Review / ‘Rings’ (M) *

THIS farrago of horror is apparently the third in a series based on a 1990s trilogy by Japanese author Koji Suzuki in which people die seven days after watching the images on a mysterious videotape.

In a screenplay by tyro writers David Loucka and Jacob Estes and directed by tyro director F Javier Gutiérrez, those images are now on a computer file and available on the full panoply of digital devices. That’s a terrifying situation to contemplate, isn’t it? Fortunately, it’s only a movie, and a rather dull one at that.

Julia (Matilda Lutz) farewells Holt (Alex Roe) to university. It’s not Holt whom she’s screwing earlier in the movie. Suddenly it’s not him answering Julia’s nightly Skype call. It’s Skye (Aimee Teegarden) who blights Julia’s emotional comfort and showers her with vituperation.

Julia drives to the uni to discover what’s going on. Ere long, Skye’s dead and Julia and Holt head off to a village in Washington State where, 30 years previously, something nasty went on in the church.

Playing Burke, the blind man who runs the lodging house where Julia and Holt check in on arrival, Vincent D’Onofrio is the only actor exercising any weight in the whole amateurish mishmash. The plot drags on, with visits to the local graveyard, appearances of an ethereal little female figure dripping water wherever she goes and Julia’s uncovering of a chamber in the church basement, scratched into the walls of which is a rudimentary calendar that ends at 280 days.

By now, where this film is going is apparent. There’s the obligatory confrontation between the heroine and the bad guy, staged with not all that much suspense. By this time, you might be forgiven for thinking: “Who cares?”

At Hoyts, Capitol 6 and Limelight



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