To start with, this won’t be a spoiler free review, at all. I’m also really annoyed with this movie and how stupid the characters are so this is mostly going to be a rant full of spoilers because what the literal fuck did I just watch? That being said, I fell asleep twice, during it (only for a few minutes at a time) and I’d still say it was better than Ring TwO which I think was so bad I’m not even going to attempt to review it here. Or I might. I don’t know. Alright here we go. I’m serious…there’s gonna be a lot of spoilers.
Movie opens with a dude on a plane and he’s kinda like freaking out. Girl next to him says something about it “sucking” not being able to sleep. The launches into some rant about how he’s seen this tape that will kill you in 7 days. Which he saw 7 days ago to basically that very minute on the plane, because you know when you watch a death video you think “Lemme schedule a plane ride 7 days from right the fuck now” whatever. He gets up to go to the bathroom telling her that he only needs to make it through the next 5 minutes and he’ll be fine. Then she tells her friend or something next to her that the guy is crazy and what he said. Friend freaks out and is like OMG I’VE SEEN THAT TAPE! And tries to find the guy to see if he made a copy. Obviously he hadn’t, and Samara…comes out of the cockpit? No seriously it seemed like that’s what happened.
Movie flashes forward to 2 years after that. Two random ass people (we later learn their names are Skye and Gabriel) are at some sort of flea market or something. They find a VCR and Gabriel (a professor at some college) buys it cause it’s vintage and he’s a total hipster douche. Apparently it’s the VCR that the guy from the plane owned and well what do you know? The curse tape is in it. Gabriel accidentally watches it while also smoking pot and then has some visions, like immediately, cause that’s totally how that’s supposed to work (this is sarcasm that’s not at all how this is supposed to work)
Note: I’m a HUGE fan of the books and the Japanese movies as well as a big fan of the first American movie so maybe I’m a bit too nitpicky but whatever cause I don’t care.
Then, for no reason it switches to two people who look to be 25 years old, in bed together talking about mythology and fables and shit. Then it turns out that they are actually 18 or something and one of them (the guy) is going off to college. His name is Holt and the girl staying behind is Julia. 6 weeks or something pass cause they mention that and Holt mentions his “kinda bad ass biology professor” who you just know is going to be Gabriel. In the middle of the skype call between him and his girlfriend his friends come and make him leave. She gets all pouty then has some weird sex dream/nightmare where she’s having sex with Holt but I guess he turns into Samara or Samara is on top of him or something.
He doesn’t answer her calls or texts for two days so she goes to visit him. She finds his phone which is super low on batteries and has all her unanswered texts and calls. After a 20 second search of his room she finds a random key and his schedule and remembers the biology professor. She goes to his class and questions him and he pretends not to know Holt so she follows him to their weird like “ring” club where a bunch of people have watched the tape. Turns out that Gabriel was running some kind of experiment or something because he decided that this tape could prove that humans have souls. Not sure how or why he thought this but whatever.
You find out Skye, the student or something that he’s obviously fucking, has watched the tape and is trying to get someone else to watch it. Gabriel promises that he’ll find her someone. Holt’s name is on a monitor with a countdown next to it, indicating he also watched the tape. Skye is freaking out but she remembers Julia from when she skype called her looking for Holt. She tells her that she needs her to watch this video and Julia is just like “Okay lemme go with you random lady”. She goes to this apartment or something (maybe it was also Gabriel’s? not sure) and tries to get her to watch this tape but at the same time Holt is texting Skye and Julia sees Skye’s phone and picks it up and tells him she’s there. He tells her not to watch. Skye tries to grab her to get her to watch but she runs away and locks herself in a bathroom.
Samara tries to come out of the laptop at first but Skye closes it and throws it. Then Samara tries to come out of the TV which Skye pulls off of the wall. Samara comes out of it anyway and kills Skye. Then she for some reason unlocks the bathroom door and allows Julia to find Skye’s body. As she’s leaving Holt finds her and they run off to some hotel together. Somehow, someone posts a picture of Skye’s body online (not sure who cause they were really the only two people there and neither took a picture) but now because of this no one wants to watch the tape so Holt doesn’t have anyone to watch it for him, except Gabriel says he’ll find someone. Julia waits til Holt is asleep and watches it. However there is a “special” image in it for her. Turns out there’s a video within the video specific for Julia and it can’t be copied so now Julia has to find out what the hell to do.
