A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Against considerable odds, characters attempt to undo horrible wrongs committed in the past. But the "the horror isn't over/more sequels coming" ending more or less nullifies any work accomplished.
Positive Role Models
Julia sacrifices her life to save her boyfriend's life, even if it only involves watching a 2-minute video.
Violence & Scariness
Scary stuff; dead bodies with horrifying faces. Brief images of a woman held prisoner; images (also used in earlier movies) of a girl being pushed down a well. Ghost murders people. Man attacks a woman, swinging weapons at her and trying to kill her. Men fight; hitting with shovel. Man falls down stairs. Strangling. Man electrocuted in his car. Brief, disturbing images on Ring video (squirmy bugs, emaciated baby, etc.). Bloody noses. Hand punctured on a nail, with blood. Bruises and "marks" on skin. Coughing up wet, stringy hair.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A teen couple lies in bed together, clearly comfortable with each other and wearing only underwear. Kissing. Flirting over Skype. Brief sex talk.
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At least one use of "s--t," as well as "ass," "a--hole," "hell," "God," and "Jesus."
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Products & Purchases
Skype mentioned and shown, iPhones and Apple computers used. Brief Netflix logo on a remote control.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Sips of wine, whiskey drinking. Brief pot smoking (by an adult).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rings is a sequel to the horror movies The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005), which, in turn, were based on a series of Japanese novels and movies. As in the other stories, the characters in this movie watch a short video and then get a death sentence. There's a lot of scary stuff, including some supernatural elements (ghosts, etc.), killing/dead bodies, jump scares, disturbing images, a bit of blood (mostly bloody noses and a hand injury), fighting, swinging blunt instruments, and falling down stairs. The college-age main characters are shown lying in bed together in their underwear, kissing. There's also some flirting and brief sex talk, as well as at least one use of "s--t." An adult character drinks a little wine and whiskey and is shown smoking pot. Only die-hard fans should bother. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This lethargic, sadly unnecessary horror sequel attempts more of the same mythology but quickly proves to be utterly boring, with dull characters, no genuine scares, and nothing to say. Following the American films The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005) and based on the original series of Japanese novels (by Koji Suzuki) and movies, Rings adds nothing to the franchise's mythology, with the possible exception of updating the old VHS tape to new, digital files that can be played on phones and desktops.
The characters' attempt to solve the mystery only begs the question: Didn't they already take care of this in the last couple of movies? And being stuck with the two main characters doesn't help; they're arguably the dullest couple ever to grace a horror movie. Director F. Javier Gutierrez goes for only jump-scares -- including the sudden opening of an umbrella! -- but they're so glumly routine that it's impossible not to guess when they're coming. In the end, this Rings is less "lord" and more "bored."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.