Although the storyline gets a bit murky at times, I respect Rings for having loftier ambitions than just being another slasher sequel. However, it does what so many follow-ups are doing now by trying to needlessly delve further into Samara's origin story just to make things more complex than they need to be.
A young woman (Matilda Lutz) becomes worried about her boyfriend (Alex Roe) 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 in Rings.
Veteran actor Vincent D'Onofrio rises above what could've been a throwaway supporting part while Johnny Galecki plays an arrogant and shameless version of his character Leonard on The Big Bang Theory. Matilda Lutz and Alex Roe are both respectable in their lead roles as well.
Aside from the images on an old VHS tape looking like they were shot on an HD camera, the special effects and CGI are convincing. The grimly dark hues of the film make for a creepy and tense watching experience filled with all sorts of assaults on the auditory senses.
Rings is rated PG-13 for violence / terror, thematic elements, some sexuality and brief drug material. Johnny Galecki's character sparks up a joint at one point as he watches the Samara videotape. Other than that, it doesn't include anything out of the ordinary for PG-13 horror films.You see Samara climb out of the TV, some dead bodies, and twisted faces.
Rings is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and HD Digital.