Donnie Skuza’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's 2017 and the cheap horror era is over. Gone are the days of pea-brained audience members. We notice plot holes, we notice your faults. As viewers, we're not buying into horror films like we did around the new millennia. Yet producers insist on crapping out horror films. Rings is a downright embarrassment, laid to waste by a mindless plot, terrible casting choice and misdirection.
The first act starts off almost decent. The characters are completely one dimensional but we have a reason to care about them. There’s a sense of intro, that the plot is going somewhere. Then you find out that the biggest flaw of Rings is the writing—why is it called Rings anyway? Not The Ring 3? Who cares. Boyfriend watches tape, he goes missing. Here we go again... mysterious girl Skype messages the girlfriend on her Apple laptop in a scene riddled with product placement. Probably paid for 10% of the budget. Girlfriend follows boyfriend's professor, professor runs a cult of emo Apple endorcers who've seen the tape. Seriously, I think the iPhone got over five minutes of screen time. The TV girl even comes out of an iPhone. Unbelievably cheesy... laughably childish. Yet from this I’m reminded of living day to day, remembering old dreams that used to scare me. Now older and wiser, I’m reluctant to say I’ve lost the innocence of my youth. I guess it takes a horror film to get me philosophical. Or maybe anything new makes me lament something.
The college cult scene has potential. An interesting setting. We see the modernization of the Ring tape. On the walls are digital clocks counting down the lives of those who've seen the tape. There's a counterculture, an underground rave scene that nods to The Matrix. A halfway decent section of the movie, but a short lived good use of budget.
Budgetary constraints follow. Crazy girl attacks girlfriend, girl comes out of TV and kills her, girlfriend runs, boyfriend isn’t missing and saves her with a jump scare, professor is the good guy whose sole purpose is to explain the plot like every other horror film. The professor has one of the worst film deaths of all time, easily. I saw someone leave the theater and heard a group laugh. I’m not a critic of critics but it was a tough crowd. It was definitely a bad roster, audience wise. It’s hard to target demographics and get it right. But this could’ve been way better, we all could’ve found a way to like it.
Then there's some stupid brail that spawns on girlfriend's hand, blind preacher who is the father of tape girl gets hilariously thrown down a flight of stairs by girlfriend and all she says is, "You were her father!" This makes Mark Wahlburg's line delivery in The Happening actually good.
Ending absolutely sucked and was completely random. The tape gets sent to everyone on boyfriend's email for no reason. More Apple product placement as we see each email automatically sent. What the hell man, give Microsoft a chance! I might buy an Apple laptop after seeing this movie. This cherry tops the shitcake. What’s next, Skyfall’s Heineken beer? What a pathetic waste of budget and time.