The movie starts with the latest person to watch the cursed tape on an airplane, which crashed when the ghostly Samara appears. Two years later Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) buys a VCR that belonged to the victim -- and Gabriel watches the cursed tape that was in the machine.
We jump ahead, where Julia (Matilda Lutz) sees her boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe) off to college. Things are fine, until Julia gets a frantic message from Holt's computer from Skye (Aimee Teegarden). When Julia heads to the college, she's there when Skye is killed by Samara.
The main problem with Rings is that it's virtually the same story as its predecessors: Someone sees the tape (or, now, digital file) and tries to interpret the images to spare themselves from being killed by Samara. We get the same warning and timeline, the same disjointed ghostly figure, the same terrified and contorted looks on her victims, even the same dim lighting throughout the movie. Since we've seen it all before there's nothing really new or scary -- and the paper-thin characters don't have much to do besides look worried and scream. Rings has a few decent moments, but most of the movie is a dud.
Overall grade: D
Reviewed by James Lynch