The move The Ring premiered in 2002 when many people still had VCRs and the idea of a haunted video tape was relatable. Rings, the third instalment of the series was released 15 years later. The question was how would this franchise continue to survive in a world primarily devoid of VCRs.
Rings is set in the digital world of 2017. Perhaps one of the most disturbing parts of the movie for myself, was the appearance of an old Johnny Galecki. I am not a fan of Big Bang Theory, so my Johnny Galecki memories are those of Roseanne. The fact that Roseanne ended 20 years ago, and that Galecki is two years older than myself had no bearing on my shock – or did it?
To update the story, the video is transferred to a digital file. It is no secret that the story of the video requires anyone who watches it to share it with another. Otherwise they face the wrath of Samara. The digital file brings the story in line with modern realities of media sharing, though it becomes questionable as to how the ‘spirit’ of Samara would somehow be able to keep track of digital video.
All in all, Rings is much like the other two movies in the franchise. I find, however, that there was little added to the story. The same places were visited, and it really seemed as if this was a rehash of what we as the viewers already know. Changing the scope to include a university study was a clever attempt at moving the focus to a new group/situation.
I love horror franchises, and was a fan of The Ring when it first came out. The subsequent sequels have done little for me. The Blair Witch Project, which is a fairly contemporaneous franchise that recently had its third instalment, did a much better job at moving forward with their storylines. Rings feels more like an attempt to beat the life out of a movie that was already appropriated from another country.