Rings Preview

You would think that we’ve endured enough punishment after pushing our way through the 4th and 5th entries in a film franchise whose entries routinely run far past two hours. You would be wrong. Enter the horror entry for the 2017 Cycle. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled third entry of the Rings franchise, simply called Rings. This film not only includes a well reviewed first entry (The Ring) and a BMT qualifying second entry (The Ring Two), but also many other adaptations and version made in different countries (including a Japanese original that the series is closely adapted from). So we got a lot to work with and at the very least two films to watch. We never learn. It’ll be truly a Thanksgiving miracle when I get through these films. Happy TGivs (as the kids call it) and let’s go!

Rings (2017) – BMeTric: 71.8

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(The rating plot is demented. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people get about things like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb (rich coming from us I suppose since half of the preview is scraping and analyzing data from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Kick-ass VOD bump there though, and an incredible number of votes as usual.)

RogerEbert.com – 1 star –  More wearying than frightening, “Rings” is a total non-starter that may well win the weekend box-office derby (if only because of the weak competition) but which will be blessedly forgotten by most of those who see it after seven days—a month tops.

(Clever closing line. The writer admits he isn’t exactly the biggest fan of the series itself, calling the previous installments “silly”. He also closes with a somewhat strange recommendation of another movie (The Autopsy of Jane Doe which, oddly, stars Brian Cox who was in the original The Ring). This intrigues me though. I’m curious as to what I will think of the series as a whole now. I feel like it hugely depends on what you want in horror films. Are you looking for spooky scares? Or is it enough to get some deaths with an interesting story / mythos surrounding the baddie? Very interested now.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFB4eZSVgBE

(Alright that looks like straight garbage. It looks (1) not scary, (2) like it just butchers the interesting mythology of the franchise, and (3) is poorly made. Kind of sad they decided to go with a totally different storyline (basically). Like, why even make it then?)

Directors – F. Javier Gutiérrez – (BMT: Rings; Notes: He is rumored to be attached to a Conjuring spin-off The Crooked Man. This is his only major release, although he directed a feature called Before the Fall. One and Done? It is at least close. He’ll get another shot though.)

Writers – David Loucka (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: The Dream Team; Future BMT: House at the End of the Street; Eddie; Dream House; BMT: Rings; Notes: Eddie and Rings … two peas in a pod? Nothing much about him besides the weird fact that he went from writing comedies to basically exclusively horror films over his career.)

Jacob Estes (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Mean Creek; The Details; Nearing Grace; BMT: Rings; Notes: Broke onto the scene as the writer-director of Mean Creek, which is quite good. Stars BMT favorite Josh Peck as well.)

Akiva Goldsman (screenplay by) – (Known For: A Beautiful Mind; I Am Legend; A Time to Kill; Batman Forever; I, Robot; Cinderella Man; The Client; Future BMT: Batman & Robin; Lost in Space; Transformers: The Last Knight; The Dark Tower; Practical Magic; Insurgent; Silent Fall; The Da Vinci Code; Angels & Demons; BMT: Rings; The 5th Wave; A New York Winter’s Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Batman & Robin in 1998; and Nominated for Worst Written Film Grossing Over $100 Million for A Time to Kill in 1997; Notes: He won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind. Incredibly successful as a screenwriter he broke onto the scene in 1991 after selling a script called Indian Summer (nope, not that Indian Summer, this one was never made). He’s directed a few things as well, including a few episodes of the new Star Trek series Discovery.)

Kôji Suzuki (based on the novel “The Ring” by) – (Known For: The Ring; Dark Water; Ring; Dark Water; Sadako vs. Kayako; Future BMT: The Ring 2; Ringu 2; BMT: Rings; Notes: The Ring writer. Ringu 2 looks like we could legit do it for BMT even (0% on Rotten Tomatoes on 13 reviews), but I don’t think we’ll venture into many foreign films any time soon.)

Actors – Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz – (Known For: Revenge; BMT: Rings; Notes: An Italian model turned actress this is, I think, her first big Hollywood film.)

Alex Roe – (BMT: Rings; The 5th Wave; Notes: A British actor. Interestingly The 5th Wave was written by Akiva Goldsman which I’m sure helped him get this role as well.)

Johnny Galecki – (Known For: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Hancock; Bean; The Opposite of Sex; Prancer; Happy Endings; Bounce; The Master Cleanse; Chrystal; Playing Mona Lisa; Bookies; Future BMT: A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon; In Time; CBGB; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Rings; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Until this very moment I did not realize the star of The Big Bang Theory also had a major role in Roseanne. Like … a huge role. This guy has very interesting career, including a shockingly successful movie career. I just find that a tad bit strange.)

Budget/Gross – $25 million / Domestic: $27,793,018 (Worldwide: $83,080,890)

(Disastrous given the reputation and take of the original. I think I’m going to mark that down as a true blue bomb.)

