garbled, faded and impossible to watch.”
Other reviews avoided such franchise-specific analogies in favour of a more direct approach, notably Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, whose 0/4 review flatly declares, “if crap movies carried penalties for inflicting torture on audiences, then Rings would merit a death sentence,” and warns the film “may kill you of boredom.”
A few reviews are marginally more positive, notably AA Dowd of AV Club, who gives ‘Rings’ a C rating and notes that the film “[updates] its watch-and-die gimmick to accommodate contemporary viewing methods” and concedes, “it’s not a terrible set-up. But ‘Rings’ doesn’t end up doing much with its fresh ideas.”
About the only truly positive write-up comes from Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times, who says “fans of the franchise should be pleased.”
After the success of Hideo Nakata’s original 1998 movie ‘Ringu,’ Gore Verbinski’s English language remake ‘The Ring’ followed in 2002, with Naomi Watts in the lead. It proved a huge success, earning almost $250 million at the worldwide box office and inspiring Hollywood to remake a slew of other contemporary Eastern horror hits (‘The Grudge,’ ‘The Eye,’ and ‘Dark Water’ to name but a few).
Sequel ‘The Ring 2,’ directed by series originator Hideo Nakata, followed in 2005, but then the franchise lay dormant for a decade until ‘Rings’ began production in early 2015, with F. Javier Gutiérrez directing.
Originally set for release in November 2015, ‘Rings’ was rescheduled twice before finally opening this weekend – and it seems we can now make an educated guess as to why these delays occurred.
For those still interested, ‘Rings’ is in cinemas now.