In today’s modern era nobody really has anything as archaic as a VHS player so Samara’s been less busy than usual. That is until Gabriel Brown (Johnny Galecki) buys one of those VHS player things and watches the type inside. The type is cursed and Gabriel gets a phone call saying that he’ll die in seven days. Meanwhile, Julia (Matilda Lutz) is seeing her boyfriend off to college but within a few weeks he becomes estranged, and a desperate skype call from a mysterious girl alerts Julia that something is wrong. So she packs her bags and goes to see him and finds herself caught up in a deadly curse but for her things are little different than usual.
Somehow this movie managed to simultaneously overexplain certain plot points (in case the dunderheads at the back weren’t paying attention) and still be confusing. The film’s script gets characters to (inexplicably) announce certain major (and obvious) plot points but still be rather confusing. Perhaps, I needed the movie to spoon feed me even more, but I was left hopelessly confused by the fact that their seemed to no 7 day count down for Julia after she watched the video. Also why was her video different to the others? The film does not explain either point.
In the previous films, the seven-day countdown acts as a ticking clock in a race against time. It added tension to the film, but, for some reason this was removed and this left the audience with no idea how long Julia has left to solve the mystery leaving the main body of the story devoid of tension. Apart from the opening act (a little lore breaking it must be said) and the film’s conclusion there is naught too interesting about the film as the central story is too similarly plotted to the previous Ring films.
Performances falter as the actors are laboured with a script full of clunky exposition, and this particularly affects Matilda Lutz who, as a result, gives a quite wooden performance. The overuse of jump scares is a source of frustration and the narrative fails to excite but overall the movie isn’t uniformly terrible as some have made it out to be yet screenplay needs work.