#75 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

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(Right around another very disappointing sequel to a solid horror film (Sinister 2), the supernatural horror genre has been booming for years now. The Conjuring and Sinister kickstarted the recent influx I think, and it is by far the most lucrative and popular kind of horror these days. Basically ghost stories, it is a bit disappointing that this is the only type of horror that gets play. I would say maybe It would change things a bit … but It is really supernatural horror itself, so if anything it reinforced things even more.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (7/99): 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.

(sub 10% is very impressive. Muddled mythology is the name of the game considering the reviews for the previous installment. Wait, did people catch over-explain-itis? I do love over-explaining garbage.)

Poster – Sklogs (C)

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(For real? You went from simple and consistent to a mishmash of garbage. The color is still a nice consistent icy blue and the font is somewhat unique, but otherwise blah.)

Tagline(s) – Evil is reborn (C-)

(To generic to make an impression but also too generic to really offend me. Slightly below a C average.)

Keyword(s) – sequel; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 91.4 Son of the Mask (2005); 90.4 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 89.3 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.0 Jaws: The Revenge (1987); 86.3 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997); 86.1 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003); 86.0 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 85.8 The Avengers (1998); 85.6 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987);

(We should really be doing much better with these to be honest. Sequels are such a well of terribleness. I wonder why The Avengers is listed though, that is an adaptation, not a sequel.)

Notes – According to special makeup effects designer on the film, Arjen Tuiten, it took about 6 and a half hours to complete Samara’s makeup and her costume featured a water rig under the dress that allowed the character to constantly drip water.

Before starring as Samara in this film, Bonnie Morgan was also featured in The Ring 2 (2005) as Samara in the well crawling sequence, though she was uncredited.

Strongly rumored to be a prequel to the previous films until F. Javier Gutiérrez himself denied it on Twitter, confirming it would be a sequel taking place in the present.

Originally set for release in November 2015, the film was pushed back several times due to studio delays. It was finally released in February 2017 in most territories, almost two years after initial shooting occurred. (Ooof, not great)

Although Naomi Watts’ character from the first two films, Rachel Keller, is never mentioned by name, her name appears underneath one of the icons on Gabriel’s computer in a brief shot.

Both Naomi Watts, and David Dorfman who played Rachel and Aidan in the first two films respectively, do not return for this sequel. (That is obvious, and also a bad sign)

This is the first film in the series that the makeup effects were not done by Rick Baker, who had the previous two. Rick retired from the industry in early 2015 and left his studio, Cinovation, to his protégée Arjen Tuiten, who had worked with him on Maleficent. While Rick had no involvement with this project, some of his crew, who had worked on the previous two with him, worked on this film with Arjen at his studio now called R-E-N.

Was filmed in Atlanta. (As are all films these days no?)

Young Evelyn, played by Kayli Carter, was previously played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Ring 2 (2005), though her scenes were cut aside from a brief appearance.

Producers Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes, J.C. Spink, Chris Bender, makeup effects artists Bill Sturgeon and Bart Mixon, and stunt coordinator Keith Campbell are the only people to have worked on all three films in the Ring series.

Bonnie Morgan, who plays Samara, stated that to bring the character to life, it took over 45 special makeup appliances, including the wig and special contact lenses.

In the over one year delay in this film’s theatrical release since October 2015, nearly 20 minutes of footage was altered and deleted which significantly altered some plot elements. Some of these deleted scenes can still be seen in the film’s handful of trailers. Most of this footage was included as deleted scenes on the Blu-ray and DVD save for a few like the ring scar on Julia’s back, which was also a promotional poster for the film. (That bodes absolutely terribly)

Special makeup effects artist Rick Baker filmed cameo for the film as a flea market vendor that haggles with Johnny Galecki’s character at the beginning. Ultimately his dialogue was cut, but he can still be seen briefly in the opening sequence when the camera pans past his character. Baker was the lead effects artist on the first two films.

Both Aimee Teegarden and Zach Roerig previously starred in ‘Friday Night Lights’. (Teegarden is in this?! I figured she was just going to do television at this point, I haven’t seen her in a movie in years? Ever?)

Toward the middle of the film (41:14 mark), Gabriel (Galecki) is seen pouring himself some whiskey. The whiskey he pours is Templeton Rye, a small batch rye made in Templeton, Iowa. (Cool, what are these notes. These are so weird. Do I now need to drink this whiskey because of BMT. Like some demented bad movie liquor cabinet?)

Vincent D’Onofrio plays a character who was blinded by himself years earlier. He also plays villain Wilson Fisk in Daredevil (2015), wherein the title character himself is blind because of a childhood accident. (Cool? I don’t get why that is relevant)

The translation of the Braille mark on Julia’s hand is clearly spoiled in the trailer when Burke states, “The mark on your hand means rebirth.” A line never spoken in the actual film. (Ha)

The plane Samara crashes at the beginning of the film was heading for Seattle. Seattle is where The Ring (2002) took place.

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