They try to locate Samara’s body, and they manage to find out that after Rachel dug it up in the first movie it was moved back to a town with a population of 294 people called Sacrament. This town just happens to be 4 hours away from wherever they currently are, I think in Washington? Maybe Seattle I don’t know. They get there and Julia keeps having visions and shit and she’s led to the grave where Samara’s bones were but she keeps having a vision of this girl. Turns out this girl is Samara’s mom, Evelyn and no one knows what happened to her, except in the second Ring movie (which sucks) everyone totally did know what happened to her because Rachel found her in a mental hospital somewhere. I guess they are ignoring the second movie but not the first?
At this point Julia crawls into the grave and she sees a message for her something like “She found you Julia” or whatever. Then she has a vision of being chained down and pulled into the well. Holt pulls her out soon after that and they are caught by the caretaker or someone who takes them to Vincent D’onofrio’s house. I just call him Vincent Donut Fritos thanks to a CinemaSins video I saw not too long ago. I honestly can’t remember the name of his character.
Oh I should mention that also at this point, Gabriel, for some reason, thinks the police are going to pin the murder of Skye on him somehow so he is all paranoid and trying to pack up and leave town. Cause yeah, everyone would think it was his fault for her watching a tape or something? At worst he might get involuntary manslaughter if they can even prove the tape kills people and he knew that. Even if they could prove it, he didn’t have intent to kill her anyway so why he thought the police would actually pin this on him I have no idea. He figures out the burn/mark on Julia’s hand is braille. He calls Holt to tell him without telling him what the braille means and Holt for some goddamn reason STILL ISN’T ANSWERING HIS PHONE even though Gabriel said he was going to help them.
Okay, now Julia and Holt are in Donut Frito’s house and he’s rambling on about how the priest of the town heard that Samara’s body was found and no one wanted to accept her bones but he decided he would as an act of good will. Then the town was met with a ton of misfortunes and he was blinded. He warns Julia that just because she has visions, doesn’t mean she knows what those visions mean. He grabs her hand and clearly reads the braille on it and gets all paranoid but still Holt doesn’t think to check his phone and neither of these morons can tell that the dots on her hand are braille even though they are in college and it’s SUPER OBVIOUS.
They go back to the bed and breakfast and decide they need to still look for Samara’s bones because they have to burn them. There’s a whole car accident scene where Gabriel dies too, and STILL HOLT ISN’T CHECKING HIS FUCKING PHONE! Whatever.
Julia lays down to rest and Holt decides to go get them food. Julia keeps having visions so she goes back to the church not leaving a note or anything cause why the hell should she? She finds an area of the church that she realizes is in the new curse video and rips up the floor. She finds a trap door under there which leads to a secret room where Samara’s mother, Evelyn, was held prisoner because the priest kidnapped her and raped the crap out of her and made her have the baby. Julia tells no one about this for whatever reason and got back to Donut Fritos house.
It’s around this time that Holt is talking to the mean old bitch lady that runs the bed and breakfast they are staying in. She explains that Evelyn was really super talented and whatever then one day she just vanished. No one ever heard from her again or knows what happened to her, which they totally do because *Points at second movie*. I seriously am so irritated by this. I can’t tell if they were ignoring the second movie or not. The reason why is because Evelyn was only ever mentioned IN THE SECOND MOVIE so people wouldn’t fucking know who she was if…I guess it doesn’t matter.
Now it’s revealed that Donut Fritos is the priest and he also imprisoned Evelyn and raped her because he had some vision telling him to do it because he would create a child that would change the world. He didn’t realize it would be for the worse not the better. He mentions that 12 other girls have come looking for Samara’s bones but they never got that far and he tries to take Julia prisoner. Julia is trying to hide from him which may have worked had she not BREATHED SO FUCKING HARD ALL THE GODDAMN TIME. He hits her with a cane, she gets up the stairs and kicks him down the stairs.
