2002’s The Ring is regarded as one of the finest horror films of recent memory. Though the Japanese version it was based on is technically superior, its American remake managed to capture the same tension and creepy vibe of the original. What people remember most is the startling ending (now pretty much spoiled for newcomers thanks to pop culture saturation). Everyone knows she comes out of the TV, not as many know why that was such a shock.
The majority of The Ring led watchers to believe Samara was a misunderstood little girl who lashed out at others due to abuse, and if she could just be loved, gosh darn it, she would stop cursing people. Then, within the last five minutes, Naomi Watts heard the truth from her weird kid: “No, she’s pure evil, not a nice bone in her body, and YOU just set her free, you IDIOT!” That not only left the story with a dead boyfriend but with a haunting open ending. What now?
Unfortunately it was downhill from there. The Ring Two was never able to carry the momentum of the first movie, nor was it able to keep Samara as threatening as she had previously been. Part of this was simply due to the fact that scary stories are never quite as scary the second time you hear them, and even less so the third. It’s on that note that I inform you a third American Ring movie has been sitting complete on the shelf for some time, while its release date has been repeatedly moved back.
Titled Rings, it was originally supposed to come out in 2015. A full trailer was released last summer, promising a Fall 2016 release. That didn’t happen and this new, shorter trailer (which was released today) now says February 3. That’s a short enough span of time that I doubt the studio would change it again, so….February 3 it is.
There’s a modern twist this time. The previous two Ring movies were released pre-YouTube. It seems inevitable that somebody would upload Samara’s video to the Internet. We now live in a world with screens everywhere; we’re surrounded by them. And we see in one of the earlier trailers that Samara can now use the Internet to transmit herself across any of these screens (her video shows up on every single monitor of an airplane).
The problem with this development is, what is Samara’s endgame here? She could conceivably curse and kill everybody in the entire world now, but why would you want to go that far? No humans = no more curses = no more fun. There’s also the fact that with this level of exposure, her powers would go beyond urban legend into accepted truth, and she would become an international hazard, with millions of technicians and scientists working on a method of stopping her. At that point, it would get too big to be a horror movie — it would be a disaster movie in the vein of Godzilla.
Man, I don’t know. This kind of idea doesn’t sound like it would work in this day and age. What do you think? Rings comes out February 3, whether it’s good or not.