Rings (2017 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||F. Javier Gutiérrez|
by Kôji Suzuki
|Music by||Matthew Margeson|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$83.1 million|
Rings is a 2017 American supernatural psychological horror film directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez, written by David Loucka, Jacob Aaron Estes and Akiva Goldsman and starring Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki and Vincent D'Onofrio. It is the third film in The Ring series and takes place thirteen years after The Ring (2002). Principal photography began on March 23, 2015, in Atlanta. The film was released in the United States on February 3, 2017. Although critical reception was negative, the film was a box office success, grossing $83 million worldwide against its $25 million budget.
On an airplane bound for Seattle, passengers Carter and Kelly discover that they both had watched Samara Morgan’s cursed videotape and they realize that their seven day deadline is over. The airplane malfunctions as they attempt to flee from Samara, who eventually causes the plane to crash.
Two years later, college professor Gabriel buys an old VCR once owned by one of the passengers, discovering the videotape inside. Elsewhere, Julia sees her boyfriend Holt off to college, but becomes concerned when he falls out of contact. She is inspired to find him when a panicked girl, Skye, contacts her asking for Holt’s whereabouts. Julia meets Gabriel, following him to a private area of the college where a group of people known as "The Sevens", are involved in an experiment involving the cursed video, watching and filming themselves, before passing the task to another person, called a “tail”.
Julia recognizes Skye, who takes her to her apartment to have her watch the video, but Holt contacts Julia, warning her not to. Julia locks herself in the bathroom as Skye is murdered by Samara. Holt arrives shortly after. Unwilling to let Holt die, Julia watches the video, experiencing a vision of a door, and a mark is burnt on her hand. Turning to Gabriel for help, he notices Julia’s copy of the video is larger than usual. She watches it, discovering new footage hinting at the fate of Samara’s body.
Gabriel sends them to the town Sacrament Valley, where she was given a burial. He later realizes the mark on Julia’s hand is Braille, translates it, and goes to warn them. Arriving in town, Julia and Holt travel to a church, exploring the graveyard for Samara’s stone. They find an unmarked tomb, but when they break in, they find it is empty. Julia and Holt are caught but are taken to a blind man named Burke, who claims Samara’s body was entombed by the local priest but a flood came shortly after, leading the town to bury her out in a field. He also notes Julia’s mark.
Heading out of town, Julia and Holt are stopped due to a car crash and learn Gabriel was involved. He tries to warn Julia of his discovery but is fatally electrocuted by a falling utility pole. After experiencing a vision of Samara’s mother Evelyn, Julia and Holt return to town. While Holt makes inquiries about Evelyn’s fate, Julia goes to the church following her visions. She discovers a hidden chamber beneath the bell tower and finds evidence that Evelyn was imprisoned there whilst pregnant, held in captivity by the priest after being raped before she escaped at eight and a half months into the pregnancy.
Julia visits Burke and explains her findings. He suddenly attacks her, revealing he was not only the priest but Samara’s biological father, blinding himself to escape the reach of his daughter’s powers. Julia pushes him down the stairs and is drawn to his bedroom, discovering Samara’s skeleton hidden behind a wall. Burke tries to choke her to death, but a swarm of cicadas fly in, summoning Samara through Julia’s phone. Samara then removes Burke’s blindness so she can kill him. Holt arrives, having discovered the truth, and together, he and Julia cremate Samara’s corpse.
Shortly after, Julia and Holt return home. While Julia is in the shower, Holt notices a voicemail from Gabriel, who warns him of the Braille. Holt translates it, discovering it means “rebirth”. Julia coughs up a string of hair, from which a cicada is born. She gazes into a mirror and sees Samara as her reflection. Julia’s copy of the video is suddenly sent to everyone on her contact list and soon goes viral online.
