Critics Consensus

Rings may offer ardent fans of the franchise a few threadbare thrills, but for everyone else, it may feel like an endless loop of muddled mythology and rehashed plot points.



Total Count: 111


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,001
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Movie Info

A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a "movie within the movie" that no one has ever seen before...

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Critic Reviews for Rings

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (102)

  • Unlike Naomi Watts' character in the first two films, Julia and Holt are undistinguished by complexity.

    Feb 28, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Pretty much everything about Rings is incoherent.

    Feb 10, 2017 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • If crap movies carried penalties for inflicting torture on audiences, then Rings would merit a death sentence.

    Feb 4, 2017 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • Rings embodies a common problem of attempted franchise revivals: indecision about its intentions.

    Feb 3, 2017 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • In the end Rings didn't make me want to drink Drano. It had enough distractions but that's a low bar for a horror movie that includes D'Onofrio and Galecki, who could run rings around the rest of the cast given better material.

    Feb 3, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Thelma Adams

    Top Critic
  • It's not a terrible setup. But Rings doesn't end up doing much with its fresh ideas.

    Feb 3, 2017 | Rating: C | Full Review…

    A.A. Dowd

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Rings

  • Jun 04, 2018
    Man, a friend of mine recommended that I watch Bad Match (sort of a Tinder date from hell type of movie) and I had to be a stubborn asshole and watch this instead. I mean, really, I've been without Prime for nine months and, honestly, a lot of the movies that I wanna see were not gonna go away immediately. So why, exactly, did I have to watch this tonight? Honestly, I have no fucking clue. I wanted to watch a horror movie and, somehow, this was the one I settled on. Honestly, I was a fan of the original Ring. It was actually one of the very few J-horror remakes that actually, in my opinion, to capture the spirit of the original movie it was based on (and book) while adding its own touches. The surrealistic visuals of the contents of the tape were a strong suit as was the way the atmosphere was built throughout. I remember watching the original Ring remake in theaters and I remember the reaction of everyone when the girl came out of the TV. It was, honestly, quite something to see. It's obvious that the original remake was wildly successful so, obviously, it was followed up by a terrible sequel that all but killed the franchise. A sequel made by the man responsible for the Japanese movies. The sequel for the remake and the sequel for the Japanese original (Ringu) were released the same year, something that I did not know until now actually. Interesting little factoid right there. The Ring 2 was released 13 years ago, so, of course, at some point, this franchise was going to be revived. Because everything old is new again and, honestly, with the proliferation of smartphones, sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, among others, updating this story for a more modern world, honestly, seemed like a good idea. What has changed from 2002 (the release of the original remake) and 2017 (the year of this film's release) should have been the film's focal point and how easier it is for people to share things with each other nowadays. Of course, though, because apparently this movie was made with sequels in mind (because of course it was, given that Paramount ran Paranormal Activity into the ground with its, almost, yearly sequels), we didn't get to see a, potentially, really cool movie. If you're not gonna use a cool idea to build your story around, at least give us an enjoyable horror movie with good atmosphere, tension and solid scares. Nope. Apparently that's too much to ask for as well. I honestly don't know what this movie was meant to be. A remake, a soft reboot, a homage. Because, quite frankly, it repeats most of what you already saw with nowhere near the same level of skill. To say that this is a horror movie would be an insult to horror movies everywhere (even the bad ones). I mean, there's horror movies that aren't scary that still fit into the genre. Hell, almost every horror movie I see isn't scary and they still fit into the description. I guess someone could make the argument that, as bad as this is, this also still belongs to the genre. I guess there's also some validity to that, but when you look at the content within the film and just the sheer lack of scares, or even attempts at one, there are in this movie, it's just sort of difficult to justify it as a horror movie. This is, at best, a suspense/mystery/thriller. The movie sees Julia investigating the disappearance of this young pregnant teen as a result of the visions she's been seeing. Basically, her boyfriend watched the video while he was at college and he has seven days to find a tail (someone else to watch the video to pass the curse to) before he dies. Julia sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend from the curse. But, of course, since Julia is our lead character, there's a video within the original video from the Ring (which is still surrealistic and creepy). This new video, of course, doesn't have nearly the same effect the original had and it supremely lacks in the creepiness department. Anyway, this new video leads her to investigate, again, the disappearance of this pregnant teen 30 or so years ago which will, hopefully, lead her to where Samara's remains are so she can be given a proper burial to put a stop to the events. First things first, and this has nothing to do with the the film itself (except that it does) and that is how strict Samara is about rules. She'll kill you, but you have to watch her video first, ok, guys? Even if there's someone else in the room, who didn't watch the video (like Julia was during Skye's death), she WANTS to kill you, but she WON'T. You have to watch the video, Silly McSillypants. I mean, this is something you don't think about in the original Ring because of how good the movie actually is. But, in a terrible movie, you start to think about this type of shit. It's a little ridiculous, but it is what it is. Julia finds out that her boyfriend is part of this secret college group, all of whom have watched the video and all of whom have found tails, and she meets this college professor who's trying to study how this video proves that there's an afterlife after all. Why is this professor trying