Like 2016’s “Blair Witch,” “Rings” tries to have its cake and eat it too: It’s both a sequel to and remake of 2002’s “The Ring,” itself a remake of 1998’s “Ringu.” We’re several degrees removed from any original inspiration here, and it shows. The movie is boring and poorly written, with very few scares and interminable scenes of alleged romance between the two leads, who turn in piss-poor performances. Lead Matilda Lutz in particular is so lifeless I often forgot what her character even looked like while watching the movie, which is about a half-hour too long on its own. As both a sequel and reboot, it’s a failure – it fails to progress the overall series narrative forward, while it also doesn’t try to have fun with the technological advances that have occurred since the original. It’s all just rote and repetitive, and its clever ending is so tonally out of place considering everything that’s come before.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)