It’s not every day that you come home from work to find an unmarked package on your doorstep. Making things even eerier, when you open it you find a VHS tape with no labeling inside. No letter. No indication of who it’s from. All you can do is put it in the VCR and see what happens.
Rings appear on the screen. Shining and white, the same kind that provide the thematic image basis for all of the preceding Ring movies (both Japanese and American). The series revolves around a videotape that, when watched, gives the viewer seven days to pass it on or die by mysterious circumstances.
It would be dishonest to say I wasn’t a little bit creeped out by receiving the videotape.
The video takes no time starting into things. Filmed visually similar to Memento, Rings tells the story of a group of teenagers using the cursed videotape as a means for excitement (and possibly an alternative to drugs). The group’s leader, Eddie, wants to see “how close you can fly to the sun,” and the high school students line up for a chance to exchange stories and brag about how many days they lasted before passing it on to another victim. The newest member Jake, unaware of the danger he’s getting into, quickly embarks on the paranormal trip. It starts with spotting a ladder that isn’t really there and then quickly spirals out of control.
I won’t ruin the story for you, but I will tell you that it’s a wonderfully crafted bridge between the 2002 version of The Ring and its 2005 sequel. Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls) directed the short film while Ehren Kruger (screenplay: The Ring) helped craft the story to this 16 minute short. Its main purpose is to serve as an addition on the 2 disc Collector’s Edition of The Ring (Release: March 8th), but it works surprisingly well as a standalone piece. The special effects are nice and some of the actors and actresses, most notably Emily Van Camp who plays a larger role in The Ring 2, we will certainly see more of in the future.
After I pull the cassette out of the VCR I sit back for a moment and think about what I’ve just seen. Fortunately, before I start to fool myself into seeing creepy pale black haired girls, my friend Matt opens the door. I hand the tape to him and say, “Matt, you’ve got to see this.” The second those rings appear on the screen, I breathe a little easier.
Check out The Collector’s Edition DVD Site
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