Not checking to see if he’s dead even though he clearly would not fucking die from that with all his fat padding his fall, she just starts to look around upstairs. Holt runs back to the bed and breakfast to check some pictures to make sure that Donut Fritos is also the priest because there are just SOOOO many blind guys in a town with a population of 294 right? Really didn’t need to waste time doing that. He’s not smart. He goes to Donut Fritos house and eventually breaks in. At this point, Julia has found the body which was sealed in a room behind a wall. Oh yeah important to note that Donut Fritos says that he blinded himself because that way Samara couldn’t kill him. No clue as to why or how he thought this would work but he was obviously not sane.
He’s still alive so he tackles Julia and starts to strangle her yelling that he’s sacrificing her for Samara. Samara uses the power of Julia’s phone and cicadas to appear, heal Donut Fritos eyes and kill him anyway. The two of them take her bones from the wall and dump it in a bon fire. This is not a hot enough fire to burn bones to ash so…what the fuck was the point of that? (Source)
Thinking everything is over they go home. It’s NOW that Holt decides to check his phone and he gets a voicemail from Gabriel saying the mark on Julia’s hand is braille. He goes online to I dunno http://www.WhatTheFuckIsThisBrailleOnMyHandTranslator.com and looks at the image that Gabriel scanned and punches it into the translator. As soon as the R came up I goddamn knew it was going to spell REBIRTH (mostly cause of the books and Japanese movies but like I said I’m way ahead of the game on this one).
Julia’s skin starts to peel in the shower, she gets out, coughs up a Samara hairball with a cicada or fly or something in it. Then the curse video stats to randomly mass e-mail itself to all of Holt and Julia’s friends. Then I guess Julia turns into Samara because she was the only one who was never afraid of her. End of movie, cue sequel if this movie makes enough money.
As you may have guessed I have many MANY issues with this movie and tons of unanswered questions. Here they are all summed up nicely:
- The guy on the plane at the beginning of the movie seemed freaked out enough to believe the curse was real but still got on the plane anyway because why?
- If the girl on the plane next to him has seen the video AND knew to make a copy, how the fuck did the first guy never think to google how to beat the curse video because clearly by this point someone would have put that shit on the internet.
- How did Gabriel figure out so quickly that he needed to make a copy of the tape and pass it on but douche on the plane didn’t even figure it out? Did he do all the stuff Rachel did in the first movie? Clearly not, so what the hell? I assume at least Rachel wrote a blog post about it somewhere.
- Skye contacted Julia about 2 days before she was going to run out of time, but in those two days she didn’t think to find anyone to watch the tape for her despite being that scared of dying.
- Why were these kids having SO MUCH TROUBLE finding someone else to watch the tape and/or relying on Professor Gabriel to find them someone? If I were that scared I wouldn’t have waited and seriously it’s a college campus, you could get anyone to watch a non creepy 30 second video after offering to buy them a pizza. Hell, Skye was a hot chick she could get some dumb ass random guy to do it for free but she had to choose Julia, and AT THE LAST FUCKING MINUTE apparently.
- Julia’s copy of the curse tape was different and it had a video in it very specific to her right? But Donut Fritos mentions that 12 other girls had come looking for Samara there. Which means 12 other girls got the same specific video but some how that one never started circulating anywhere and no one knew about it? It still also means that since the video was very specific to Julia it shouldn’t have been able to curse anyone else, right?
- Donut Fritos some how had the foresight to blind himself to prevent himself from seeing Samara so he couldn’t die but she was able to heal his eyes anyway so what the hell?
- Apparently Samara made the original curse tape and killed a bunch of people hoping that one day someone would somehow find her father and allow her to kill him? This movie pretty much implies that the point of the first video was to get someone to find her body, then by random chance hope that it was buried back in this really small town in the middle of nowhere, then hope that some day someone watched the second cursed video and figured out all of those clues and…really? This is what we are supposed to believe? And in the mean time she spent something like 12 years killing a bunch of people for not figuring it out?
Despite the fact that I dozed off briefly, twice, I don’t think I misunderstood any of the plot. At all. As all these questions I have are about scenes I saw all the way through. Also, even despite this huge mess of garbage being this bad I still think it’s better than Ring TwO which was fucking awful. I would say this is a waste of an hour and forty-two minutes and you’ll never get that time back so don’t even bother because God Damn was this stupid.