‘Rings:’ interesting twist or an unnecessary sequel?

Main+character+Julia+standing+in+the+middle+of+a+church.
Main character Julia standing in the middle of a church.

Main character Julia standing in the middle of a church.

Courtesy of of Paramount Pictures on YouTube.

Courtesy of of Paramount Pictures on YouTube.

Main character Julia standing in the middle of a church.

Christina Cartwright, Art/Video Editor

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One of the hardest things about producing a movie is making a sequel that is just as well received and successful as the first. Sequels can either add more story and depth to character and plot that the first movie didn’t get to, or it could end up flopping terribly.. In 2002, the remake of the original 1998 Japanese horror film “Ring” hit theatres in America, officially renamed as “The Ring.” On Feb. 3, 15 years later, the sequel “Rings” came out in movie theatres, introducing more character, and enhancing an already terrifying story.

Courtesy of of Paramount Pictures on YouTube.
Eerie clip of Samara crawling out of a well in her video.

To be honest, “Rings” doesn’t start off on the best foot. It opens with a young man on a plane who is panicked and nervous. Along with the audience, a teenage girl next to him assumes that he’s just going through flight anxiety and tries coaxing him out of his nervous state by getting him to talk to her (and not so subtly flirting with him.) Then, taking the awkward and poor attempt of trying to frighten the audience, he goes off on a tangent about how he watched an ominous and creepy video, and how after he got a call afterwards telling him he had seven days to live. Although the girl thought he was insane, it’s also revealed that her best friend, who is also on the plane, has seen the same movie and says that “Samara” is coming for them. As it turns out, this vengeful spirit behind the tape hijacks the plane, killing everyone on board.

Two years after that incident, a college professor named Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) is at a flea market when he sees an old VCR and decides to buy it. Of course, the cursed tape is inside it and Gabriel ends up watching it. This scene in my opinion was very cliché, and could’ve been filmed in a more interesting and surprising way. Gabriel realises after watching it that he’s now cursed, so he needs to figure out a way to get out of being killed by Samara, the young girl killed in the video.

While all this takes place, young couple Julia (Matilda Lutz) and Holt (Alex Roe) are preparing for him to take off to college where, little did he know, he would end up helping Gabriel.. The portrayal of their relationship wasn’t too bad, and I felt the movie portrayed the young couple in a very accurate way.

Courtesy of of Paramount Pictures on YouTube.
Main character Julia standing in the middle of a church.

In this movie, the viewers will learn the tragic story of Samara Morgan, the young girl from the first movie who was pushed down a well where she survived for seven days. Her story is the perfect kind of creepy, involving a death of a child at the hands of an adult always sends chills down my spine when I watch any kind of movie, horror or not. “Rings” adds more plot to Samara’s life than “The Ring,” like who her mother was, who her father was and the history between her parents. The young protagonist Julia will attempt to not only save Gabriel and help her boyfriend Holt, but she’ll also uncover Samara’s story, and figure out how to save her too. The movie also did something very interesting by adding a switch to the tape the viewers watch, showing different images and clips than the original one.

Something I didn’t like about this movie in particular was that it lacked any scary music. In suspenseful scenes, silence isn’t always a bad thing. But there were times when one of the characters were walking slowly, or opening up doors to reveal something horrifying, where silence just didn’t cut it. The dramatic and loud music could have been added into those scenes to really enhance the fear that the audience felt. Although the lack of music was disappointing, many other aspects of the movie made up for it. The plot line was very intriguing, making the audience question what was going to happen next, along with a shocking plot twist towards the end. I’m still torn on whether the movie was one that I liked best so far this year, so horror movie fanatics should head out to theatres to decide whether or not “Rings” makes the cut.

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‘Rings:’ interesting twist or an unnecessary sequel?