“The Ring” was my favorite of the remakes of Asian horror films in the early aughts. I’m on the record; I’m a Ring-leader. When Samara the stringy-haired wraith comes out of the TV at the end, there’s no convincing me that she can’t emerge from the movie screen, too. That’s just science.

Having poisoned the ghost-well with an unnecessary sequel in 2005, the owners of this particular bit of intellectual property have now commissioned another one, just as unnecessary but perhaps cushioned by the passage of time. It’s been 16 1/2 years since the original, 12 years since the followup. There’s a whole new generation of (potentially) easily scared teens!

“Rings,” as it is pointlessly called, seems to be the result of two different sequel concepts being smashed together. The first half of the movie concerns the efforts of a college professor, Gabriel (Johnny Galecki), to analyze the deadly videotape (since digitized) as possible proof of the afterlife and the existence of the soul. (In case you forgot: if you watch the tape, you die seven days later, unless you make a copy of it and have someone else watch it in the meantime. Then the curse is passed on to that person and isn’t your problem anymore. It’s trickle-down evil.) Gabriel has a secret laboratory and the organized participation of many students, including one Holt (Alex Roe), whose girlfriend, Julia (Matilda Lutz), comes looking for him when he stops answering her calls.

[To read the rest of the review, please visit Crooked Scoreboard.]


C (1 hr., 42 min.; PG-13, a little profanity, unsettling images, a little violence.)