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Proving that you can't keep a good horror franchise down, evil is reborn in the trailer for F. Javier Gutiérrez's long-awaited Rings where Paramount Pictures take us down the well once again for a third instalment in the evil videotape franchise - you now have seven days left to live...sorry!
Just as Saw, The Strangers and The Blair Witch Project all gear towards their mooted sequels, we return to the well for the first time in 11 years, since Hideo Nakata directed the much maligned The Ring Two. It looks like Samara has once again climbed out of her water-logged grave and is wreaking havoc in the meta times of 2016 - Thankfully Gutiérrez didn't opt for his original title of The Ring 3D.
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As we waved goodbye to VHS tapes this year, Samara has had to update her software when it comes to spreading her seven day curse. Some tech-savvy teen uploaded a digital copy, so the evil tape can now be shared via email - how very Scream 4! The trailer introduces Matilda Lutz as Julia (this film's Naomi Watts) as we follow her on a seven day trip into hell. Typical horror movie tropes appear as Julia tries to unravel the evil behind Samara - it all seems very Omen-esque and there is nothing too out of the ordinary.
Whilst infiltrating in-flight entertainment is hardly cutting edge, it does explore Samara's more global assault of evil and offers up the trailer's best scene - replicating a Final Destination style horror in the skies. If you really want to spread your curse Samara, surely you could have just set up your own YouTube channel and hid the tape amongst cats lipsyncing to Bieber songs? Just a thought for Ring 4, or even for a fifth instalment (patent pending).
Moving away from the Watts era of the franchise, the synopsis for the updated film reads:
A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend 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…
I don't know if you would call the Ring franchise beloved, but it did get its own Scary Movie parody, so that must count for something!
Back in the Ring
Speaking at CinemaCon, Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said that if Rings proves successful, it could replace Paramount's other money-spinning series, Paranormal Activity, and release a sequel each year. The trailer certainly looks promising, but let's hope that Rings is more Curse of Chucky rather than Seed of Chucky, and continues the franchise a'la The Conjuring.
Moved from its previous release of November 2015, Rings will be released just in time for Halloween on October 28.