Paramount's developing new installment in horror franchise The Ring, titled Rings, has prompted many a joke about series baddie Samara abandoning her out-dated method of targeting victims - crawling out of their television sets and killing them a week after they have watched a cursed video tape - by attacking people through their iPhones and Droids instead... Or maybe killing them through Skype, like the vengeful ghost in the upcoming Unfriended.
How will Rings get around this evolving technology problem? Well, the latest report on the project indicates it will by... going back in time. Yes, this fresh update pegs the film as being a prequel to the two Ring installments that were released during the 2000s, starring Naomi Watts - themselves, American remakes of the Japanese supernatural horror property that began in the 1990s (based on Kôji Suzuki's original novel).
Bloody Disgusting is reporting that the Rings screenplay - featuring contributions from screenwriters Jacob Aaron Estes (Mean Creek), Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) and David Loucka (House at the End of the Street) - is set many years before the events of the previous Ring installments. To be specific, it explores "the origin of Samara's reign of terror".
Directorial responsibilities on the film are being handled by F. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall), while the lead role will be handled by lesser-known youngster Matilda Lutz - who may be playing the pre-specter version of Samara, assuming this new report is accurate. The sequel to the American Ring, titled simply The Ring Two, concluded with Samara having (seemingly) been defeated; assuming Rings doesn't turn out to be a reboot/sequel after all, a prequel would be the next most logical step forward for the franchise... that is, so long as you agree it should be continued at all.
Movie prequels about horror film antagonists don't exactly have a terrific track record; in fact, they're usually known for being terrible (see: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Hannibal Rising, etc.). It doesn't help that Samara's backstory seems pretty simple and has been rather thoroughly investigated in past Ring installments already, so it's not as though there's some elaborate mystery waiting to be explored in a prequel film.
If Rings does go the prequel route, though, then perhaps the screenwriters and director are planning to offer a rather different horror experience than what previous installments in the franchise have provided - something A&E's Psycho prequel series Bates Motel has been fairly successful at doing. A Ring prequel would indeed need to be a clever re-invention of the property to really work; otherwise, it's difficult to see how this would amount to anything more than yet another variation on the "scary little kid" horror movie trope.
Rings opens in U.S. theaters on November 13th, 2015.
Source: Bloody Disgusting