Director Gore Verbinski's The Ring was a critical and commercial success when it opened in theaters back in 2002; in turn, kicking off the Japanese horror (or J-horror, as it's also known) remake craze during the 2000s that included such Hollywood movies as The Grudge, Dark Water and Pulse (not to mention, other Asian horror remakes like Shutter). A third installment in the U.S. version of The Ring film franchise - which has been on ice since The Ring Two became a critical bust (but a modest commercial success) back in 2005 - is finally arriving this year, in the form of Rings.
Rings was rumored to be a prequel/origin story for The Ring franchise's big evil, Samara before director F. Javier Gutiérrez (Before the Fall) clarified that it is, in fact, a sequel and picks up in real-time after the events of the previous Ring movies. Paramount Pictures is releasing the third Ring installment in theaters in time to take advantage of this year's Halloween season demand for scary entertainment and has now unveiled a proper trailer for the film, along with posters for both U.S. and UK audiences.
You can watch the trailer for Rings, above. Below, you can read the film's official synopsis, followed by its posters:
A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…
Rings, as written by Jacob Aaron Estes (Mean Creek), Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) and David Loucka (House at the End of the Street), looks to be closer to a soft reboot of The Ring franchise than a straight-forward sequel and/or continuation. The film's writers seem to be effectively taking advantage of the rise of the Internet and digital technology in order to create new nightmare scenarios based around the infamous Samara video (see the airplane sequence that closes out the trailer). Meanwhile, as the director, Gutiérrez is incorporating more overt body horror elements into the mix here as Samara attempts to (literally) be reborn, even compared to the subplot about Samara possessing a living person (or, rather, trying to) in The Ring Two.
While Rings certainly looks "bigger" and grosser than its predecessors as a result of all this, it doesn't necessarily look scarier - and the attempts to expand the mythology around Samara (see that whole "movie within the movie" plot point) are certainly at risk of coming off as strained, in the actual movie. The fact that Paramount is only beginning its marketing push for Rings some two months ahead of its theatrical release doesn't suggest a lot of confidence on the studio's end either (nor does this flick's multiple release date delays), but who knows - Rings may yet surprise. At least Vincent D’Onofrio is continuing to carve out his niche as "Character Who Explains the Boogieman Mythology," between his role here and in Sinister.
Rings opens in U.S. theaters on October 28th, 2016.
Source: Paramount Pictures