to study this, I don't even know, and, honestly, after the shit starts and Julia and Holt (her boyfriend) start investigating the disappearance, this is dropped entirely. So, honestly, why even bother??? I think it's enough for them to tell us that there's a lot of people who are involved in this who have found a tail, you can even include Holt's professor in this (who was the one who started the chain). But what's the point of the secret study group if it's literally gonna go nowhere. I know you kept things open-ended enough to, maybe, justify sequels. But you can't just assume that your shitty movie is going to be successful enough. There's other ways to justify sequels if you really need to, just tell a complete story in this movie, then worry about sequels afterwards, if this proves successful enough. Regardless, that's neither here nor there I suppose. The movie is more about Julia and Holt's investigation into this missing teen and, I'll be honest, it's really fucking boring. It's bad, but it's more boring than bad. The reason, however, that this movie gets the rating it does is because of how fucking terrible Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz is in the lead role. This young woman has gone on to star in a critically-acclaimed movie called Revenge that, unsurprisingly, I want to see. So I'll have to hold off judgment for how good she is (or not) until I see that flick. All I can give an opinion on is her performance here and, I'll be honest, I don't think I've seen a performance THIS bad in a really long fucking time. I'm really struggling to think of the last time I saw someone this bad in a lead role. There's obvious comparisons to be made between Ingrid in this movie and Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars prequels. But, to be fair, Hayden proved to be a legacy terrible actor, it wasn't just that the Star Wars prequels were poorly written and not even Daniel Day-Lewis could make that script look good. In Ingrid's case, it might just be a problem of choosing the worst possible cuts of her performance. Then again, if what we got to see on screen were the best cuts that were filmed, can you even imagine how bad the worst must have been??? Look, this movie wouldn't have been good with or without a good lead performance. The fact of the matter is that Vincent Donofrio is good in the limited role he's given and, still, the movie sucked. The problem just comes in recycling old elements from the original movie instead of using the NEW concept that's so obviously staring you in the face. And if you even recycled old concepts and ideas from the original remake and, at the very least, executed them WELL. But no, you can't even do that. No real effort was put into understanding why the remake worked so well. They just looked at everything at face value and tried to repeat that without, again, any of the skill involved. It just doesn't work that way. You have to understand why things worked and how to properly adapt that to a new audience in the digital age, where everything is online instantly. This movie was destined to be a failure from the start, because they didn't learn why the original movie worked. So, basically, the concept I'm talking about, that this movie should have used from the start, is what if the video itself went viral on YouTube...or the equivalent thereof, since sometimes these films don't use real sites. What if millions, maybe even billions, of people watched the video and all started dropping dead in seven days. That concept doesn't mean that the movie would be good, of course, since you still need someone skillful enough to handle this. But, at the very least, conceptually speaking, you have a more interesting movie than what we did end up getting. And the thing is, unfortunately, that the video going viral online (or forcefully shared to Holt and Julia's friends at least) was actually used as the ENDING. Literally the only cool thing about the movie is left for the end. Samara has manipulated and used Julia to cross over into our world, or something, and the video ended up being shared with everyone on Julia's friend's list. Cue Sir Patrick Stewart's facepalm. They're like 'oh, you wanna see this as a full-fledged movie, well FUCK YOU, because we're saving this for a sequel that will never be made'. It's really such a big fuck you to hardcore horror fans. I sat through 95+ minutes of bullshit to get a cool ending that's hinting at bigger things for a sequel that will never be made because of how shitty this movie was. It's really like a slap to the face, honestly. Perhaps that's an overreaction on my part. But, seriously, holy fucking shit. Who thought that reintroducing the franchise with THIS movie would be a great idea? You have to change with the times and it's been 20 years since the Japanese original came out. It's been 16 years since the remake. That's a lot of time to, essentially, make the same fucking movie again with all the changes in technology that we've seen since then. Infuriating. If the sequel to the remake (The Ring 2) all but killed the franchise, this movie has sex with its corpse and sets it on fire after the act. Just an absolute terrible and poor excuse for a movie. Downgraded from the one star I was gonna give it. There's just nothing redeemable about this, it's just awful.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 09, 2017
    Rings attempts to reboot the franchise for the digital age and fails horribly. The story follows a teenage girl who attempts to save her boyfriend by coping and watching an infamous video that supposedly kills you seven days after watching it, however her digital copy turns out to contain additional footage that she comes to believe was meant for her; leading her to go in search of its meaning. Once again the series tries to make Samara a sympathetic victim, but it doesn't work. Making the villain good and the good guy bad is a tried trope that's been played out for a while now. And, the new powers given to Samara are extremely contrived. Also, the performances are incredibly poor, particularly the lead (who has no charisma). A second rate B-horror film, Rings is incredibly dull and nonsensical.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2017
    A waste of time is what this film ultimately becomes, it's not as bad as the critics are panning it but it sure as hell isn't much better. If it wasn't for D'Onofrio, there would be no reason to watch this vanilla movie, in an attempt to jumpstart a past horror franchise, Rings only makes us hope even more that this is the end we ever have to see of this stupid tape.
    Jacob S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2017
    An uninspiring horror that has little thrills in this obviously weak sequel to the franchise.
    Film C Super Reviewer

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