- Matilda Lutz as Julia
- Alex Roe as Holt Anthony
- Johnny Galecki as Gabriel Brown
- Vincent D'Onofrio as Galen Burke
- Aimee Teegarden as Skye Johnston
- Bonnie Morgan as Samara Morgan
- Chuck David Willis as Blue
- Patrick R. Walker as Jamal
- Zach Roerig as Carter
- Laura Wiggins as Faith
- Lizzie Brocheré as Kelly
- Karen Ceesay as Flight Attendant
- Dave Blamy as First Officer
- Michael E. Sanders as Pilot
- Randall Taylor as Holt's Father
- Drew Grey as Sam
- Kayli Carter as Evelyn
- Jill Jane Clements as Karen Styx
- Adam Fristoe as Chris
- Zoe Pessin as Samara VO (voice)
In 2014, Paramount Pictures announced the initially titled The Ring 3D, with F. Javier Gutiérrez directing. In August 2014, Paramount was in talks with Akiva Goldsman to write a third draft of the screenplay, which had previously been worked on by David Loucka and Jacob Aaron Estes. In November, Gutiérrez posted an Instagram photo that showed that the title of the sequel had been changed to Rings. On January 16, 2015, Matilda Lutz was cast in the lead role. Alex Roe was cast as the male lead on March 20, 2015. Aimee Teegarden joined the cast on March 27, 2015, and Johnny Galecki signed on to star in the film on April 1, 2015, playing Gabriel, a professor who mentors and helps both Holt and Julia.
Paramount Pictures originally set the film for a November 13, 2015, release, but in September 2015, the film was pulled from the schedule, and in October 2015, Paramount rescheduled the release date to April 1, 2016. On February 17, 2016, the film was rescheduled for release on October 28, 2016, to take the place of Paramount's previous October horror release staple, the Paranormal Activity series, which ended in 2015 with Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. On September 22, 2016, the film was delayed to February 3, 2017, most likely to avoid competition with Ouija: Origin of Evil, leaving it as the only horror film that debuted around Halloween 2016 − along with Boo! A Madea Halloween.
The film's first trailer was released on August 24, 2016. The second trailer was released on January 5, 2017, alongside a new international trailer, containing new footage. In January 2017, Paramount released a prank video where an actress dressed as Samara jumped out of a television to scare unwitting patrons at an electronics store. The video was generally well-received, garnering 200 million views in 24 hours on Facebook.
Rings will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on May 2, 2017. The Blu-ray edition have more than 50 minutes of special features, including 25 minutes of deleted footage.
Rings grossed $27.7 million in the United States and Canada and $55.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $83.1 million, against a production budget of $25 million.
In North America, the film was released alongside The Space Between Us and The Comedian, and is projected to gross $12–14 million from about 3,000 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $800,000 from its Thursday night previews. It went on to open to $13 million, finishing second at the box office behind fellow horror film Split.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 6% based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 3.2/10, becoming the worst rated film of the trilogy. The site's critical consensus reads, "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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 25 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C–" on an A+ to F scale, lower than the B– and C+ earned by its respective predecessors.
Alex Gilyadov of IGN gave the film a score 4.5/10, stating that it "opts for lazy jump scares and a convoluted origins story no one asked for or needed", though not dismissing that it has "some chilling scenes and creepy visuals". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the movie zero stars and called it a "botch job" that suffers from "demo-worthy awfulness in directing, writing and acting". Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com gave a single star, calling it "More wearying than frightening". A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club commented that the film was a pale imitation of the 2002 American remake in terms of visuals and plot structure. He also dismissed the film's characters as "bland of nothings", citing their lack of development in the story.
On the positive side, some critics applauded the film out of the US. Mike McCahill of The Guardian commented that the film "smoothly reinvents the wheel" and "the director has fun with the franchise’s organising visual conceit and handles the setpieces with quiet aplomb", pointing that "the admirably loopy finale, involving blind Vincent d’Onofrio’s swarming army of cicadas, is worthy of one of the better Exorcist sequels". Javier Jimenez Montoya of Vavel also praised the film stating that "it's a step forward in the horror genre" and applauded "its strong, surprising ending".
The negative critical reception in the US, along with its lower-than-expected domestic box office intake, was partially blamed by some critics and fans for the cancellation of Paramount's newest installment of the Friday the 13th franchise.
Speaking at CinemaCon, Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said that should the film prove successful, more sequels could recur annually taking the place of Paramount's Paranormal Activity series. These plans were left in doubt following Moore's departure from the company. In a post-release interview, Moore's successor, Megan Colligan, said that "time will tell" if another sequel is in the cards.
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